Our Mission & Vision

raingardenSustainable Ballard, a blueprint for Everytown, USA, educates, inspires, and engages neighbors to take action to live more sustainably both individually and collectively. Our vision is an inclusive, joyful, sustainable community co-creating a world for this and future generations where eco-systems are healthy and peace is inevitable.

About Us

festinfobooth2012Sustainable Ballard is now 17 years old.  Formed in 2003, we were the first neighborhood sustainability group in Seattle and a founding organization of SCALLOPS (Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound). We’ve gained local, national and international recognition for our grassroots approach to community action addressing climate change.

SewfunThe goal of Sustainable Ballard is to help prepare ourselves and our community to sustain and thrive in a post-peak-oil future, by supporting and inspiring each other to build a healthy and joyful life that is environmentally, socially and personally sustainable. To achieve this resiliency, we believe some key ingredients are: Getting connected with our neighbors to strengthen the social fabric of the community; learning new skills; getting educated on sustainability related matters; building a local food supply and a local economy, and sharing resources.


We invite all of our Ballard neighbors and friends to become more connected with others and the community by participating in Sustainable Ballard activities, including learning opportunities, community service, resource sharing, social events, and more. When we engage, we become part of creating the thriving community and lifestyle we want and need.

Our Team

Alona Fisher  Marketing & Membership (email Alona)

Alona was connected to Sustainable Ballard through Groundswell NW. She recently moved to Seattle from Chicago with her husband Tim and corgi Dennis. Her professional experience working in sales and marketing at the Chicago Area Runners Association, a nonprofit member-based organization, along with her educational background in Plant Biology and Environmental Studies attracted her to Sustainable Ballard and the Membership and Marketing position. Outside of the office, Alona enjoys running, hiking with Tim and taking walks with Dennis.

Andrea Faste  Board of Directors, President, Projects & Events Group (email Andrea)

Andrea was born in Tacoma before the Baby Boom, and came of age during the height of the hippie era. She grew up in Edmonds in an idyllic setting, swimming in Puget Sound, skiing, taking part in clubs. As a student at Scripps College in southern California, Andrea rejoiced on days that it rained. Her graduate work in Chinese language and literature included a year in Taiwan. Andrea came back to the U. of W. at the time of the Kent State tragedy, and became involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement. Andrea married in 1975 to a fellow grad student and their daughter was born in 1983. The family moved to Ballard in 1985 and Andrea has been here ever since. She has participated quite a bit in the life of our community: PTA, gardening, helping to build neighborhood parks through Groundswell NW, serving 19 years on the board of Fremont Public Association (aka Solid Ground), and eventually ended up attending the founding meeting of Sustainable Ballard in 2004​. Andrea has been involved with strategy sessions, the festival, the Edible Garden Tour, and is currently helping cook Sunday Dinners for those who need a hot meal. It’s all good. Andrea brings board experience, time, enthusiasm and an abiding faith that building sustainable activity strengthens community for the long haul.

Bev Beppler  Free Letters Home (email Bev)

2015 fair croppedBev was a volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter for ten years when she decided it was time to connect and help serve the homeless population of Ballard instead. er desire to serve and the opportunity to connect with Sustainable Ballard aligned to create a Ballard chapter of the Free Letters Home program, running since 2013. You can’t solve all of someone’s problems with a letter and a stamp, but if you can offer dignity and respect, that connection brings intangible benefits that are tremendously meaningful. Bev has lived in Ballard going on 20 years, and is grateful for the opportunity to love and validate all people in her community.

Camilla Walter  Board of Directors; Meals With Neighbors (email Camilla)

Camilla lives in Ballard and works to coordinate volunteers for Meals with Neighbors.  She is an activist, a book-lover, a coffee-drinker, and a sister who cares deeply about making our neighborhood livable for all. Camilla is the Development Director for Real Change, on the Board of Directors of Earth Share Washington, a mentor for the If Project and has a weekly program on KBFG.  She brings years of experience in nonprofit development and volunteer management to this role, and can’t wait to meet you at the next Ballard Sunday Dinner or over breakfast at St. Luke’s!

Jacob Childs  Board of Directors, Community Outreach Team (email Jake)

Jacob is passionate about finding ways to live sustainably with his natural and human environment. After calling Seattle home for five years and Ballard for two, Jacob joined the Sustainable Ballard Board to work to address sustainability challenges in the local community. Prior to coming to Seattle, Jacob was a nomad of sorts having grown up in Michigan, Missouri, and Georgia and having lived in various parts of the Mountain West. He is a former engineer, consultant, and is now a technology strategist. He enjoys putting his skills and experience to good use to help those around him. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, walking to the Ballard Locks and Shilshole Bay Marina, reading, and playing music. He is also a proud cat dad.

Jenny Heins  Executive Director, RainWise, Festival Organizer
(email Jenny)

PresidentJenny has been practicing conservation since she was a child, thanks to Ranger Rick and the Keep America Beautiful campaign of the early 70s, but she only became an activist when she discovered Sustainable Ballard in 2004 and now is very “active.”  Within Sustainable Ballard, she heads up a number of our activities, including the Annual Festival, the Ballard Tool Library, our RainWise work, and the administrative work of our Board. Outside of Sustainable Ballard, she is a works with the NW EcoBuilding Guild to produce the NW Green Home Tour and the Northwest Green Building Slam + Summit.  Jenny produced the Seattle Green Festival as Regional Director for four years, and had her own business:  Small Wonder Farm – a small local nursery growing gourmet vegetable and herb starts and educating neighbors how to grow their own food.  Jenny has been a Ballard resident since 1991.

Jill Schleicher  Market Gleaning (email Jill)

Jill joined Sustainable Ballard in 2019 as a volunteer with the Market Gleaning project, and in 2020 decided to take on the lead role. Coming from Minnesota originally, she grew up going to farmers markets in the summer, and has enjoyed having them year-round after moving to Seattle for grad school at UW. Gleaning ties together her passions for helping others, being outdoors, food, and growing things.

Jody Grage  Board of Directors, Ballard Knitters for People Experiencing Homelessness, Community Outreach Team (email Jody)

Jody was part of both the original Sustainable Seattle and Sustainable Ballard organizers.  She is a retired special education teacher who owns and lives in the oldest house in Ballard which is surrounded by vegetable garden.  Jody has been a part of the Green Party at the national, state, and local levels since the 1980s.  Other interests include knitting and other needlework, Norwegian folk costumes, voluntary simplicity, peacekeeping, vegetable gardening, winter, and community.

Julia Field  Bakery Gleaning (email Julia)

juliaJulia found Sustainable Ballard in 2006, and got right in up to her elbows! Through participation in SB festivals, projects, and other learning adventures, she’s remodeled her life, home, and garden to be more and more green. Julia is part of SB’s RainWise team, helping more Ballard neighbors manage stormwater at home, she leads the Bakery Gleaning project, and initiated a Help Our Orcas project at our 2018 festival. She is the founder and former program director of Undriving, the innovative car-use-reduction organization that was born in the creative cauldron of Sustainable Ballard in 2007. She’s a designer, artist, and instigator, and Sustainable Ballard is one of her mediums.

Kate O’Flynn  Board of Directors, Vice President, Community Outreach Team (email Kate)

Kate joined Sustainable Ballard in 2018, when she moved to Ballard from Dublin, Ireland. Joining the Sustainable Ballard community has allowed Kate to combine her interests of the environment and sustainability. Within Sustainable Ballard, Kate is part of the Community Outreach Team. She enjoys the outdoors, science and music. She is highly motivated in engaging with the community to move towards making Ballard sustainable.

Margaret Wetter  Administration (email Margaret)

Sustainable Ballard came to Margaret’s attention while working on a project with the EarthCare team at her church. A 26-year resident of Whittier Heights (and lifelong Seattle-area resident), Margaret had been looking for ways to combine her interests in sustainability, social justice and community, and Sustainable Ballard brings much of these together!  Now retired after 30 years with the City of Seattle at Seattle Center, Margaret spends her time as the contracted administrative assistant for Sustainable Ballard, volunteering on the social justice initiatives at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, gardening, quilting and spending time with her 23-year-old daughter.  She is also a member of the Meaningful Movies : Sustainable Ballard Team, a film series on “all things sustainable”.

Mary Olson  Board Member, Treasurer (email Mary)

mary o 110 x 110

Mary discovered Sustainable Ballard after moving to Ballard in 2013. After moving all the way from Boston, Mary was looking for a new, sustainably-minded community.  She immediately jumped in as treasurer and also served as Vice-President for 5 years.

Paula Jenson  Board of Directors, Projects & Events Group, Ballard SproutsLittle Free Libraries 
(email Paula)

paulaSixteen years ago, Paula clearly remembers being jazzed by the first mention of Sustainable Ballard’s formation, by which time she and her husband had been in Ballard for 19+ years, watching two kids grow up and moving into the community. She’s always been a gardener, and has been involved locally with SB’s urban crop circle, gardening guild, community cooking and gardening projects and the Edible Garden Tour. Paula proudly shares a great variety of books in her Little Free Library; she lives in Loyal Heights and is actively involved in grandparenting, writing, Buddhism and gardening.

Stu Frothingham  Board of Directors, Community Outreach Team (email Stu)

Stu has lived in Ballard since the early 90’s and inherited his parents’ interest in the environment, conserving energy and resources, recycling, and re-purposing.  Stu has a degree in Clean Energy Technology, a Certificate in Sustainable Business Management and a BA in Communications.  He’s worked in the solar industry as a marketer for a manufacturer and for an installer. He also has a background as a clinician and researcher. Stu installed his own solar PV system and drives an all-electric Nissan LEAF as part of his effort to reduce his carbon footprint.  Stu is active with local solar organizations, Seattle Parks and spent many seasons coaching youth basketball. He’s motivated to help to save the planet for future generations and believes sustainability is something we can all embrace.