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Vashon Green Map lists island's 'sustainable living resources'

A community-created map that captures the Island’s efforts at sustainability while putting forth a vision for an even greener Vashon will be released at a celebration on Saturday.

The freshly minted Vashon Green Map, one of more than 600 such maps in the world, lists many of the Island’s agricultural, cultural and social justice organizations — or what the map’s creators call the Island’s “sustainable living resources.”

It was conceptualized over the course of several weekends at the Vashon Farmers Market, where the Green Map team had a booth and asked Islanders to note those places that enhance Vashon’s sustainability and that should be “honored and preserved,” said Bob Spivey, one of the organizers.

The team also asked Islanders to envision re-sources and opportunities yet to be created — a way, Spivey said, to help residents “realize some of our sustainability visions.”

“People really got into it,” added Spivey, a founder of the Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School (SEEDS), which sponsored the map. “People just filled the board with things.”

Annie Brulé, an Island artist and designer, took the nominations and placed them on the map, each one noted by an icon that indicates which category the site falls under — from “farming and food” to “mind, body and soul.” On the other side is a blank map of Vashon, with the many ideas Islanders offered up for a “greener Vashon” yet to be realized. Community composting sites, community gardens, bike lanes and sites for wind and solar-power generation are among the more than 100 ideas offered up.

The result is a large, colorful fold-out that’s at once both jam-packed and idiosyncratic — reflecting, organizers said, the community-generated nature of the map. Under “mind, body and soul,” for instance, only one mainline church is listed.

“This is what we consider a first edition,” Spivey said.

Brulé, who is now acting as a consultant to other communities interested in creating a Green Map, said she sees the map as creating a “unique community portrait.”

“It takes into account the citizens of a place. ... It takes what they consider important about the place where they live and then gives that input back in the form of a cohesive graphic,” she said.

“I’m very pleased with edition No. 1, and I’m looking forward to the next phase,” she said. “I really see this as a beginning.”

The Vashon Green Map will be released at a gathering from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Vashon Market parking lot. The map can be viewed online at www.vashongreenmap.org. It will also be available at several Island locations.

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