Category Archives: Clean and Green

Help trees find good homes

A fernleaf beech in autumn. Photo by Sten via Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons.

Seattle reLeaf sent us this this announcement:

Good news Seattle neighbors! Seattle reLeaf still has free trees for residential yards available through the Trees for Neighborhoods program. Residents are eligible for up to four free trees but trees are going fast and some species have waiting lists. The deadline for street trees has passed, but you can still apply for trees to plant in your yard. Here are two of the beautiful trees that still need good homes:

Fernleaf Beech – This naturally graceful and majestic tree brings year round interest to the northwest garden. Originating from France, this deciduous tree has glossy green fern-shaped leaves and strong muscular branches. In the fall the leaves turn an enchanting golden color, lighting up the neighborhood!

Western Red Cedar – The flagship tree of the northwest forest! The western red cedar has graceful sweeping branches and stunning reddish brown bark. Lewis and Clark thought that western red cedars were amazing enough to be called the “trees of life” – arbor vitae. Plant one in your backyard and bring new life to your neighborhood!

The deadline to apply for one of these handsome trees is October 21st, so apply now. Applications are here.

Food Forest friends to celebrate “Ground Making” 9/29

The Food Forest site was marked during July’s Jefferson Park Jubilee to show where the features of the park will eventually be. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

Three years into the Beacon Food Forest planning, the site is still just plain lawn. That will change on Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the forest’s first trees are planted at the Beacon Food Forest Ground Making Day celebration. All are invited to this inaugural work party to begin the transformation of the site.

West African drums will be played by Katia Roberts and Friends, and there will be food provided by Tom Douglas, La Panzanella, and more. Volunteers should RSVP to Glenn Herlihy at, and bring their own gloves.

The next day, Sunday, September 30, a tree planting workshop is scheduled for the Food Forest site from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., taught by Jana Dilley, Seattle Public Utilities’ reLeaf Program Manager. There are 20 spaces available in this workshop to learn how to plant and care for fruit trees. RSVP to to reserve a space.

Both events will be held at the Beacon Food Forest site, the southwest corner of Jefferson Park, at South Dakota Street and 15th Avenue South.

The Ground Making work party will begin by planting trees in a small area of the site. The rest of the site preparation and planting will come later, after the site is connected to a water source. The Friends of the Beacon Food Forest sent out an announcement explaining the delay:

“Hard working people at Seattle P-Patch (BFF is a Seattle P-Patch) are negotiating with several government agencies to find our point of connection to city water. Since we are starting with absolutely nothing but grass on our site we need to find where we will be placing our water meter and routing our water to the forest garden. Currently we are exploring two options: 1) Seattle Parks and Recreation allows us to tap into their Jefferson Park system or 2) we create our own point of connection by digging up 15th Ave S and running a new line up into the site. Seattle P-Patch, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle public Utilities who are negotiating these terms are being asked to be as economical and ecological as possible in their final decision. When the point of connection is agreed, final drawings for construction will be delivered to the Conservation Corps who will be doing the construction beginning, we hope, later this month.”

Friends of Cheasty Greenspace need volunteers to build trail

The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace/Mt. View are having a trail-building work party this Saturday, September 1 from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. All interested neighbors are invited to pitch in to help build the new woodland trail.

Volunteers should meet at 2809 S. Alaska Place, one block west of Columbia City Station. Registration begins at 9:45 a.m.

Bring your own water and water bottle, sturdy shoes and layered work clothes. Gloves and tools will be provided for your use. Shared snacks are welcome.

Canning Connection “full of beans” this month

Photo by Steve A. Johnson via Creative Commons/Flickr.
The Beacon Hill Garden Club is joining with Rainier Valley Eats to present another Canning Connections workshop on Wednesday, August 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S.

According to the Canning Connection folks, “this month we’ll ‘put up’ some of Master Gardener Mick Duggan’s recipe for green beans in mustard sauce and some delicious dilly beans. Both are fantastic with cold summer suppers or on the buffet and picnic table.”

The class is $15 and includes everything but your apron, but it’s limited to 10 students, so you should register soon by emailing

Mark your calendar — the Canning Connections program will be preserving something at the Garden House every fourth Tuesday of each month from now on.

“Coal Hard Truth Forum” to discuss coal train impacts

Coal train photo courtesy of Washington Environmental Council.

Washington Environmental Council is holding a “Coal Hard Truth Forum” at Cleveland High School this Wednesday, August 15, to discuss the proposed increase in coal trains through South Seattle if a proposed coal export terminal opens in Bellingham.

According to a press release from the Council, up to 9 open-bed coal trains may be added to the city’s railroad traffic daily, which would result in increased pollution and traffic to neighborhoods along the route, including Georgetown and Beacon Hill. Here at the BHB, we confess that we haven’t yet done as much research on the topic as we’d like, but here are a couple of links to provide more information about the trains:

All interested neighbors are invited to attend the forum to ask questions and discuss the trains’ impact with community members. The event is at Cleveland High School, room 1201 (second floor), 5511 15th Ave. S, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15. If you have questions, contact Nicole Keenan, or 206-631-2606.

Learn to grow your own food

Figs. Photo by Rubber Slippers in Italy via Creative Commons/Flickr.

Summer is moving rapidly toward its end, but it’s not too late to learn to grow your own food. This Saturday, August 11, from 10-11:30 a.m., is another in a series of free “Grow Your Own Groceries” classes at El Centro de la Raza.

This month’s topics include:

  • What to plant Now?
  • Figs and Kiwi
  • Seed Saving

The class is led by Master Gardener Mick Duggan. The location is El Centro de la Raza room 310, 2524 16th Ave. S. Mark your calendar: next month’s class, the last of the year, is scheduled for September 8.

Volunteers to improve Rizal Park today

King5 reports on a special event today on North Beacon Hill:

Jose Rizal Park is one of a few Seattle parks that will be filled with volunteers Friday as part of Volunteer In Parks Day, a project of the Seattle Parks Foundation. Volunteers will plant trees and flowers, clean up litter, remove weeds and more.

The event is from from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, and more volunteers are welcome. You can register here.

See the video report here:

The Beacon Hill Garden Club wants you!

Photo by K. Shuyler in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.

The Beacon Hill Garden Club is, as always, welcoming new potential members. According to the group, “We seek to grow a colorful garden of friendships, as well as fruits and flowers! Gardeners of all interests and levels of experience are welcome.”

What do Garden Club members do? In the past, their activities have included movie nights at the Garden House in conjunction with the Beacon Food Forest project, Canning Connections preserving classes (with Rainier Valley Eats), progressive dinners in each others’ gardens, and more.

Currently the group has a few things in the works, including a Save the Whale campaign, to restore the antique whale weathervane to the Garden House roof, and the First Annual “Anywhere but Seafair Caravan”: “Escape the noise, the crowds and the traffic with a field trip to Mount Vernon.” The road trip includes a tour and picnic at Jell-O Mold Farm (flowers) and a visit to the WSU Experiment Station Display Gardens.

The club meets in the evenings on the fourth Thursday of odd months (which would be July 26, this month) at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S. Dues are $12 per year. For more information, contact Christina at

Open house to discuss Neighborhood Greenway

All are invited to a Seattle Department of Transportation open house on Thursday, July 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Jefferson Community Center (3801 Beacon Ave. S.) to discuss the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway.

The greenway is a 2.8 mile long pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly route through North Beacon Hill, providing improved access to locations including the I-90 Trail, Beacon Hill Station, Beacon Hill Library, Jefferson Park, Maplewood Playfield, Mercer Middle School, Maple Elementary School, and Cleveland High School.

The route has changed slightly since the earlier proposed version of the Greenway. The current route will start at the I-90 Trail and 18th Avenue South, then continue south along 18th. The greenway will then turn and cross Beacon Avenue South at South Hanford Street, and continue on Lafayette Avenue South into Jefferson Park. The route will continue south of Jefferson Park, crossing 15th Avenue South at South Dakota Street, and continuing on 12th Avenue South to South Lucile Street.

What makes a run-of-the-mill route a neighborhood greenway? Greenways are non-arterial street routes that have improvements to encourage and support safe bicycle and pedestrian use, in combination with reduced auto speeds and volumes. In the case of the Beacon Hill Greenway, these enhanced features have been proposed:

  • Signs and pavement legends along the greenway
  • Stop signs to control traffic crossing the greenway
  • A median island with new marked crosswalks at Lafayette Avenue South and South Spokane Street
  • A median island with new marked crosswalks at Beacon Avenue South and SouthHanford Street
  • Rechannelization and signal improvements at Beacon Avenue South and South Spokane Street
  • A widened sidewalk on South Dakota Street between 16th Avenue South and 14th Avenue South
  • A paved trail adjacent to Jefferson Park

View Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway in a larger map

Make “Canning Connections” and good eats at class 7/18

Photo by Carissa Rogers via Creative Commons/Flickr.

Interested in canning and preserving your garden produce? The Beacon Hill Garden Club and Rainier Valley Eats are hosting a “Canning Connections” class on Wednesday, July 18 from 7-9 p.m. at the Garden House (2336 Beacon Ave. S.).

The event organizers say “We’ll be using the best organic fruit available and provide everything you’ll need (except the apron)… We’ll share resources, recipes, stories and go home with jars of goodness.” The session is hands-on and those with all levels of experience are welcome to attend, from beginners to veteran canners.

The class is limited to 10, and the class fee is $15, payable the night of the session. To register, email