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‘Greenmapping’ program begins to seek input this weekend

Richard Odell sells flowers at last Saturday’s Farmers Market. He will be joined this Saturday by representatives of SEEDS, as they introduce greenmapping to Islanders. - Amelia Heagerty/staff photo
Richard Odell sells flowers at last Saturday’s Farmers Market. He will be joined this Saturday by representatives of SEEDS, as they introduce greenmapping to Islanders.
— image credit: Amelia Heagerty/staff photo

The Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School (SEEDS) is beginning its public phase of the “Vashon Greenmapping Program” Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Farmer’s Market on the Village Green.

We will have an interactive display that will explain the concept and goals of greenmapping. We will also invite your participation in nominating current ecological and culturally significant resources on Vashon, as well as green sites or projects you would like to see in the future.

Please stop by and help us create a map that encourages an ecologically wise and sustainable future for the Island.

The Vashon Greenmapping Program is designed to create a visual inventory of natural, cultural and green living resources on Vashon.

The program involves creating both a product — an attractive and accessible map —

and a dynamic process of generating inclusive community awareness and participation toward a sustainable future. Through the Greenmapping Program, SEEDS aims to strengthen local-global sustainability networks, expand the demand for healthier, greener choices, stimulate and celebrate ecological citizenship, provide tools for citizens and planners and help successful initiatives spread to more and more communities.

Our Vashon greenmapping efforts are guided by Beth Ferguson. She has worked with Wendy Brawer, who developed the Green Map approach in New York City in the early 1990s. Ferguson created widely-used green maps in Victoria, B.C., and in Cuba, and led a workshop on Vashon last May.

Green Map System uses a set of universally recognized icons that have been developed collaboratively since 1995, and it is now active in 475 cities, villages and neighborhoods in 54 countries.

At the Saturday Farmers Market during the coming months, we will gather suggestions from participants at the greenmapping table. We plan to gather additional input from programs in the schools during the fall, as well as other public events this winter. From this community input, we will create our first version of the Green Map of Vashon.

In the spring of 2009, we will hold a

festival and procession on Vashon to publicly release the Vashon Green Map.

We are working in collaboration with a number of Vashon organizations, including Sustainable Vashon, which provided a seed grant for this program; the Backbone Campaign, which agreed to provide some of its “Procession for the Future” puppets for our release celebration; and Sustainable Tourism on Vashon, which will feature information about the greenmapping program on its Web site.

— Bob Spivey is a founder of the Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School.

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