Free Tree Vouchers for E-G Residents

By now you might have heard that the City of Spokane is giving away 2,000 trees. For free. Under this citywide initiative, Spokane residents will be eligible to receive up to two trees each. A variety of tree species are available between the sizes of four to seven gallons.

Free residential trees 2015

The Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council has received a limited number of vouchers for these trees to distribute to E-G residents on a first come, first serve basis and as long as supplies last. Please read that last sentence again to ensure there’s no confusion or disappointment.

To claim their vouchers, Emerson-Garfield residents have two options:

  1. Attend one of the neighborhood’s Greening Grant plantings on Saturday, April 4. More info on that event is here.
  2. Attend the E-G Neighborhood Council meeting on Wednesday, April 8. That runs from 6 to 7:30pm at the Corbin Senior Center (827 W Cleveland).

Your vouchers will entitle you to pre-select your tree species and then pick them up on April 17 and 18 from three local nurseries that have partnered with the City’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

Check the free tree species list (PDF link) to see which species are offered at which location.

To have more mature trees delivered right to your door, Greenleaf Landscaping & Nursery is offering an additional deal as part of the Residential Tree Program. Greenleaf has reserved 300 deciduous and coniferous tree species for residents to purchase at $95 per tree, and Spokane residents are eligible for up to two of these trees. With your purchase Greenleaf will deliver and install your new tree(s) directly on to your property at a time convenient for you.

View the Greenleaf tree flyer (PDF link) to view a list of trees that are being offered.

Not in Emerson-Garfield? We feel your pain. To find out which neighborhood you live in, visit the City’s neighborhoods page.

E-G “Greening Grant” Tree Plantings (Apr 4)

It’s time for our neighborhood to plant the trees and landscaping awarded by our successful 2014 Greening Grant applications. Devotees of Emerson-Garfield news and beautification efforts will recall that this is a rescheduling of the planting event that was cancelled last autumn on account of an early freeze.

This neighborhood-wide event will take place on SaturdayApril 4 from 9am to 1pm.

Please note that there are two simultaneous locations on either side of the neighborhood! Volunteers are needed for both. Anyone who wants to help beautify Emerson-Garfield is welcome to participate.

N_Maple-tree-planting-2014-171 (crop)

The first planting is on the east side of Garfield Elementary (222 W Knox) next to the playground. This is part of a larger “guerrilla” tree planting up and down the length of Atlantic and one block of Stevens — dubbed “guerrilla” because the original plan was to have volunteers plant a tree for anyone who wanted it right there on the spot. But Spokane Urban Forestry doesn’t work that way. Which is probably for the best, since the trees should be planted with professional care to ensure their longevity.

Roughly 15 volunteers will be needed here to plant the trees in the ground and distribute mulch. It will be light physical labor for all ages and abilities. Feel free to bring tools like a wheelbarrow, shovel or rake.

Social media fans can RSVP for the Garfield planting on Facebook or Nextdoor.

The second planting is on the west side of Emerson-Garfield at the median strip near 3114 N Maple. Approximately 15 volunteers will be needed to move ten yards of soil to the holes, then plant yuccas and horizontal junipers around the existing trees and along the soon-to-be-installed sidewalks. As above, feel free to bring basic garden tools to help the effort.

You can RSVP for the N Maple planting on Facebook or Nextdoor.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to wield a shovel or stay the full five hours to contribute. Bringing some cookies and drinks for the volunteers is as greatly appreciated as helping to put trees in the ground.

Questions? Leave a comment on social media, get in touch with the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council, or contact Alicia Powell at apowell@spokanecity.org or (509) 625-6780.

STA Prop 1 Open House (Mar 26)

The Spokane Transit Authority is holding an all-area open house at the STA Plaza (701 W Riverside) from 4 to 6pm on Thursday, March 26 to inform interested members of the public about Proposition 1, a measure that will appear on the April 28 ballot.

Prop 1 is a proposal to increase local sales tax by 3/10 of 1% — the equivalent of three cents on a $10 retail purchase — for public transit. The ballot measure contains a ten-year sunset clause and would expire at the end of 2025. If approved, the funds would be used to maintain existing service levels, as well as provide more and better transit throughout the region.

You can read more about Prop 1 in this digital booklet.

STA-Prop1_2-15

STA staff will be on hand at the open house to discuss and answer questions about the ballot measure in person.

To learn more about specific projects throughout the Spokane region, visit STA Moving Forward. If you have general questions about Prop 1 that are unanswered by the digital booklet linked above, please contact Brandon Rapez-Betty, Sr. Communications Specialist at the STA, at BRapez-Betty@spokanetransit.com or (509) 344-1879.

STA representatives are already scheduled to speak about Prop 1 at the next meeting of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council on Wednesday, April 8.

Upcoming Events and Sales at Petunia’s Marketplace

petunias_marketplace_spokane_waPetunia’s Marketplace (2010 N Madison) — a favorite neighborhood business and cornerstone vendor at the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market — announced at the February meeting of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council that the shop would be starting a seed lending library.

A seed lending library operates on the same basic principle as a book library. That is, you check out the types of available seed that you would like to plant, and you return some of that same type of seed in the autumn. And, like a book library, you can check out those seeds at no cost. It’s a great way to experiment with new plants and enhance your garden without spending a lot of money on new seeds. Plus, as the library resources grow, you can find the right kind of seeds that will work best for your particular garden plot.

But the seed library isn’t all that Petunia’s is doing. In the coming months, the shop will be holding several special sales and gardening events.

This Saturday (March 21), Petunia’s will host a class called, “What to plant to feed the bees from spring to frost,” taught by an experienced apiarist. Given that bees are so crucial to pollination, the right type of sustaining, attractive plants can make the difference between a garden that flourishes and one that withers. It runs from 9–11am. Cost is $10.

On Saturday, April 11, you can learn how to successfully transplant your delicate starts from their pots to your garden soil. Again, that class will run from 9–11am and cost $10.

Local master gardener Steve Nokes will teach a basic course titled “Vegetables 101″ on Wednesday, April 22 from 6:30–7:30pm. That also costs $10. It’s great for beginners as well as longtime gardeners looking for tips.

There will be a (free) Master Gardener Plant Sale & Garden Fair on Saturday, April 25. That runs from 9am–2pm and will see participation from the Master Gardener Program at the WSU Extension.

And on Saturday, May 2, it’s the opening day of Petunia’s greenhouse. That will coincide with the shop’s Chocolate & Flower Festival, which runs from 9am–4pm.

These classes could fill up fast! To request more info or to reserve a spot, contact Stacy or Bev on (509) 328-4257 or reach out via Petunia’s Facebook page.

Spokane Police Advisory Committee Public Meeting (Mar 19)

The Spokane Police Advisory Committee (PAC) is holding a quarterly meeting on Thursday, March 19 that is open to the public. It will start at 5:30pm and be held in the Newton Room of the West Central Community Center (1603 N Belt).

This meeting offers one more way that the public can engage with the Spokane Police Department. Representatives from the SPD will answer citizens’ questions and provide updates on current issues and ongoing initiatives.

PAC Meeting Flyer 2015

The PAC is a collection of community representatives who serve as an advisory group to the Office of the Chief of Police regarding community needs and concerns, as well as community responses to proposed police programs and priorities.

The PAC is looking for additional community leaders to join this committee. If you are interested, please send a request for an application to anapolitano@spokanepolice.org or call (509) 625-4063.

Recap of the March E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

The March 11, 2015 meeting of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council (EGNC) featured Kelly Norwood of Avista, assisted by Casey Fielder, as its guest speaker. Kelly provided a printed slideshow with some background on the company, its infrastructure, as well as the rate regulations it is subject to.

Of the $2.5 billion investment in Avista, 48% is equity, owned by shareholders, and 52% is owned by bond holders and banks. Avista is asking for a 4.75% authorized return on equity, which, according to the statistics provided in the printed materials, is an average rate compared to other providers. While the cost of electricity has increased 41% over the past 10 years, natural gas has only increased 3%. Over time, the costs to the customers has matched inflation almost exactly.

Kelly took questions from the group and later remained after the meeting to speak with interested attendees individually.

Kelly Norwood of Avista speaks to the EGNC about rate increases.

Kelly Norwood of Avista speaks to the EGNC about rate increases.

Next, Alicia Powell spoke about the City’s Greening Grants. In 2014, twelve neighborhoods applied for projects, and there were 17 approved applications, including 117 street trees, five perennial plantings, and one riparian planting. Under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, 66 street trees were planted.

Under the Greening Grants program, each neighborhood in Spokane can apply for three grants each at up to $5,000 per grant. On April 17 and 18 of this year, 1,000 trees will be given away to residents for planting. Every resident can receive up to two trees. If residents would prefer to be supplied with larger, more established trees, a landscaping company can deliver and install up to two for $95 each. Vouchers for these trees and pickup locations will be provided to the neighborhood council at the next meeting on April 8.

The neighborhood Greening Grants planting for its successful 2014 applications will take place on Saturday, April 4. More info on that — including times, locations and scope of projects — will be available in a forthcoming blog post.

There were several volunteers for an ad hoc Greening Grants Committee, which will meet briefly over the next month to determine potential locations for plantings and landscaping and apply for one or more of the three possible grants. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please get in touch. You don’t have to be a voting member of the neighborhood council to participate.

Volunteering for the neighborhood council executive positions was encouraged, as elections are in April.

Megan Kennedy reported on the City-hosted open house for North Monroe business owners that she attended on the morning of March 10. She said that the City employees took the concerns of the business owners very seriously. One of the main concerns for owners was the length of the street closure. If a full closure, there would be 3 to 5 months of construction as opposed to 2 to 4 years if a partial closure. The City is also adjusting an additional levy source that could bring further improvements to the road surface.

Community Frameworks recently provided their architectural plans to the EGNC’s chair and vice-chair, requesting their opinions regarding the development of affordable housing at 315 West Mission.

The City is currently in negotiations for a site in Emerson-Garfield that would house an additional drinking water well. This well would provide a safe source of drinking water, especially in light of the risks associated with some of the current drinking water wells in industrial locations.

The neighborhood website was recently migrated to a new server, and is now (clearly) back online.

The Movin’ and Groovin’ Fair of the Corbin Senior Activity Center will be held on Saturday, March 14 from 8am to 2pm. There will be 75 vendors.  Lunch will be served for $6. Corbin’s sound system, valued at $500, was stolen, and the Center is considering a new locking system.

Karen Colvin and Carol Anderson spoke on behalf of the Spokane Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S.) shops. The North Hill and North Central C.O.P.S. shops should be merging, with volunteers relocating to the North Central location (630 W Shannon). The North Central location is open Monday through Friday, 10am to 2pm.

As C.O.P.S. receives limited funding, there will be a flea-market fundraiser market on Saturday, May 9 from 9am to 3pm at Knox Presbyterian Church (806 W Knox). C.O.P.S. North Central and Knox Presbyterian will be collaborating with the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council to plan and augment the event.

Al Steuart briefly reported on the planning for composting demonstrations and other activities during the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market. There are currently additional volunteers for canning and dehydration/desiccation demos. If you would like to coordinate one of these events, please e-mail Al directly.

On the news that previous organizer Eline Helm was stepping down, Timothy Diko and Melissa Parker volunteered to organize this year’s Concerts in the Park. The date will depend on the availability of the band but could be timed, like last year, to coincide with Summer Parkways.

Karl Boldt reported on the Spring Cleanup scheduled for Saturday, April 18 from 9am to 12:30pm, the annual dumpster roll-off event that allows residents to dispose of household and yard waste for free. Faith Bible Church will provide beverages and snacks to all those who participate, plus pizza for volunteers after the event. Unlike previous years, we will be unable to gather hazardous waste materials. This is a good opportunity to clean up alleys with your neighbors. Tires are acceptable at the roll-off event, but dump passes may be provided for construction materials that should be taken directly to the dump.

Barb Biles reported on the Land Use Committee, which is considering changes to bicycle lanes, rental properties regulations, and an easy-to-use outline for application processes.

Steve Anderson reported on the Pedestrian, Traffic and Transportation (PeTT) Committee, which primarily consisted of an STA presentation and ensuing discussion. A more detailed overview is available here.

Tim Musser reported on the Community Development meetings, which are working to determine how neighborhoods will receive and allocate CDBG funds in the coming years.  The intent of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the source of the funds, is to improve the standard of living for lower-income residents, so the committee used that goal to formulate a proposal for a point-based system of resource allocation. Generally speaking, if a CDBG block has 75% or more of low-income households, it receives four points. With 60–75%, two points, and 50% to 60% receives one point. The Community Assembly is set to assess and vote on that proposal.

Corbin Senior Center Movin’ & Groovin’ Fair (Mar 14)

The Corbin Senior Center (827 W Cleveland) is holding its eleventh annual Movin’ and Groovin’ Fair this Saturday, March 14 from 8am to 2pm.

Admission is free to this all-ages event, which features free massages and health screenings, seminars and giveaways, as well as a raffle and an affordable ($6) lunch.

2015 Movin' & Groovin' Flyer

Around 75 vendors are scheduled to take part this year. They generally wind through the whole first floor and lower level of the center, and they represent services and businesses from all fields: home care, retirement living, legal services, computer assistance, moving services, hearing, energy savings. real-estate and financial planning, and lots more.

During this year’s event, the Corbin Senior Center will be offering half-price annual membership for new members. That’s just $13 for individual membership and $18 per couple! Membership gives you access to all the Corbin Senior Center’s facilities and first dibs on their tours and activities — plus a range of discounts at all these great area businesses. Anyone over the age of 18 can be a member.