One person’s trash is not another person’s treasure especially when it’s dumped in the street

28 08 2015


There has been an epidemic this past month in East Ballard with furniture and trash piling up in the medians along 14th Ave NW. On a recent walk from NW 65th to Market St, almost every block had something dumped in the median or on the sidewalk at the intersection. Even if the original owner believes that perhaps someone would find their beat up couch or lumpy mattress valuable and take it into their own home, the truth of the matter is that your unwanted items end up just sitting there for days or weeks attracting more people to dump their own stuff into the pile and contributing to a neighborhood trash pile until the City comes by and hauls it away.

Is this the community we want to be? Whether you’re a resident (owner or renter), business owner or just passing through, you are part of this community and only you can either continue to contribute to this problem or help resolve it.


Thank-you Fred and Michelle at the Seattle Conservation Corps!

Heroes to the rescue
Thanks to EBCA’s awesome relationship with the Seattle Conservation Corps, who have been watering the planters and weeding the medians on 14th these past years, their work crew this week took it upon themselves to gather up most of the furniture and haul it off in their own truck and take it to the dump. They gathered up what they couldn’t take into a pile at the corner of NW 60th and 14th for another truck to pick up later. Kudos to Michelle and Fred at Seattle Conservation Corps for taking the initiative and being part of the solution!

Now here’s how you can be part of the solution too!

What to do with your unwanted furniture
There are resources available to help you find a new home for your furniture. None are probably as easy as dumping it in the street, but you’ve already decided you’re not going to do that, right?!

If your furniture is in good, usable condition, you may be able to sell, exchange or donate it:

  • Buy Nothing Ballard – Facebook Group page for giving away unwanted items – This is a closed group, so you must request to join
  • Freecycle-Seattle – A Yahoo! group for giving and receiving free items. This is a closed group, so you must request to join.
  • Craigslist-Seattle – a good ole standby for buying, selling and giving away your stuff.
  • Goodwill (or any other donation drop off spot) – If your items are in good condition, this is an excellent option if you have the means to transport
  • Salvation Army – This charity will pick up certain furniture items for free (couches under 8ft long, e.g).
  • Northwest Center – This charity will pick up certain furniture items for free (no mattresses or sleeper sofas though)
  • – This courier service will pickup items and drive them to places like the Goodwill for you for $15 per 15 minutes. It looks like they’re quick to respond and since the Goodwill is so close, this could be a great option.

If your items aren’t in good shape and need to be thrown out, here are a couple of options:

  • City of Seattle Bulky item pickup – For about $30 per item, you can schedule a bulky item pickup by the City.
  • Seattle Transfer Station – If your items are not in good shape to resell, then sending them to the dump may be an option. Unfortunately, the North transfer station is closed right now and you’ll have to go to the Shoreline or  South Seattle station. The cost is $30 per vehicle.

How to report illegal dumping
Of-course, there will be folks who will not have read this post and will dump their items into the streets and medians. Regardless of whether these actions are good-intentioned or just lazy, the fact is that illegal dumping will happen. It’s your responsibility as an engaged member of the community to report this to the City as soon as you see it.

Here’s how:

  • Find it Fix it App – Install this nifty app on your phone, take a picture and report it to the City
  • Report online – Fill out the City’s online report to report illegal dumping
  • Give the City a call at (206) 684-7587

There are many more options that we missed and we’d love for you to share your ideas on our Facebook page.



Join neighbors Aug 22 to walk the proposed 6th Ave NW Greenway

17 08 2015


West Woodland Neighbors & Seattle Neighborhood Greenways are co-hosting a walk along the proposed 6th Ave NW Greenway on Saturday Aug 22 meeting 9:30am at 6th Ave Pocket Park (NW 76th & 6th NW) *or* 10am at Cafe Bambino (NW 65th & 6th NW)

The purpose of this walk is to build enthusiasm and support for safety improvements along 6th Ave NW. Safety improvements serve everyone, but particularly children walking to the several schools and preschools located along this corridor and elderly people who have chosen to age gracefully in place in this neighborhood.

The three most difficult areas to address financially and from an engineering perspective are the street crossings at NW 65th, NW Market, and NW 43rd crossing at Leary Ave NW.

The walk will start at NW 76th and 6th NW and travel the Ballard Summer Parkways route that will go along 6th NW between NW 76th and 58th.

For those who prefer to start further south the group will meet up with people at NW 65th (Cafe’ Bambino) at 10am and will continue walking and talking down 6th Ave NW, pausing for a while to discuss crossing improvements possible on NW Market and on NW Leary. This 1.5 mile walk is downhill.

In order to build safe streets, people who live on the street need to advocate strongly for improvements.

Making 6th Ave NW safe for all ages & abilities is Seattle Neighborhood Greenways District 6 priority for 2015

Remember to vote by August 4!

27 07 2015

Your ballot for this year’s August 4 primary election should have arrived and if you haven’t already filled it out and dropped it off at the Ballard Library drop box, then you better tear open that envelope, review your voter’s pamphlet, grab your pen and get going, cause time is running out!

Washington state had a disappointing 31% voter turnout in last year’s primary election, which is actually higher than the national average, but is that really something to be proud of? We can do better! Primary elections aren’t exciting, because you’re not directly voting anyone into office, you’re just helping decide who the top two candidates will be on the ballot for the November election. But, do you really want such a small number of voters making those decisions for you? We didn’t think so!

We’re not going to tell you who to vote for, but here’s some information about this primary election, in particular, the District 6 City Council election, that may help you better understand the significance of your vote in this election.


This year, voting for Seattle City Council positions will be by district, a result of a measure Seattle voters passed in 2013. In this primary and the general election in November, voters will elect seven out of nine councilmembers by district. The remaining two positions (8 and 9) will be elected “at large” (citywide).

If you live in East Ballard, then you’ll be voting for a councilmember to represent you in District 6, which covers Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, Ballard and Fremont. That’s a lot of neighborhoods with very different interests and needs! There are 4 candidates running to represent you in District 6 (3 of them live in Ballard). The top 2 vote-getters will appear on your November ballot:

City of Seattle Council Position No 6 Primary Candidates
Stan Shaufler (no campaign website)
Mike O’Brien
Jon Lisbin
Catherine Weatbrook

If you want to learn more about these candidates than what’s provided in the voter’s pamphlet or on their campaign websites, check out the Seattle Channel’s Video Voter’s guide for District 6 where you can view statements from the candidates. If you want to learn more (which you should), view the candidate forum that took place at the Phinney Neighboorhood Center on June 6. The forum will give you a really good idea on the issues that are important to your candidates and should help you decide who’s going to best represent what’s important to you when their in office.

Although this article focuses on the District 6 City Council primary elections, you will also be voting for the District 8 and 9 at-large positions, Director of Elections, and Commissioner Positions 2 and 5. Check out the Seattle Channel’s online voter guide for more information about these candidates where you can view individual statements and watch recorded forums for the at-large City Council and Port of Seattle races.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and make difference. Vote today (or at least by August 4!)




Support Groundswell NW at Reuben’s Brews this Thursday

21 07 2015

Groundswell NW has been the fiscal sponsor and mentor for the East Ballard Community Association since our inception. By joining us at Reuben’s Brews at 5010 14th Ave NW between 3PM and 9PM this Thursday and raising a pint (or 2) in support of Groundswell NW, you’ll not only be supporting the East Ballard neighborhood, but also supporting the great Parks and open spaces in NW Seattle!

Bring the kiddies along as well. There’s usually a food truck right in front or order a pizza from Zeek’s from the taproom and you’ll get 15% off your order.

We’ll see you there!

East Ballard’s on the map for Ballard Summer Parkways

20 07 2015

Mark your calendar for Sept 19 from 11am-3pm for a day full of fun and exploration of Ballard’s parks (present and future), greenways and even a festival! 

Imagine… 7 miles of open streets and a beautiful Saturday afternoon to walk, run, play with the kids, ride bikes, and do whatever you want! Sound amazing? Well, on September 19 that’s exactly what you get. Explore streets being considered for bike and people-friendly transportation upgrades. Come walk and ride the loop and share your ideas for the future of Ballard.

From what we’ve learned, there are going to be a ton of activities across the different parks on the map, including chalk artists, buskers, puppets, clowns, plant giveaways, music stages, skating, food trucks, a climbing wall, petting zoo, ice cream, yoga classes, and so much more! Not to mention the big Sustainable Ballard Festival at Ballard Commons Park!

There will be a stop along the future 14th Ave NW Park. The EBCA will start planning activities for this site this week and would love to get your best ideas for what we can do for this event. Our first planning meeting will be this Wednesday July 22 at 7pm. If you’d like to join in, please contact Dawn at

The volunteer portal is live via the Cascade Bicycle Club website’s Summer Parkways page.
Volunteers will receive delicious snacks, water and a cool Summer Parkways t-shirt! The City is also offering stipends to groups, teams, clubs, bands or other aggregates of people that would like to volunteer en masse. Know a team that needs some funds to support their cause? Please have them contact to arrange to volunteer as a group.

East Ballard GreenStreet planned for construction in September

13 07 2015


Good things take time.
Cari Simson’s team has been persistently working to complete the East Ballard GreenStreet project since 2013, when The Russell Family Foundation made a generous grant of $65,000 to Antioch University Seattle to launch the project. The goals are to site, design, permit, and build one block of voluntary roadside rain gardens along 11th Avenue NW at 58th Street in the East Ballard neighborhood as a pilot demonstration for voluntary green stormwater infrastructure (GSI).

The East Ballard GreenStreet project seeks to:

  • develop a low-cost, replicable method for community groups, blocks of neighbors, or businesses to prevent pollutants from urban areas from discharging into nearby water bodies like Salmon Bay;
  • leverage community, government and NGO collaboration to create voluntary green stormwater infrastructure projects that capture, slow and filter polluted runoff via roadside swales planted with native vegetation;
  • develop best practices for implementing green stormwater infrastructure at the neighborhood scale, including guidance on design, construction and maintenance.


In September/October 2015 we intend to complete the project!
The original plan was to complete the Roadside Rain Gardens project by the end of 2014. However, there were significant delays in the permitting process, plus the project required a Street Use Street Improvement Permit (SIP); the project added complexity because this is a unique design project that the City previously has not done in partnership with community organizations. From 2013 through 2015, Cari’s team has been working with the City to clarify the steps needed for communities to voluntarily build rain gardens in the City’s right-of-way. City officials agree that there is a need for a cost-effective, collaborative, and streamlined permitting process and outreach protocol.

You are invited!
The project’s progress will be visible and educational at all phases and you are invited to participate. A local licensed/bonded excavation company will be hired to construct the roadside rain garden cluster along 11th Avenue NW (September 2015). The tasks will include removing the eight ornamental pears, sod and some soil, and then placing rain garden soil to create the swales; Ballard neighbors and Plant Amnesty will be contacted to find a new home for the trees. 9 new trees will be planted in the swales, and we are seeking locations for an additional 9 street trees that will be planted in the neighborhood per the city’s 2-to-1 Urban Tree Canopy code. If you want to sign up for a street tree in front of your house, please contact Cari via the contact info below!

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to plant the rain gardens and add mulch to stabilize the soil (October 2015). Cari’s team will also provide education as part of the volunteer work day about rain gardens, soil health, natural yard care, and NW native plant palettes.

There will also be a family-friendly “Discover your Neighborhood Watershed” walking tour of the 11th Ave NW urban watershed in the blocks surrounding the project site, including how stormwater affects the health of Puget Sound, and how citizens’ direct actions can improve the health of our waterbodies, and showcase examples of green infrastructure, including cisterns, rain gardens, and natural yard care. So far, project partners include the East Ballard Community Association, Ballard High School, Surfrider Foundation, Stewardship Partners, and Sustainable Ballard. The Muckleshoot Tribe’s Preservation Department has also been contacted about the historic significance of the creek that used to run into Salmon Bay where 11th Avenue NW is now located. We will also seek out partners to help during the final stages of the project to design and install interpretive signs that illustrate and describe how the project works, the native plants in the ground, and how residents can get involved to keep water clean in Salmon Bay.

Participate and stay in touch!
Cari Simson, Project Manager 206-234-5102 / 

This project is funded through a grant from The Russell Family Foundation with support from Antioch University Seattle, The Washington Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and East Ballard Community Association

Other GSI around you:
The City of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has been working on the Ballard Natural Drainage System (NDS) to site, design, and construct a much larger scale project in Ballard’s Loyal Heights neighborhood, which aims to help prevent an average of 1 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater per year from entering the Ship Canal and Salmon Bay. More info on the SPU project can be found here:

King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD)’s RainWise rebates have also been available in the E. Ballard neighborhood, but are due to sunset later this year.

Check out the City of Seattle/King County GSI web page for more information on more GSI around you!


Don’t miss the 8th Annual Phinney Ditch Block Party July 18

6 07 2015


Have you heard about the Phinney Ditch Block Party yet? It’s only the talk of the East Ballard Neighborhood! Last year’s event brought neighbors, friends and family together along 6th Ave NW between NW 62nd and NW 65th for some good ole fun for everyone. There was live music, papier mache’d bikes for pie jousting, noodle fights, spam carving and lots of food and drink to share. This year’s activities are going to be a blast, so get this on your calendar today. Plan to just stop on by after 3PM on July 18 and join in on the festivities! Keep up on the latest updates for this event and RSVP on their Facebook page. Still not sure you want to go? Check out pictures from last year to see what the party’s all about.



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