'Green' bus stops get gala celebration

Neighborhood volunteers, along with city and county officials, gathered together in Jennifer Carlson's front yard on Nov. 20 to celebrat the completion of the "Green Bus Stop Project" in Magnolia.

Carlson, a landscape architect, spearheaded the project, which saw the addition of pole-mounted trashcans, benches and landscaping to four bus stops in the neighborhood, one of which is in front of her home on 34th Avenue West.

"It's very unique," said Department of Neighborhoods Director Yvonne Sanchez, one of the officials at the Saturday gathering. The project was unique, she explained, because it involved the cooperation of King County Metro, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and Department of Neighborhoods matching funds. "The matching-fund people worked with the community to build those bridges."

Sanchez also was quick to credit neighborhood volunteers such as Carlson. "You embody the spirit of what the matching fund is," she said, adding a plug for her boss, Mayor Greg Nickels. Nickels is a strong supporter of families and community, Sanchez said. "And we couldn't do it without you."

King County Councilman and lifetime Magnolia resident Larry Phillips also praised the bus stop project. "This is a family-friendly neighborhood and a neighborhood that cares about preserving our quality of life. But you've really been a bright spot," he said.

"This is a great example of what we can do to make the community more livable," Phillips added. "We hope we can keep duplicating this."

There is a good chance that will happen. Carlson said community groups in both White Center and South Park have already expressed an interest in tackling their own Green Bus Stop Projects.

She is currently involved in preparing packets of information that can be used in such efforts, and they will be multilingual, Carlson said. She also has plans to launch a Web site about Green Bus Stops and will submit it to both King County Metro and to the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce.

Write Russ Zabel at rzabel@nwlink.com or call 461-1309.[[In-content Ad]]