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Autumn sunshine, robust pumpkins and fresh-pressed apple cider

The Grow Community Harvest Fest was great fun for residents on a recent October weekend. As kids carved their Halloween jack-o-lanterns, adults took turns peeling fresh Washington apples and running them through an old-fashioned press to yield many jugs of sweet, golden goodness. Thank you to all who attended this great neighborhood celebration!
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Learn from leading thinkers and innovators in the ecobuilding community

Passionate about sustainable building? Consider attending the Northwest Green Conference Saturday, Nov 5th.

This is an annual one day conference focused on educational sessions, inspiring keynotes, and networking with wonderful people.

The Northwest Green conference committee has shared a discount code that extends the regular registration cost that we can share with all of you.

Check out the conference details and use this code for a $30 discount:  FRIEND

www.northwestgreen.org

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A 5 Minute Lifestyle

Everything your family needs for a healthy, happy lifestyle is within easy distance of Grow Community. Local merchants and grocers, the library, fine cafes and coffee shops, theaters and museums, parks, health clinics and schools … you can reach it all without ever getting behind the wheel.

We call it the “5-minute lifestyle,” and it’s just one of the features that makes Grow such an attractive choice for homebuyers seeking a simpler, more mindful way of living.

You’ll be amazed by all that’s waiting for you, just beyond your doorstep.
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A Bee Brigade is born

78baad8f-7254-45bb-a8bf-5c22ac5bd1a6Bainbridge Island students are learning to “bee positive” on the environment, thanks to the efforts of local educators and volunteers like Carl Lindbloom.

We noted earlier that Grow Community has signed on to the Pollinator Improvement Plan, an island-wide effort to bolster living and foraging space for bees, birds and other pollinators that are the linchpins of a healthy ecosystem.

Our Grow landscaping boasts pollinator-friendly native plants with a sequential bloom season to provide food and habitat all year for pollinators – from hazelnut in late winter/early spring to Oceanspray in late summer.

f5f3c84e-6b70-4bf7-a256-a56158c635e3Now we’ve even diverted some construction waste to help the cause: cedar scraps and plumbing pipe discards, from which Carl and some very clever students have fashioned 160 “Mason Bee House Kits.”

Un-bee-lievable!

Each kit provides new refuge for Mason bees, so named for their skill at making little mud compartments in their nests.

“Since the construction of the houses required hammering, I enlisted the help of the 7-8 graders to assist the 1-6 graders,” Carl says. “That was very fun to watch those interactions. The older kids took their job very seriously and the younger kids loved it.”

The new Mason Bee Houses have now gone home with the kids, along with instructions that give them everything they need to set up the houses and start raising Mason bees in their own yards.

“Because we draw students from all parts of the island, we have now introduced Mason bees to the same,” Carl says.

Way to go, Carl and Bainbridge Island students in the Pollinator Improvement Plan – our community’s own little Bee Brigade.

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Podcast on pollinators – listen in now!

Not long back we announced Grow Community’s participation in Bainbridge Island’s new Pollinator Improvement Plan.

Landscaping throughout our Grow neighborhoods will be “bee friendly,” with a rich mix of native flowering plants to give our little pollinators plenty of food and habitat.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.38.16 AMNow the PIP is featured in a new podcast on Bainbridge Community Broadcasting. In his program Community Cafe Bainbridge, host Barry Peters interviews two local officials about the island-wide effort to promote a healthy ecosystem by looking out for the bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators so key to our food supply as humans.

Heather Beckmann, Bainbridge Island city planner, and Amber Richards, assistant to the city manager, discuss the goal of linking different green spaces across the island so pollinators can navigate the built environment. Grow Community is glad to take its place on this welcoming corridor.

Heather and Amber of Pollinator ProjectYou can hear the podcast right here. Find out not only how Grow is meeting the challenge to protect our pollinators, but how residents across the island can do their part by planting bee-friendly flower beds and gardens.

“We’re hoping all people would ideally get involved, so the island itself can be a sanctuary for pollinators,” Heather tells the Community Cafe Bainbridge.

Thanks to Barry, Heather and Amber for the great podcast and for giving a shout-out to Grow Community as the Pollinator Improvement Plan moves forward. Bee well!

Pollinator Improvement Plan – a bee-eautiful idea comes to Grow

Bees are the unsung heroes of a healthy ecosystem.

By supporting flowering agricultural crops and orchards, they and their fellow pollinators butterflies and birds are responsible for as much as one-third of the human food supply.

Enjoy tasty local cucumbers, strawberries, apples or even onions? Thank your neighborhood bee.

Grow BEEGrow Community joins the effort to promote our island’s pollinator populations through the Pollinator Improvement Plan (PiP), now under way at Commodore Options School.

The goal: to create a network of pollinator-friendly micro-environments around the island, aiding the industrious apiformes as they seek out nourishment and shelter.

The landscape plan at Grow Community phase 2, the Grove, will include pollinator-friendly native plants with a sequential bloom season to provide food and habitat through the year for pollinators – from hazelnut in late winter/early spring to Oceanspray in late summer. These plants are located throughout the project, not just in the planting beds planted with the “pollinator mix.”

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Grow also features multiple canopy layers in trees, shrubs and perennials, to provide shelter options for pollinators.

Planting under the direction of renowned firm PLACE landscape architects is now underway on the site, even as we round out the first buildings nearby for residency this fall.

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“Bees might not be among our ‘homeowners’ per se, but we want them to be regular visitors,” said Greg Lotakis, Grow Community project manager. “Community gardens have been one of the signature features at Grow from the start, and we want to share those gardens and fruit trees with pollinators who are more reliant on them still.”

PiP is a joint project of Commodore Options program and the City of Bainbridge Island.

During the yearlong program, students will learn about the importance of bees and other pollinators to the natural environment as well as the various threats – overuse of garden chemicals, loss of habitat – their fragile populations presently face.

Grow-village-kids1The multiage curriculum will include mapping of local bee habitats and production of a “Bee’s Eye View” video, to promote bee-friendly planting at homes and neighborhoods throughout the island.

The video will be shown on Earth Day 2016.

Participants will also work with the city to review local landscaping and pesticide policies, to make local public lands pollinator friendly. Students will be part of this community discussion.

“Our COS students are currently conducting the research needed to produce an educational slide show about pollinators. This is a first step to educate themselves about the process, developing a depth of knowledge that will add support throughout the project,” said Carl Lindbloom, project coordinator. “Commodore Options School’s focus is on project based curriculum and community service, so PIP is the perfect fit.”

Watch for more news about Grow Community’s bee-eautiful plantings here in the coming weeks.

Grow now the standard lifestyle of the future

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Grow Community as the new standard for future living? You bet.

Grow’s award-winning, net-zero neighborhood will be showcased at Living Future 2015, the annual conference of the International Living Future Institute.

logoJonathan Davis, architect for Grow’s first phase, the Village, and project manager Greg Lotakis will be featured speakers at the conference, which runs April 1-3 at the Sheraton in Seattle.

Their presentation is titled “A Built Environment Sets the Stage for Creation of Community.”

“Creating a (successful) community is not a certainty — the ultimate success of it depends on the people who choose to live there,” conference organizers say. “How do you create this place where people WANT to live? Learn how the design of the net-zero energy Grow Community on Bainbridge Island creates the basis for a shared sense of purpose, brings residents together toward common lifestyle goals and creates a strong sense of place and connection within a neighborhood.”

Living Future is a forum for leading minds in the green building movement seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues of our time. Out-of-the-ordinary learning and networking formats provide innovative design strategies, cutting-edge technical information and the inspiration needed to achieve significant progress toward a truly Living Future.

The Grow Community presentation runs 3:15-4:45 p.m. April 2.
Click here for more details

Summer’s glow warms us still

Even as we slip into a lovely high autumn, we can still take a fond look back to Grow Community’s summer garden party.

Residents of the Village celebrated the rich greenery and edible bounty found throughout the neighborhood with a festive and tasty afternoon get-together.

Flowers in glorious bloom. Vegetables ripe and ready. And neighbors who give the Northwest’s greenest community its amity and spirit. Now that was a day worth celebrating.

We’re already looking ahead to next summer!

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Grow Community Ice Cream! It doesn’t get better than that.

Available at Mora Iced Creamery in Downtown Winslow, just a 5 minute walk from Grow Community.   For a limited time only.

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Click here to learn more about the “Mora Index.”

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