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GROWmit, the One Planet Frog

Hi my name is GROWmit, I’m a One Planet frog representing the one earth we all share, and I live at Grow Community.  I was painted by local artist Pierr Mogan and I’m part of the ‘Frogs on the Rock‘ community art project here on Bainbridge Island.

frogcutoutDid you know frogs like me are what scientists call an indicator species: we are particularly sensitive to changes in our environment.  Toxic chemicals in the water and small changes in climate can make us very unhealthy.  Many of us are disappearing because our homes have been polluted or because our habitat is getting warmer.

What if frogs didn’t have unlimited clean water and air?  What if WE didn’t have unlimited clean water and air?  What if there were just ONE planet for all of us to share?

The One Planet Living® program at Grow Community envisions a world in which it is easy, attractive, and affordable for all of us to lead happy, healthy lives with fewer of the earth’s resources.

GROWmit-kids

Aria and Ocean meet GROWmit!

If you live with me at Grow Community, you don’t have to make big sacrifices, learn a bunch of new stuff, or completely turn your life around to live here. But you can live in a way that helps both frogs and people to enjoy healthy habitats.

Come visit me and learn all about the 10 One Planet Principles that provide a framework for building healthy, vital communities.

What’s Coming Next? – Join the Conversation

Grow Community Public Participation Meeting
July 29th 2013, 6-8pm
Bainbridge Performing Arts
Join us to provide feedback on our site plan, home designs and floorplans for the next phase while enjoying some tasty treats and local wines.All are invited. We look forward to seeing you there!

What's coming next at Grow Community SCHEDULE

6pm – Arrive and connect with friends and residents of Grow Community. Learn whats coming next.

6.30pm – Grow team member and sustainability expert, Greg Lotakis will discuss One Planet Living.

6.45pm – Local, internationally acclaimed, Architect and the newest member of the Grow Team, Jim Cutler, will present our new concept in the context of livable communities.

7.15pm – Connect and provide feedback on home designs, floor plans and the community concept as a whole.

Exploring Intergenerational Living Options at Grow Community

The concept for Grow Community has always been based on an intergenerational community. We imagine a neighborhood where families, young children, singles, retired couples, and elders all live in homes that suit their needs. But not only that, the community, in it’s physical and social design is intended to encourage interactions amongst all these residents. We imagine a neighborhood where relationships are formed, spontaneously and intentionally, where young and old play together in the garden, share experiences and care for each other.

To explore what this type of community might look like, we held a workshop last month. In our workshop we asked folks to ‘backcast’ – imagining that they were living at Grow already and they sent a postcard to a loved one about the community.  Here is what they wrote.

Ani – you will love my new house/life in Grow.  We have soup night every month and I am a driver volunteer taking people to the ferry, store, etc. in the community electric car.  I babysit for a 6 and 8 year after school they live 2 houses down – so much to do in the neighborhood.  I lead a writing group at our converted “Grow House” every week.  I’m gardening and eat what I grow – finally.  Still live a walkable life like I used to, but best is my carbon footprint is about zero.  Yay!  Mama 

Dear Racheal, Can’t wait to have you visit when we move to our new community in Winslow (growbainbridge.org).  You will really appreciate the very ecological building and the intentional community aspects.  Love Kate  PS – Check out the One Planet Principles – you would love it.

Dear Gabby, We’re looking forward to your visit with Ava (still our only beloved granddaughter).  Ava will meet other kids her age, and we can all spend some time working in the garden.  The families in our immediate neighborhood will come together for a potluck during your visit, so we’ll be cooking together.  There’s usually some music and dancing before the evening is over.  Cheers, Dad

Wow – I’m finally settled into my new home at Grow Community.  Never thought I’d move again – and here I feel a lot more community support as I got older.  I like being with a mixture of ages and family types – and not just people my own age or older.  Happily, there are quiet places where kids don’t hang out.  And my space is very quiet, which is lovely.  Come visit – I have a guest room!

Dear Lisa, I can’t wait for you to come visit pops and me at Grow Community.  We’ll celebrate your birthday in our community room, pick tomatoes in the garden, listen for frogs in the pond, walk to town for a cookie, then take the gerry to Seattle and ride the wheel.  We’ll read books together in our cozy apartment and we’ll check out bikes to ride from our shared bike barn.  Lots to do together.  Love Mama B

Culture & CommunityWe are constantly using words like inclusivity, walkability, visitability and (of course) sustainability in our conversations about how we design, build, and create opportunity for community to take hold in a place.  Considering all these words and all our hopes and dreams to incorporate in one place can be quite a challenge… and one we are thankful to be undertaking. This is made easier with ideas from our community.

The next buildings we construct will be designed to take this intergenerational concept to the next level. The beginning of an idea has taken shape as we’ve listened to your feedback. A building based on Universal Design principles, with one-level flats, accessible spaces, comfortable spaces, spaces designed for people of all ages.

Couldn’t make the workshop, but have some ideas to share?  Please share your thoughts by clicking the comments link above.  No idea is a bad idea!  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

Grow Community in the News: Seattle Times

Bainbridge development to be totally solar powered, carbon neutral

Grow Community is following One Planet Living sustainability standards for a planned 130-unit residential development.

By Reid Champagne
Special to The Seattle Times

Grow Community has started work on a 130-unit residential development on Bainbridge Island. The development says it will use roof-installed solar panels to provide 100 percent of the power needed for each residence.

The project has received the One Planet Living seal of approval, the fifth community to do so, says Marja Preston, president of Asani, the real estate development company overseeing the Grow development.

One Planet Living is a global initiative launched by the World Wildlife Fund and environmental consultancy BioRegional that promotes zero-carbon emissions, zero waste and car-free cities.

“The most important principle we have committed to at Grow is to design and build zero carbon buildings by 2020,” Preston explains.

In addition to generating all of the building’s energy needs from solar, the Grow Community will feature heat recovery ventilation systems, energy efficient appliances and LED fixtures, she says.

“Since our lifestyle choices from food and transportation have almost three times the carbon impact our buildings do, we have paid particular attention to community gardens of edible plants, as well as an electric car for our car-share program,” Preston adds.

(See Full Article Here)

Grow Community Awarded Most Sustainable Business of the Year!

BI Chamber - Sustainable Business of the YearGrow Community/Asani were honored to receive the 2012 Sustainable Business of the Year award from the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce.   This is an award that was truly achieved due to the support and involvement of our greater Bainbridge Island community.  Thank you.

 

GROW – Community Center Design Workshop

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This past weekend we held two interactive community workshops for the design and use of our community center space. We want to thank all those folks that took time out of their weekend to join us and lend their enthusiasm and imagination to what could be possible. Here are a few of the ideas thrown around:

  • tool/equipment share
  • flexible creative spaces with movable walls for art projects, meetings, book clubs, yoga, classes to learn a new skill
  • cross country bocce ball course
  • rooftop green house
  • community kitchen
  • outdoor movie screen that doubles as a climbing wall
  • bicycle powered
  • rain harvested kids water/play feature
  • community bulletin board
  • indoor workshop/garage space for bicycle tune-ups etc.

We have continued to share a common hope and dream of an intergenerational community and that was evident through the course of our workshops. Whether it be young families, teens joining us to add their input, empty nesters, and those young at heart, everyone had something wonderful to share.

All this helps us as we start from here and work toward designing this community space.

Couldn’t make the workshop, but have some ideas for the space?  Please share your thoughts by clicking the comments link above.  No idea is a bad idea!  We look forward to hearing from you.

Our next workshop on January 26th will explore intergenerational living options at Grow Community.  Please click here for more details and to RSVP.

 

 

 

GROW Public Workshops – Community Center Design and Intergenerational Living Exploration


Are you interested in joining the Grow Team to help design the neighborhood Community Center and to explore intergenerational living options at Grow Community? We will be hosting a series of interactive workshops in January to gather your thoughts and plan these spaces.

 

Grow Community Center Design Workshop
Saturday, Jan 12th  |  1-4pm

Let the fun begin!  Now that Grow Community is under way, we are ready to begin the next phase – design of the community center.  This is your building, your place to hang out with friends, host a birthday party, read a book by the fire, work on your bike, participate in a yoga class.  Art studios, rooftop gardens, freezer storage, tool library and workshop, movie room, playroom, the list goes on.  As with everything at Grow, the possibilities are endless.  But it won’t all fit in one building, so we’ll have to choose.  And the choices are yours.  Please join us for an interactive workshop to share your ideas for this space.

Click here for more details and to RSVP  |  All are welcome

 

GROW – Intergenerational Living Workshop
Saturday, Jan 26th  |  1-4pm

We have a new idea!  We are not sure what form this one will take and we want your help.  The concept for Grow Community has always been based on an intergenerational community.  What does that mean to us?  We imagine a neighborhood where families, young children, singles, retired couples, and elders all live in homes that suit their needs. But not only that, the community, in it’s physical and social design is intended to encourage interactions amongst all these residents.  We imagine a neighborhood where relationships are formed, spontaneously and intentionally, where young and old play together in the garden, share experiences and care for each other.

The next buildings we construct will be designed to take this intergenerational concept to the next level.  The beginning of an idea has taken shape as we’ve listened to your feedback over the last several months.  A building based on Universal Design principles, with one-level flats, accessible spaces, comfortable spaces, spaces designed for young families and elders.  We are not quite sure yet what this building or the homes within it will look like.  We want to hear from you.  How do you want to live?  Come help us design your new home.

Click here for more details and to RSVP  |  All are welcome

 

Happy Holidays, from the Grow Team!

We, the Grow Team would like to wish you all a wonderful holiday season! As the days get colder and the holidays are upon us we would like to take a moment to reflect on the past year. In 2012 we opened our first three model homes to the community for tours and are now underway with construction of the next 20 homes and 20 rentals that will make up the first phase of Grow Community.  After the New Year the first residents will be moving in and calling Grow home. The Grow Team has been working behind the scenes on this project for over two years now and it is wonderful to finally see the community begin to come together.

With Grow Community, we presented the concept of One Planet living – a community that allows residents to reduce their ecological footprint while maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyles.  In a year where health, global climate and community wellbeing has risen to the top of our consciousness, we hope that our small project will provide an example of how we can all impact change in our communities.

We know we are incredibly lucky to be living and working on Bainbridge Island.  Our island is just the place where our dream of a healthy, safe, and intergenerational community can become a reality.  As Grow Community takes shape we continually strive to create a place that both fosters community and is also restorative to our earth. We are impassioned every day when we meet community members that share our vision and that are dedicated to improving the world around us.

We are thankful for our family, friends, neighbors, fellow co-workers and the community we live and work in.  We hope that you will continue to contribute and help us to build positive community on Bainbridge Island in whatever way inspires you.

From our family to yours we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

The Grow Team

 

 

The ‘Mora Index’ for growing a connected, freedom-loving kid


The following is part of our Five Minute Lifestyle series. Living at Grow Community makes getting out your car easy with all of your local amenities and transportation needs met within a quick 5 minute walk or bike ride away. Our Five Minute Lifestyle posts are dedicated to spotlighting nearby local businesses, transportation options for residents, community resources and the spectacular local attractions of Bainbridge Island and our surrounding community.

By our Health and Happiness Champion, Leslie Schneider

As a 12-year-old, I remember well the territory I was comfortable exploring on my bike with friends and siblings. We could ride on a dirt path from the residential road through an empty lot to the usually vacant parking lot behind Safeway. The empty lot had little hills that helped us hone our bike handling skills. And the Safeway store offered us refunds for empty bottles and plenty of ways to spend the new cash.

These days, as parents we put a lot of money and time into taking care of our kids. Different families make different choices, but the community we live in makes many choices for us too. During the week we drive our kids from one activity to another, and then on weekends we drive to big box stores to provision ourselves for the coming week. These rituals can be fun… come on, admit it, Costco has us nailed, offering free samples of prepared food sold in volume, cheap pizza or a cone at the checkout. But it is not a kid’s world. We don’t feel safe letting our children run around by themselves as we shop.

Going somewhere and buying something… that is what grown-ups do. So isn’t it the Holy Grail of freedom for a kid to be able to get somewhere by themselves and purchase something of high kid-value?  How many parents with school-aged children in your neighborhood would think it safe to send their kids to the grocery store alone? Architect Ross Chapin is an advocate of small scale communities. In his book “Pocket Neighborhoods”, Chapin describes what he calls the “Popsicle Index” – the percentage of people who think it is safe to let their kid walk to a store and buy a Popsicle without adult supervision.

On Bainbridge Island, we are lucky to have Mora’s Ice Cream, surely a part of many families’ ritual outings long before a kid has much independence. So. If you lived within walking distance from Mora’s in downtown Winslow, would you let your daughter walk there by herself to buy a treat?

To reach that Holy Grail safely, a child needs to start much earlier in life with smaller circles of independence, or safety zones that expand with the age and confidence of the child. A safe base creates independence. The Grow Community is designed so that no one ever crosses a street while inside the community. Courtyards between homes are the protected close-in zones, with opportunity to meet the neighbors as the first integration into the larger community. Living in this community, a child will graduate to playing alone at the community center, with helpful eyes watching out for the unexpected.  It takes a community to keep an independent child safe, to contribute to raising independent children.

When children graduate to the outer circles of the community, there are many options for walking and biking—to get to two nearby elementary schools, Ordway and Odyssey, the two Island middle schools, Sakai and Woodward, and the high schools, Bainbridge and Eagle Harbor. The library and a park is even closer. The Farmer’s Market is practically across the street. Hmmm.  Maybe this smaller world helps us stay out of our cars and gives our kids the autonomy they crave a little earlier!

Check out ‘5 Minute Neighborhood for Kids’ also written by Leslie Schneider

Leslie Schneider is a marketing and communications specialist with a history of building community. Leslie has worked with both start-ups and software giants offering messaging, marketing collateral, and training development. She is also a founding member and ‘graduate’ of cohousing, having developed and then lived in Jackson Place Cohousing (near downtown Seattle) for eight years. She served on the cohousing development LLC managing board for five years and was the owner’s representative for the 27-unit condominium construction. You can find her at Office Xpats, a co-working and conference center based on Bainbridge Island.

It Takes A Village: Cultivating Community Through Collaboration

We’d like you to meet Scott McGowan, One Planet Champion for our 7th One Planet Principle, Local and Sustainable Food.  We asked him why he got involved with Grow and to share his thoughts on the One Planet program.  Here is his response.

I decided to get involved in the Grow project after meeting Jonathan Davis.  He is a long time family friend of my wife, Haripurkh Khalsa , and previous student of her father Guru Singh.  Jonathan explained the One Planet concept and I was thrilled.  The core of The One Planet concept is exactly how I try to live my life, and exactly where we need to be striving towards with all development.   I have an electric truck, electric tools and don’t use any pesticides or harmful chemicals in my work.  I have spent the last 10-15 years planning and working on community gardens and I could not believe that a private development actually could be so focused on growing food as a means to build and create community!

The network of community gardens will create a better place for the residents by (1) reducing the amount of trips they need to take to the grocery store, 2) eating and living healthier lifestyles 3) building strong friendships and community 4) donating fresh foods to local food banks 5) educating residents and the broader Bainbridge community about growing food and building sustainable community through modeling and 6) providing fun community events in the beautiful outdoor garden spaces.

I believe that the network of community Gardens built into the overall design of the Grow Community is the key piece that can make this innovative concept work.  Community gardens/farms take teamwork and community involvement to run.  They will serve to connect neighbors in Grow with each other, and with the surrounding community.

The shared goal for Grow is to provide an important educational opportunity for children and creating future advocates for community gardens.

A few weeks ago Scott engaged local elementary students from Madrona School in the first harvest of our welcome garden. The effort was part of an educational program in local and organic foods. The kids harvested, learnt to cook with some of the vegetables, and provided some to the local food kitchen at Helpline House on Bainbridge.

For more about Scott’s organization Alleycat Acres, click here.