Aug 27, 2012

Introducing Green Blocks Blue Sound


Sustainable Seattle is excited to announce our new green infrastructure program, Green Blocks Blue Sound.  Green Blocks Blue Sound will catalyze and support efforts in our region to install green infrastructure, including rain gardens, bioswales, and cisterns, to help reduce the nearly 14 million pounds of pollutants that enter the Puget Sound every year through stormwater runoff. In addition to being beneficial to the environment, green infrastructure provides a foundation for building stronger and healthier communities.

A Sustainable Seattle Rain Garden
Through Green Blocks Blue Sound, Sustainable Seattle will increase the number of rain gardens, cisterns, and other forms of green infrastructure in our region.  A comprehensive education program will be available leading up to and through the installation process of these green infrastructure sites, empowering residents and inspiring others to address our region’s challenges.  We are actively looking for residents, community centers, and other property owners interested in green infrastructure education and guidance through installation.

Green Blocks Blue Sound supports the RainWise program of Seattle Public Utilities, which works for the expansion of green infrastructure in basins that are especially susceptible to stormwater challenges.   RainWise is an incentive based program that enables property-owners to install rain gardens, cisterns and other forms of green infrastructure on their property at little to no cost to them.  

We are concentrating our efforts in RainWise incentive zones as well as in areas that do not have a high concentration of green infrastructure projects.  Currently, our residential project is focused Northeast Seattle and Delridge, and we are working to install community center demonstration projects in Rainier Valley and Highland Park.

The residential projects aim to work with neighbors to install rain gardens and cisterns to develop clusters of green infrastructure.   This cluster approach increases the water quality benefits and creates great community building opportunities in the neighborhood.  Through outreach and education, we are identifying residents interested in installing green infrastructure.  Once initial residents have been identified, Sustainable Seattle will work with them to increase interest among their neighbors and identify potential green infrastructure sites nearby, resulting in green infrastructure clusters.  Each resident will have the opportunity receive one-on-one support through the site assessment, the incentive application, and installation.

In addition to environmental benefits, this green infrastructure project will strengthen community and be a foundation for other sustainable actions. Once the green infrastructure installations are underway, we will work with each cluster to launch an additional project, as determined by neighbors, such as bike racks, energy conservation, or garden sharing.   The goal is to create “green blocks”, where residents are working together beyond installing a rain garden or cistern, creating a sustainable neighborhood. 

Green Blocks Blue Sound will also educate and inspire neighborhoods by installing green infrastructure demonstrations where community gathers.  Community members will be involved in the design and maintenance of each site and Sustainable Seattle will provide educational workshops and support before and after installation. Our goal is to reach the broader community and spark interest in the installation of green infrastructure in neighborhood homes.

Sustainable Seattle is excited to begin collaborating with communities to develop and implement Green Blocks Blue Sound projects, building vibrant neighborhoods for today and future generations.

If you are interested in learning more or being a part of Green Blocks Blue Sound, please contact Hannah Kett at 206-622-3522 or Hannahk@sustainableseattle.org.  To learn more about the RainWise incentive program and see if you are in an incentive area, check out rainwise.seattle.gov.

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