City seeks 80 Montlake homes to join “Rainwise” program: Community meeting planned for Sept 19th

Image: Seattle Rainwise

By Julee Neuhart

​On Tuesday, July 30, Susan Harper, from Seattle Public Utilities spoke to a small group of Montlake residents at the Montlake Library. Susan reported the city wants 80 neighborhood home owners become “rainwise” to cut the amount of rainwater that overflows the city’s containment system in heavy rain storms, dumping polluted water into Portage Bay and the ship canal. Properties that are eligible for the program are:

  • the Shelby-Hamlin area
  • along 25th Avenue E. and 26th Avenue E. near the Arboretum
  • homes between Boyer Avenue and Portage Bay, west of 19th Avenue E..

To encourage participation, the city is offering rebates to help cover the cost of rainwise landscaping and/or rain collector cisterns. The rebate is $3.50 per square foot of roof that will direct rainwater into these features. Home owners can find out if their property is eligible for the program and if so, what projects are possible in their yard, by clicking here. This project does not cover modifications to the parking strip areas between the street and sidewalk.

​Susan reported that many homes in the Ballard and Broadview neighborhoods have installed rain gardens and or other features. The rebates have varied from $1000 to $4000, usually covering approximately 75% of the total cost. The website also has detailed information about the program and photos of rain gardens and cisterns used in Seattle. The utility has trained about 50 landscaper from many Seattle area firms. Their names and contact information is also included.

​A Rainwise Open House is scheduled for Thursday evening, September 19, 2013, at the Montlake Community Center. This event will provide interested home owners with more information. Representatives from Seattle Public Utilities will be on hand to answer questions and landscape firms will be displaying projects they have created and can answer questions specific to residents’ property.

Si’ahl: Fledgling 520 Eagle Sticks Around

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Si’ahl, Eva and Albert’s 2013 eaglet, has learned to fly. However unlike last year’s siblings Si’ahl is staying in the Union Bay neighborhood.

In the last week Si’ahl has been seen on Foster Island, near the Broadmoor nest and multiple times near the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary (north of Madison Park) which is visible for bus riders on 520. See the photos and video. Learn what Si’ahl looks like so you can spot the fledgling yourself. Visit Union Bay Watch.

Eaglet leaves the nest that Eddie built!

Eva and Albert’s eaglet learned to fly! It has been seen flying for the last two days and so far has been found in the nesting tree each morning. It will be fun to see how long this young bird remains around Broadmoor and Union Bay. In the meantime see if you can guess what the bird was eating this morning. To find out if you guessed right (and to see more photos) visit Union Bay Watch.Image

Woodpecker fledgling leaves Interlaken Park nest

Images: unionbaywatch.blogspot.com

Union Bay Watch has been following the family nest of Elvis the Woodpecker in Interlaken Park and has posted photos showing the rapid growth of two hatchlings likely born around June 1st. On Monday, one of the youngsters fledged the nest and was seen foraging the forest floor with Papa Elvis, prompting UBW’s Larry Hubbell to send out a dual purpose special alert:

First to let you know to watch for this beautiful little Pileated Woodpecker as you visit the park. Secondly to gently remind dog owners, of which I am one, that this would be a wonderful time to keep your pet on a leash. This young bird is just about the size of a squirrel and could be very attractive to a dog.
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Given that this little fellow hatched out approximately 4 weeks ago and left the nest just two days ago. It simply has not had time to learn about danger in the real world. In addition its ability to fly has not yet reached the skill of a mature bird. Your help in protecting this young bird would be greatly appreciated.
Many more incredible photos showing the hatchlings’ busy little lives here.
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Union Bay blogger Larry Hubbell featured in The Seattle Times

Image: Seattle Times / Marcus Yam

Image: Seattle Times / Marcus Yam

Local nature blog Union Bay Watch has really taken off in the past year, thanks to the passionate and patient work of Montlake resident Larry Hubbell. This morning Larry and UBW appeared in The Seattle Times, getting front page treatment.

Having hauled out his 30-or-so pounds of camera gear, which includes a massive 400-mm lens and a tripod, for Larry Hubbell it’s another afternoon of patiently looking for the Highway 520 bridge bald eagles…

“Patience, there is a lot of that,” says Hubbell, who in his other life is a system data guy for Starbucks.

On this afternoon, Hubbell has set up his gear in the Madison Park neighborhood, where East McGilvra Street dead-ends into the eastern razor-wire-topped fence of the Broadmoor Golf Club.

The article goes on to detail Larry’s coverage of “Life After Eddie,” an on-going series covering the bald eagle family of Eva and Albert, after Eva’s previous mate Eddie was killed by a bus on 520. Larry broke news last spring with photos of the pair’s two new eaglets. He did the same this year with news of a single, and fast-growing, eaglet that he expects to fledge from the nest in record time.

Albert and Eva are local celebrities because of their high visibility perches atop lamp posts on the 520 Bridge approach across Union Bay. Commuters often photograph and comment on the eagles, appreciating the brief glimpse of wildlife in an otherwise ordinary (or even frustrating) commute. The eagles seem unbothered by the traffic traffic below, favoring the lamp posts for their prime view over Union Bay’s hunting grounds.

Image: Instagram: mattlockmon

Larry’s “news” coverage of Union Bay brings awareness — and deeper appreciation — to the role wildlife plays in the urban environment of the Seattle. His posts appear on The Seattle Times’ Community News Network page and he regularly posts photos and links to his blog on Montlaker. Congrats to Larry for getting some big media press and big thanks as always for making local wildlife come alive on the web!

Follow Union Bay Watch here.