Sustainable West Seattle received six applications for our Green Incubator grant program. On Tuesday evening, February 19, at SWS’s monthly forum at the West Seattle Senior Center, the six proponents presented their ideas and how their project would benefit the community and be an engaging and sustainable component of life here in West Seattle.
Listed below are the six proposals in alphabetical order:
Delridge Produce Cooperative Membership Outreach
This project would help the Coop build membership in advance of their plans to open a storefront operation on Delridge Way in 2014. The project would use the funds to purchase accounting software which would help with membership dues and expenses, and to assist in the development of a professional brochure and membership agreement for Coop members, and finally, the funds would be used to provide items such at t-shirts and reusable tote bags to help with the Coop’s branding and community outreach. The Coop has until June 2014 to build membership and get ready for the opening, which will be on the ground floor of a structure being built one block south of the Delridge Library. The proposal was submitted by Ranete Iding, of Delridge Produce Cooperative.
The project would use the funds to purchase two bicycle work stations, including advanced bike tool sets and workbenches, which would be based out of the West Seattle Tool Library. The DIY Bikes program would work with partners such as SW Youth and Family Services and other local organizations to create a youth-oriented bike maintenance and repair program modeled after Columbia City’s BikeWorks. Used and abused bikes will be restored, fixed and turned into functioning bicycles by participating youth working under professional adult tutelage. Bicycles which have been restored will be offered for sale at very low rates to provide low-cost transportation options for area residents, and the sales could help defray ongoing expenses. The proposal was submitted by Stu Hennessey, Alki Bike and Board, who has assisted in a similar program in White Center.
Seed Rain: Only You Can Prevent Plant Invasions
This project would use the funds to establish a website (seedrain.org) that teaches the public that invasive seed sources that rain down in our forests come from private property. The website would help teach people how to control seed rain and would also list local gardeners and horticulturalists for hire who can also identify and provide information and methods to control the seed source. The funds would provide for website expenses including graphic design. The website would serve as an aggregating source for professional firms and individuals seeking to help remove invasives or provide homeowner advice on how to control invasive species. If holly and other invasives can be better controlled, a principal primary beneficiary would be the West Seattle Greenbelt where invasive clearing is underway. Steve Richmond, Garden Cycles, submitted the proposal.
Timebank of West Seattle
The project would establish a timebank in West Seattle using expertise and assistance from Timebanks of Puget Sound (TOPS) and Eastside Timebank, two existing examples of the concept. The funds would allow the group to develop outreach programs and solicit members by allowing development of a website to be created to recruit members and by purchasing a laptop computer which would be used in community briefings to explain the Timebank methodology. The website would allow users to post times they’ve donated and to find folks who would be able to provide a service or offer their time in exchange. Timebanks operate as a clearing house for individuals donating time and service and those needing time or service. The proposal was submitted by Tamsen Spengler, a member of the West Seattle Timebank steering group.
West Duwamish Greenbelt Kiosks
This project would use the funds to create three informational kiosks at three locations in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Each kiosk will have a permanent display and an adjacent community-posting corkboard area. The permanent display would include full color trail maps, plant and wildlife information about the area around the kiosk and the Greenbelt in general, historical facts about the area, and information on how restoration occurs and how to volunteer. The funds would be used for research, design and printing of the informational material for each of the three kiosks and for installation in their respective kiosks. The proposal was submitted by Nature Consortium, which has been working for years on restoring the West Greenbelt Greenbelt, and noted that folks are using the trails and that wayfinding is now required.
White Center Community Orchard Catalyst
This project would use the funds to develop flyers and other material to promote neighborhood involvement by using the cleanup and removal of invasive species from a parcel of land at the corner of 102nd Ave SW and 1st Ave SW. The cleanup work would begin in Fall 2013, dependant on working with the property owner. The project proposes to clean up the site and prepare the site for use as a community garden serving the community around the Green Bridge housing area. The project would serve as a catalyst for greater community involvement in the unincorporated North Highline area by involving neighbors in the cleanup, the development of the community orchard, and the subsequent planting and harvesting in the garden. The proposal was submitted by Tonya Gurb for the community.
Judging Process: The process of judging which one of the six proposals will be awarded the $1000 grant funding began on Tuesday night. Following the presentation of all six Green Incubator ideas, SWS members and participants were invited to use sticky dots (small smiley face stickers) and place the dots next to projects based on their preference. We handed out 12 dots per person and encouraged users to divide the dots according to which projects they felt were worthy. Individuals could place all 12 dots on a single proposal or they could split the vote among all six proposals.
We are working on a Survey Monkey poll to further solicit opinions and thoughts about the six ideas. The proposal survey will be posted and remain live through March 15 at which time SWS will download the results and begin a compilation. The Sustainable West Seattle Coordinating Committee (SWS’s board of directors) will review the dot-map from the February 19 presentation, review the Survey Monkey results, and review each of the six proposals to rate them according to a set of criteria established prior to the announcement of the grant opportunity.
The rating criteria, cited on the grant application form, are:
- Estimated Funding Needs - What will the money of this grant be spent on? Will the money from this grant be sufficient for the project, or do you foresee pursuing other funds (such as Seattle DON grants);
- Durability & Feasibility - How long would the project last? Would it have ongoing material, monetary, or volunteer needs? What would be the hurdles for success for the project (volunteer interest, city regulations, coordination with other organizations, etc.);
- Educational Possibilities - How does/will this project communicate sustainability to our community? What are the educational goals/components of this project;
- Sustainability - How would this project affect sustainability and/or the resilience of our neighborhood?
- Locality – What part of our local community does this project involve, support and improve? How?
- Community – How would or can this project build community? How would it be supported by the community?
SWS will select the grant recipient prior to our March 18 Community forum, which will be held at the South Seattle Community College Horticulture Center and Community Orchard of West Seattle site. We will announce the winner at the March forum and post the winner here, on the SWS website. For the projects which are not selected, SWS will work with the project proposers to see what other grant opportunities exist and will help with grant writing should those project managers desire or need assistance.