News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Get expert gardening help from 'The Plant List'

May 19th, 2010 by master

For brown-thumbed gardeners such as myself, this is a welcome bit of news. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the Saving Water Partnership have produced “The Plant List,” a guide to help you choose the right plant for the right place in your garden.

When choosing plants, the most important consideration should be whether a site provides the conditions a specific plant needs to thrive. Soil type, drainage, sun and shade all affect a plant’s health, appearance and maintenance needs.

The Plant List highlights trees, shrubs and other plants that will thrive in different conditions, including wet soils, dry soils and drought, as well as sunny and shady sites. The Plant List also offers a comprehensive list of native plants that are suited to the northwest.

“When gardeners match the right plant to the right place in their garden, the plants will flourish naturally” said Liz Fikejs, acting resource conservation manager with SPU. “The Plant List helps gardeners find beautiful plants that will thrive in their gardens without wasting water, pesticides and fertilizers trying to grow plants in places where they are not suited.”

When planting new plants, Fikejs advises gardeners to dig one to three inches of compost into new beds – which helps sandy soils hold nutrients and water, and loosens clay soils – and spread a layer of mulch, such as leaves, wood chips, compost, or grass clippings around plants on the soil surface, keeping it about an inch away from stems.

→ No CommentsTags: , ,

Library lets you check out home's energy usage

May 5th, 2010 by master

You can borrow a lot more than just books at the Seattle Public Library these days.

Starting tomorrow, the system is adding the “Kill A Watt” home energy monitor to the list of items you can check out, through a partnership with Seattle City Light.

That’s right, before you decide to watch that DVD from the library, you can find out just how much energy your TV is using.

The home energy monitors are available to all library cardholders at all library locations, including Maple Leaf’s closest at Northgate, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.

From the library’s news release:

Beginning May 6, Library patrons can borrow a Kill A Watt device with a Library card, just like a book or DVD. Plug it into an electrical outlet and find out how much it’s costing to run refrigerators, computers, TVs and other home appliances. The Kill A Watt monitor measures the electric consumption of small to medium household electronic devices and appliances, and can even help discover which appliances use electricity even when turned off.

For more information, call 386-4636. To learn more about how to save energy, contact Seattle City Light’s Conservation Help Line at 684-3800, or visit

→ No CommentsTags: , ,

Ice cream truck for all ages hits Maple Leaf today

May 3rd, 2010 by master

Well, it’s not lunch, but eco-friendly ice cream from a street vendor sure doesn’t sound like a bad way to break up the workday.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Parfait Organic Artisan Ice Cream will be available at the Washington Dental building, at the corner of Northeast 97th Street and Fourth Avenue Northeast, as part of its mobile lunch schedule.

In addition to using all organic ingredients, all of Parfait’s disposable products are compostable, including the cups and spoons. And if that’s not green enough for you, the ice cream truck uses a special green freezer that charges at night, then requires no power during the day when in operation.

Also on the schedule this week is Dante’s Inferno Dogs, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

→ No CommentsTags: ,

Eco-Chic Expo sustains spirit of Earth Day

April 28th, 2010 by master

If you didn’t get enough green on Earth Day, your chance to create an even greener lifestyle is this weekend at Ravenna’s Eco-Chic Expo.

The free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave. N.E.

More than 15 local, eco-friendly companies will be selling their wares as exhibitors entertain and educate guests about how to live more sustainably, including how-tos on creating a landscape to feed a family; make organic paper for writing and wrapping; mix up nontoxic, all-natural cleaning products; and design green interior spaces.

In addition, you’re invited to enjoy natural spa treatments and complimentary brow and lip sugaring, and don’t forget to browse the organic clothing and jewelry. To top off the day, also available is an Eco-Chic Expo exclusive: a Dante’s Inferno Eco-Dog.

At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sarah Bell, Eco-Chic co-founder and chief executive of, will be moderating family gear swaps of gently used baby and children’s items. Got stuff to swap? Check out the website to register.

For more information about the companies and events at the Eco-Chic Expo, check out its blog.

→ No CommentsTags: ,

A native plant garden to grow at the Perkins School in Maple Leaf

April 27th, 2010 by Mike

For years Maple Leaf’s Perkins School had an unused sliver of a backyard. No more.

Over the winter the fourth- and fifth-grade classes transformed it into a native plant demonstration garden. “We wanted to make our school more sustainable,” said Colt Deese, the school’s science and environmental teacher. “The kids actually had the ideas. They did the planting.”

This charming YouTube video by the school, at 9005 Roosevelt Way N.E., shows the kids constructing the garden far better than we could describe it.

The yard was filled with weeds and broken furniture. The kids cleared the junk and put down cardboard to kill the weeds. Then they started digging.

Seattle Tree Preservation donated a pile of wood-chip mulch. Trees and plants were salvaged. A worm bin and composting food cones appeared. Most of the stuff, including the cardboard, was donated. “Our budget for the entire thing was around $300,” said Deese. [Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: , ,

Plant sales, an opera buffa and more this weekend

April 23rd, 2010 by master

There’s so much going on this weekend, starting at 9 a.m. today with the annual plant sale at Olympic View Elementary. The PTA fundraiser is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

What else is going on?

  • MyGreenlake says the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club also is holding a plant sale this weekend, from 4-8 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. The event will be at the Aqua Theater, next to the Small Craft Center on the south side of Green Lake.
  • Tonight is opening night for Northwest Puppet Center’s “Pulcinella Vendicato,” an opera buffa making its North American debut. Patrons at tonight’s performance are invited to an opening night reception after the show. Additional performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with an evening performance at 8 Saturday.

[

→ 1 CommentTags: , , , ,

Olympic View Plant Sale sneak peek …

April 22nd, 2010 by master

At 9 a.m. sharp Friday, the sale begins. Read more about it here.

→ No CommentsTags: , , ,

Happy Earth Day! How will you celebrate?

April 22nd, 2010 by master

We may have our own little Earth Day celebration tonight at our meeting to discuss the design of the future Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, but there are plenty of other area events to help you honor the 40-year anniversary of the April 22 celebration.

Our partner The Seattle Times has a good roundup, but here’s our Northeast Seattle-centric version:

  • A WashPIRG celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the University of Washington’s HUB lawn will include a sustainability fair, student artwork and bands and performers that will be run purely off of solar energy.
  • You can feel a little better about doing your part if you shop today at Whole Foods, which will be donating 5% of the whole day’s proceeds to Whole Planet Foundation. And from noon to 3 p.m., the store, located at 1026 N.E. 64th St., also is offering a free, waterless car wash.
  • Meanwhile, if you want to save money in a way that makes you feel good today, stop by Peet’s Coffee & Tea, 6850 E. Green Lake Way N., and get a free medium beverage if you purchase one of Peet’s reusable jute totes, bamboo canister, tumbler, mug or glass.
  •  If your kids can wait until Saturday, Fun Earth Day Adventures, including relays and obstacle courses, are planned at Green Lake Community Center from 12:30-1:15 p.m. for ages 4-6.

And don’t forget that you can get a free, high-efficiency toilet from Seattle Public Utilities if you qualify under its new program. Just in time for Earth Day!

By the way, in case you missed it, the meeting to discuss the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park is from 6:30-8:30 tonight at Olympic View Elementary, 504 N.E. 95th St. Child care will be provided.

→ No CommentsTags: , , ,

Free high-efficiency toilets available to homeowners

April 20th, 2010 by master

Seattle Public Utilities is giving away high-efficiency toilets to qualifying homeowners.

  • You are a homeowner with a Seattle Public Utilities account.
  • You currently live in the home you own.
  • Your existing toilets were manufactured before 1994.
  • You meet income guidelines for your household size.
  • Contact Minor Home Repair at 448-5751 (TTY 448-5025) or e-mail the City of Seattle’s Utility Discount Program for more information.

    → No CommentsTags: , ,

    Olympic View Elementary plant sale this weekend

    April 20th, 2010 by Mike

    A perennial Maple Leaf favorite, the annual plant sale at Olympic View Elementary School boasts new features this year.

    In addition to selling six varieties of Japanese Maple Trees, the school says it will have:

    Tons of new-to-the-sale edibles including blueberries, raspberries, and even some grapes! We’ll also provide the inspiration for container gardens, including spectacular shade and sun designs and edible herb and gardens already in pots. For the DIY crowd, we’ll provide the potting recipe so you can build your own.

    The sale kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday at the school, 504 N.E. 95th St. The hours are Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds benefit children at the school.

    Kids will be especially eager to come on Saturday between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to make pinecone birdfeeders and to design sun catchers made from “found” materials.

    → No CommentsTags: , , , ,