EcoDistrict Update – May

 Hello EcoDistrict supporters, enthusiasts and friends!

We have some exciting news to share! Thanks to the vision, hard work and support of a whole lot of people, Community Solar is now a reality on Capitol Hill – and, as of this week, fully SOLD OUT! Thank you to everyone who participated and made this exciting development possible.

Check out the rest of our updates below to learn about the exciting things happening in our neighborhood and see how you can take action to promote a sustainable and equitable community. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.

we did it update

Community Solar – Capitol Hill is SOLD OUT! Participants, including our EcoDistrict Solar Sponsors, will be receiving credits back on their utility bills from the energy produced. In 2020, the system will then be donated to Capitol Hill Housing to continue to support affordable housing in the neighborhood. Thanks to everyone who supported the project! (And stay tuned for a Community Solar celebration event happening this summer!)

bike to work

May is Bike Month! And there is a LOT going on. Check out all the events coming up, especially Bike to Work Day on May 15th! See below for more information.

Reflections on Earth Day On Capitol Hill we celebrated Earth Day at a Climate Action Festival hosted at Seattle Central College. Didn’t get to make it? Catch a recap of the event here.

Earth day pic

mark your calendar

THURSDAY MAY 15th: Bike to Work Day! 

We’ll be celebrating all of our awesome bike commuters with a Bike to Work Station  co-hosted with Sustainable Capitol Hill at 12th and Pine in Capitol Hill. Bike on by between 7-9 am for some tasty treats and fun activities! Check out all the stations here.

THURSDAY MAY 28th: Capitol Hill Community Council Meeting: Pedestrian Streets 

This month’s Capitol Hill Community Council meeting will be an opportunity to learn about and share your opinions on the idea of creating temporary pedestrian street(s) in Pike/Pine. More information coming soon! 6:30pm, Pike/Pine Room, 12th Ave Arts Building (1620 12th Ave)


May is Bike Month!

May is National Bike Month. The EcoDistrict supports active transportation that leads to a healthier and happier community, so let’s get riding! There is a LOT going on–here’s a look at the month ahead:

MAY 2nd:

Bike Month Kick-off Party, Cascade Bicycle Club, 7787 62nd Ave NW, 11am-2pm

Start Bike Month off with a BAM! There will be free repairs, activities, snacks and much more.

Pedaler’s Fair, Russian Community Center, 704 19th Ave E, 10am-5pm

The Pedaler’s Fair is an annual marketplace for Washington based, bicycle-inspired small businesses to exhibit their goods. In addition to exhibitor booths we have live music, workshops and presentations.


MAY 6th: National Bike to School Day

Part of Bike to School Month, more information and resources from Cascade Bicycle Club.

MAY 7th: Bike Everywhere Breakfast, Sheraton Downtown 7–9 a.m.

Join Cascade Bicycle Club for a morning of fun, laughter and inspiration. Proceeds benefit Cascade Education Foundation’s efforts to get more people on bikes with safer places to ride.

MAY 8th: Ride to the Movies, meet at Roanoke Park Place Tavern 2409 10th Ave E, 5:45pm

Cascade Bicycle Club invites you on a ride to Central Cinema for a screening of the Triplets of Belleville. You can buy your ticket before the event here

MAY 10th: Seattle CycloFemme, *Capitol Hill option: Meet at Cal Anderson Park, 3:15pm

Celebrate Global Women’s Cycling Day with Seattle Critical Lass! Multiple rides from North Seattle and South Seattle will meet at Lake Union Park for a picnic at 4pm. Just bring yourself, we’ll bring the food! 

MAY 15th: Bike to Work Day *Capitol Hill option: 12th & Pine station 6:30-9:30am

Commute stations will be popping up all over to provide treats for our awesome bike commuters. Keep your eyes open for an extra special station at 12th & Pine co-hosted by the EcoDistrict and Sustainable Capitol Hill! See map of all stations

MAY 21st: Bike Happy Hour, Elysian Brewing, 1221 E. Pike St,  5:30-7pm

Join our Education team as we celebrate our Bike to School Supporters.

MAY 24th-MAY 31st: Shop by Bike Week, all participating stores

Support your local economy by biking to your nearby grocery store or other shops. Check out the bicycle benefits here and see some participating Capitol Hill businesses below:

bike benefits

And there’s more!

Check out all the action at Cascade Bicycle Club and the Seattle Bike Blog

Earth Day Celebrations on Capitol Hill!

On Capitol Hill we celebrated Earth Day at a Climate Action Festival hosted at Seattle Central College.


The Climate Action Festival brought together students, speakers, community members and over 20 environmental and community organizations along with art, music and activities to celebrate and inspire action! 

As the 45th annual Earth Day, this was an opportunity to rethink traditional “environmental” concerns and bring together broader social and environmental justice issues that are so intricately tied together (and that make up the foundation of our EcoDistrict). Along with speeches by Denis Hayes, the co-founder of Earth Day, K.C. Golden, 350 Chair, and organizers from Got Green?, the mayor also announced the launch of a new Seattle Equity and Environment Initiative to better address the intersection of these critical issues. 

The original vision and goal of Earth Day was to bring people together to inspire and initiate collective action to address some of our most pressing social and environmental concerns. Today those challenges are greater than ever and taking adequate and effective action can often seem more than daunting. Stepping up to take action–no matter how small–is vital; sometimes getting connected to the right campaign, organization or other individuals is all it takes! This event was a reminder of the energy, vitality, creativity and diversity of our neighborhood, our city and the people that are actively working to make progress. As the Earth Day motto this year points out, it’s our turn to lead.

Check out the photo booth pictures from the event!photo booth

More coverage of the event via the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and the Stranger.

The EcoDistrict was one of the organizations tabling and helping to support this event, as we believe neighborhood solutions are key to overall climate action. As a recent Shareable article on Earth Day says:

“Creating stronger, friendlier, more engaged communities is not a sideshow in the urgent cause of saving the planet; it is a central strategy. Because, when people connect, roll up their sleeves, and get down to work protecting the places they care about, anything is possible. There’s a whole world of people out there ready to dream big and then put it into action.”

That’s the EcoDistrict vision for Earth Day and every day.

EcoDistrict Update


Check out our updates below to learn about the exciting things happening in our neighborhood and see how you can take action to promote a sustainable and equitable community. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.spring extended

EcoDistrict Receives Equity and Environment Award The EcoDistrict is a proud recipient of a Futurewise 2015 Livable Communities Award for Equity and Environment. Learn more about the award.

Diving into the “Dumpster Issue” As reported in the CHS Blog, we are working with the City of Seattle, Recology CleanScapes, the Capitol Hill Chamber and local businesses to identify alternatives to the permanent placement of dumpsters on sidewalks and in parking spaces within Capitol Hill’s retail corridors. As residents and day workers know, the dumpsters are a health and safety hazard and after a weekend can be downright nasty come Monday morning.dumpsters

A Tool Library Comes to Capitol Hill! Our EcoDistrict Spotlight series highlights the awesome things that are happening in our neighborhood. Read our first feature on the Capitol Hill Tool Library!

It’s Solar Season! With the Spring Equinox officially behind us, we are well on our way to more sunshine–and down to the final 100 units of our Community Solar project. Buy in today to show that Community Solar works and matters in Seattle! (Our project was also recently featured in a Grist article highlighting the sharing economy!)

panels with thermometer

Shout out to our EcoDistrict Solar Sponsors:

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In The News:

Check us out on facebook and twitter to catch all the updates!

A Tool Library is Coming to Capitol Hill!

Curious about what a tool library is? Thanks to the folks at Sustainable Capitol Hill, you will now have the chance to find out first-hand!

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Sustainable Capitol Hill tables about the Tool Library at the Broadway Farmers Market

After a long search and with the generosity of the First Covenant Church, Sustainable Capitol Hill has finally secured a location! The tool library is expected to be up and running at 420 E. Pike St. (between Pike and Pine with the entrance from Crawford Pl.) this coming fall. 

What is a tool library?

The idea of a tool library is simple: build up a collection of tools in an established location, make them available to check out and return as needed, and in this case, foster skill-sharing and community-building in the process.

As the Capitol Hill Tool Library puts it:

Imagine borrowing a food dehydrator, a ladder, a fishing rod, much like you would borrow a book from SPL. Imagine learning how to fix your broken toaster, building a worm bin, preserving your summer bounty. Enjoy a local community of knowledgeable fixers, tool lending, and workshops at the new Capitol Hill Tool Library.

A tool lending library is by no means a new concept, but with the rise of interest and projects associated with the “sharing economy,” tool libraries have made a comeback. For a wide range of economic, social or environmental reasons, more and more people are turning away from “traditional” consumption and looking for more creative ways to meet their needs. See all Tool Libraries in Seattle.

The West Seattle Tool Library

The West Seattle Tool Library

Instead of everyone buying their own tools–ladders, food dehydrators, pressure washers, etc.–people will soon be able to check out these tools just for the amount of time that they are needed, thereby saving money and storage space in the process.

By providing access rather than ownership, a tool library can have a multiplier effect on the value of the items while reducing consumption, waste, and inefficient use of space. At the same time, having a space where people can meet for workshops, skill-shares or to collaborate provides an opportunity to not only build new skills, but to directly strengthen connections between people, projects and community.


Talking about what a Tool Library could look like in Capitol Hill

Ultimately a tool library builds off of and magnifies one of our greatest resources: each other. By connecting people and shared resources (tools, knowledge, labor), we are creating wealth for our community in both a material and social sense. A truly successful tool library goes from Do-It-Yourself (DIY) to Do-It-Together (DIT) mentality and everyone wins in the process.

And there’s still a lot more work to be done! We need YOU to help make the Capitol Hill Tool Library a reality.

Check out Sustainable Capitol Hill on facebook or twitter for all the updates!

Spring Equinox: Launch the Solar Season!


Today marks the Spring or Vernal Equinox—the first official day of spring and the start of more sunshine!

Let’s launch this Solar Season by showing (and renewing) our commitment to our natural resources and the health, vitality and resilience of our communities.

solar panels

Looking ahead, the days will be getting longer, the air warmer, the sun shinier…And that means that NOW is the perfect time to sign up for Community Solar!

One way to do that is to participate in a local Community Solar project, located right here in Capitol Hill. We talk about this a lot, but right now it’s at a critical stage: we’re close to 80% sold, but we need YOUR support and participation to make this project a success and get our last 200 units sold


(All enrollment is done directly through Seattle City Light; you’ll need your account number!)

By buying into this “community array” you are joining your neighbors in collectively putting your consumer power behind your values and showing that Community Solar works and matters in Seattle. Everyone should have access, information and a stake in a sustainable energy future and this is one step in that direction.

Learn more about the project and view real-time data from the system here.

This is your chance to participate in and support solar at a size and price that works for you. 

Sign up…


To show your commitment for clean, local, renewable energy

To learn more and actively participate in local solar

To offset your energy use and earn credit back on your City Light bill

To support the first Community Solar project on affordable housing

To invest your money locally

…the list goes on!


If you’ve already signed up, consider buying another unit or passing on the information to friends and families!

“I just signed up for #CommunitySolar on Capitol Hill. Live in Seattle? You should, too! @HillEcoDistrict.”


Read more about the goals of the project and the broader work of the EcoDistrict and feel free to get in touch if you’d like to learn more or get involved!

Check out facebook and twitter for all the updates.

EcoDistrict Recognized for Creating Livable Communities

Futurewise Award

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is a proud recipient of a Futurewise 2015 Livable Communities Award for Equity and Environment. The EcoDistrict was chosen for recognizing the role of smart growth in meeting community needs and for fostering a healthy, vibrant and diverse neighborhood.

“The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict was chosen because of their vision and leadership in finding solutions to Capitol Hill’s most pressing sustainability challenges. From promoting equitable transit-oriented development to facilitating public funding for pedestrian improvements, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict’s collaborative and innovative approach is creating socially equitable, environmentally resilient and culturally vibrant neighborhoods for present and future generations.”

Capitol Hill Housing and the EcoDistrict were presented with the award at the Futurewise annual luncheon on March 17th.


(Though on vacation, Joel still made an appearance!)

Futurewise is a statewide public interest group working to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland, forests and shorelines today and for future generations.

About the award

Overall Excellence in Creating Livable Communities recognizes an outstanding, comprehensive approach to creating more livable communities on a variety of fronts. Not just for a single plan or project, but at the neighborhood, corridor, city, county or regional level. Awardees demonstrate transformational improvement to the environmental health and economic vitality of a Washington State community.

The Equity and Environment Award recognizes projects or policies that recognize the role of smart growth in meeting the needs of underserved communities and individuals that work to achieve environmental justice while fostering places that are healthy, vibrant and diverse. The 2015 Livable Community Equity and Environment Award will honor the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict.


Community Solar Update!

UPDATE: ALL SOLD!  All 925 units in our Community Solar project in Capitol Hill have now been sold. Thanks to Seattle City Light and all who signed up and supported the project. If you’re interested in learning more check out City Light’s Community Solar page or the project descriptions on our website.

thermometer again

Thanks to everyone who made this project possible!

solar on holiday

The 26kW system located atop the Holiday Apartments went LIVE in late November and has been producing clean, locally generated, renewable energy for the grid ever since! You can view real-time data from the system here.


If you’ve already signed up, spread the word to your neighbors, friends and family! Consider sharing on facebook, twitter or via email.

 Shout out to our new Solar Sponsors!

Community Solar is a way for residents to participate and receive the benefits of solar without having their own solar arrays on their roof—and in this case also supports a great cause! Here’s how it works:

  1. Buy Solar Units: Any City Light customer can sign up, starting at $150
  2. Get Paid Back: Earn your investment back via credits on your bill until 2020
  3. Feel Good: This project produces clean energy, supports the regional economy (all of the system components and labor are locally sourced!), and will be donated to Capitol Hill Housing in 2020 to reduce the long-term operating costs of affordable housing.

EcoDistrict Update – February

SPRING IS IN THE AIR! And with the sunshine comes new growth and possibilities! Check out our updates below to learn about the exciting projects that we’re working on and see how you can take action to promote neighborhood sustainability. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.edit-PPSpring Comes to the Pollinator Pathway Last weekend, on a beautiful sunny Saturday we walked along Columbia Street on Sarah Bergmann’s interdisciplinary design project, the Pollinator Pathway, knocking on doors and talking to neighbors to invite their participation in the project. Learn more and get involved!

TAKE ACTION: Less than 250 units of Community Solar left! sign_up_nowWe are ¾ of the way there and NOW is your chance to go #CommunitySolar. The array on the Holiday Apartments has generated over 2400 kWh since it went live in late November (that’s the CO2 equivalent of over 43 trees)!

Sign up via Seattle City Light today!

Shout out to our new Solar Sponsors!

We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Rhein Haus, Capitol Cider, Rainbow Natural Remedies and Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream for investing in Community Solar and directly supporting neighborhood sustainability and affordability! Learn more.

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Spring comes early to the Pollinator Pathway



Looking West on Columbia St.

On Saturday we walked along on Columbia Street on Sarah Bergmann’s interdisciplinary design project, the Pollinator Pathway, knocking on doors and talking to neighbors to invite their participation in the project.

Learn more about the Pollinator Pathway here and feel free to get in touch if you’d like to get involved!

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