Help Issaquah’s hungry by picking or donating fruit

July 28, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 28, 2013

Is there an overabundance of fruit in your yard?

Issaquah Harvest is teaming up with Sustainable Issaquah to find trees that produce more fruit than the owner can use. The group consists of friends and neighbors who pick fruit to donate to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. These include apples, pears, plums and other tree fruit.

Those who wish to participate in late summer should fill out a tree information form here. Trees must be healthy, not infested with pests and in an accessible location.

Direct questions to the website or email

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Join Community Garden Tour on Saturday

July 19, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 19, 2013

Take a tour of five community gardens in the Issaquah area from 1-5 p.m. Saturday.

Meet at Pickering Farm Community Teaching Garden, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. by Pickering Barn. The group will carpool for the tour.

The tour is sponsored by Sustainable Issaquah. Cost is $5.

Space is limited so reserve a spot by emailing

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City Council applicants offer varied skills

January 22, 2013

Members to appoint candidate Jan. 29

The applicants for a rare open seat on the City Council include long-established community leaders — and some candidates from the last time the council accepted applications to fill a vacancy.

The seven candidates offer assorted skills in community, government and military service in the process to succeed Mark Mullet on the council.

Initially, Ken Sessler, a retired Boeing engineer and a prolific letter writer to The Issaquah Press, applied for the vacancy, but withdrew not long after the city released the applicant list.

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Learn to grow more than vegetables in community gardens

April 17, 2012

Starting a community garden can lead to abundant beans, kale and squash all summer long — not to mention a closer bond among neighbors.

Still, despite the ample — and tasty — payoff, establishing and maintaining a community garden is not as simple as Miracle-Gro. The process requires a dedicated team, green thumbs aplenty and a lot of elbow grease.

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Learn cost-cutting tips at free energy class in Issaquah

November 12, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 12, 2010

Residents can learn more about home energy efficiency at a free class sponsored the city Resource Conservation Office, Sustainable Issaquah and the nonprofit Cascade Land Conservancy.

The class is scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Eagle Room at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

The class does not require registration. Enjoy snacks and refreshments at the event.

Participants can learn low-cost and no-cost tips about energy-saving practices. The ideas apply to homeowners and renters.

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State, city encourage residents to weatherize homes for winter

October 28, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 28, 2010

Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed Saturday as Weatherization Day — just as the Issaquah Resource Conservation Office continues to encourage residents to make homes more energy efficient.

The city and many organizations use similar programs to raise awareness about energy efficiency in homes — including the benefits of increased energy savings, lower energy costs and job creation in the construction industry.

Issaquah residents can receive free home energy audits through the Resource Conservation Office. Sustainable Issaquah, a community group, also plans a discussion about home energy use. Many Issaquah families have already received free audits.

October is also National Energy Awareness Month. The federal Department of Energy uses the approach of winter to promote energy conservation and renewable energy use. Issaquah made the free home energy audits available through a Department of Energy grant.

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Sustainable Issaquah offers free energy awareness class

October 26, 2010

Sustainable Issaquah is offering a free class about energy use awareness and evaluating personal home energy use.

The class is at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Eagle Room at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

The class will outline energy use awareness and offer participants a chance to evaluate their personalized home energy report. Participants in the home energy audit program should receive the report in the mail soon.

The city also plans to offer guided tours of a home that has undergone a full energy retrofit at a to-be-determined date in December or January. Register by calling the Guided Energy Tour registration hotline at 837-3402 or here.

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Issaquah sustainability ‘report card’ indicates successes, shortfalls

September 7, 2010

The inaugural sustainability “report card” from the city touted Costco carpools, a community garden and affordable-housing construction in the Issaquah Highlands as signs of progress.

The report released last week packs data about environmental, economic and social health.

The “report card” is based upon recommendations from a 16-member panel assembled in 2008 by Mayor Ava Frisinger. The group, the Sustainability Sounding Board, formed a long-term sustainability plan and then set benchmarks for the city to track progress.

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Issaquah sustainability ‘report card’ indicates successes, shortfalls

September 2, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 2, 2010

The inaugural sustainability “report card” from the city touted Costco carpools, the Sustainable Issaquah community garden and affordable-housing construction in the Issaquah Highlands as signs of “green” progress.

The city released the report Wednesday. City staffers collected data to answer the question: How sustainable are we?

“The report shows us many positive signs — including an increase in Issaquah’s natural open spaces,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said. “Commuters are also making fewer drive-alone trips, volunteerism is strong and participation in the arts is increasing.”

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If you build it, they will come

July 13, 2010

Issaquah Flatland Community Garden proves to be a popular, helpful, healthy addition to the city

Andrew Merges (left) and his wife Angela tend to their personal bed in the Issaquah Flatland Community Garden. By Tim Pfarr

For someone who lives in an apartment or condominium, it may seem the only way to have a personal garden is to dump a bunch of soil in the bathtub, buy an ultraviolet lamp and install some tomato plants. Well, it’s time these people got word there is such a thing as a community garden, and that bathing can once again ensue.

Just a couple of blocks north of Issaquah Valley Elementary School, one can find the Issaquah Flatland Community Garden. The project came to life in May 2009 thanks to many volunteers and a partnership between Sustainable Issaquah and the company AtWork!, which helps people with disabilities be productive, integrated and contributing members of their communities.

The garden on the site of the AtWork! Issaquah office turned out to be hotter than jalapeños when it opened, its 24 beds filling almost instantly.

“The community garden kind of rose to the top as a low-hanging fruit,” said Chantal Stevens, Sustainable Issaquah co-founder. “Everybody wanted one.”

Dennis Wajda, AtWork! employment consultant and community liaison, agreed.

“We never had to go door to door or hang anything,” he said. “People just came.”

He said volunteers worked expediently in ripping out part of the AtWork! lawn, installing the garden and building a fence around it.

“Literally, in one month, it went from looking like that grass to this,” Wajda said, motioning to the garden and the grass that still surrounds it.

Each 4-by-15 bed costs $40 per year, and the cost covers watering. Gardeners must also bring their own plants. Of the garden’s 24 beds, six are designated “community impact beds,” and the produce they yield goes directly to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Read more

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