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

festinfobooth2012 Sustainable Ballard is now 14 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

Andrea Faste  Board of Directors / PEG (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 festivals, the old energy committee, 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)
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Bev 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. Her desire to serve and the opportunity to connect with Sustainable Ballard aligned to create 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.

Dana West  Board of Directors / MOre Team
A 25-year resident of Ballard, Dana passionately believes in the power of people collaborating to create change, especially in challenging times. Founder of Wizdom Lab, a think tank for practical solutions to aging issues, she serves on the board of the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s PNA Village, a strong and active inter-generational community that offers older people opportunities, combined with support, to fully engage in this phase of life. The Village is partnering with Sustainable Ballard to raise awareness, grow membership of all ages, and recruit volunteers to help elders.  Dana works for King County doing community involvement to help expand the use of recycled water, and for the RainWise and roadside rain garden programs. Along with social marketing and strategic public involvement skills, Dana brings a background in business development for social enterprise and strategic planning and development.

Eric Smith  Board of Directors / MOre Team (email Eric)
Eric believes in the value of people coming together in community to solve local challenges while enjoying each others company, companionship, and support. He says, “We’re all in this together, let’s have a good time… and fix things while we’re at it!”  He brings us the unique perspective of a social-purpose entrepreneurial small business background which he developed over several decades after founding and managing a successful local financial services practice. Eric supported and participated in many of our annual festivals. He developed the Sunset Hill Microfarm, a private community garden and hosted for our Garden Tour there one year. Eric has presented on the economy and sustainable, responsible, impactful investing topics at our festivals and member meetings. He believes in the power of focused organizations of people, both for-profit and non-profit varieties, to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing people and planet.  Eric has been active in the socially responsible impact investment movement since 1986. He is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, and Senior Financial Advisor with Natural Investments, LLC.

Eric Thomas  B-Green Talks (email Eric)
Eric Thomas Photo2
Bucking the conventional wisdom that says green building is expensive, Eric built Seattle’s first zero-energy house right here in Ballard at a cost 40% below the city’s average. He went on to found Sustainable Ballard’s B-Green Building Talks—short presentations by green innovators staged in sustainably built houses. He was an original member of Sustainable Ballard’s RainWise team. Eric is a frequent contributor to discussions about sustainability in local and national publications, on radio and TV, and in blogs and social media. In addition to his work for Sustainable Ballard, he serves as a communications strategist, consumer advocate, and advisor to organizations such as the Northwest Eco Building Guild, Built Green, and the Seattle City Light Review Panel. He is membership programs manager for the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, and he is a freelance marketer in the community nonprofit and green building spheres.

Jennifer Mundee  Edible Garden Tour, Market Gleaning (email Jennifer)

Jennifer has been an active leader with Sustainable Ballard for the good part of a decade, leading most of our food and garden projects, past and present, including: Eat Local Now!, Community Kitchen, Ballard Health Walk, Market Gleaning, Edible Garden Tour and more!  Jennifer is a licensed landscape architect and lives on her own little urban farm, including chickens, fruit trees and veggies, in East Ballard.

Jenny Heins  Board President / GO! Team, RainWise, Ballard Tool Library, Festival (email Jenny)
Jenny has been practicing conservation since she was a child, thanks to Ranger Rick and the Keep America Beautiful campaign of the early 70s.  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. She’s also a key collaborator with SCALLOPS (Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound).. Outside of SB, she is a contractor with the NW EcoBuilding Guild.   Jenny produced the Seattle Green Festival as Regional Director for 4 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.

Jody Grage  Ballard Knitters for the Homeless (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  RainWise, Strategic Advisor (email Julia)
Julia 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 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 SB is one of her mediums. (We hope you saw her RainWise yard and artful gardens as part of SB’s 2013 Edible Garden Tour!)

Julia Park  Board of Directors / PEG, Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth (email Julia)

Julia has been a resident of Ballard for more than thirty years and active in community affairs serving in various citizen organizations including Seattle’s citizen review board for the new library construction. She and her electric musical instrument maker husband Eric raised a family here in Ballard and Ballard is near and dear to their hearts.
Julia’s enthusiasm for Sustainable Ballard started while participating in 350.org’s 10/10/10 International Climate Action global work party locally organized in Ballard. She wanted to apply her knowledge and work experiences as a land-use, environmental and cultural resource planner to her volunteer work with Sustainable Ballard to contribute to our neighborhood’s well-being. Julia is a strong supporter of Sustainable Ballard’s approach to working with the community to grow the green economy, promote community health and fight climate change. She believes direct community involvement is key to making positive changes happen locally to be emulated elsewhere, and that serving on the board is one way to contribute to make the beneficial changes happen in the Ballard community.
Julia is a member of the Ballard Smart Growth Partnership’s Urban Design and Transportation committee, Knitting for the Homeless, and Legislative Committee project on climate change.

Kaitlin Hill  Board Secretary / GO! Team + MOre Team, Meaningful Movies : Sustainable Ballard (email Kaitlin)

Kaitlin is a transplant from the East Coast and became involved with Sustainable Ballard through the Meaningful Movies: Sustainable Ballard project. Since moving to the neighborhood in 2014, she has experienced first-hand how encouraging sustainability and compassion can bring a community together to support healthy, fulfilled lives. She is committed to continuing Sustainable Ballard’s wonderful work and can usually be found haunting the Sunday Farmer’s Market and the streets of Ballard with her dog.

Ken Cousins  Board of Directors / MOre Team (email Ken)
ken cousins
Ken’s work focuses broadly on sustainability issues, including the global dynamics of green markets and social labeling, ecological economics, and mapping activist networks. He has been active in the sustainability movement for over two decades, working with the Forest Stewardship Council, Green Festival, Sustainable Seattle, Sustainable Cascadia, Eat Local Now!, Seattle Transition Network groups, and SCALLOPS affiliates – including Sustainable Ballard. He believes that sustainability – broadly realized – is necessary for a healthy, just, and vibrant civil society. He has a Ph.D. in the Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment, and an M.A. in Political Economy (with research in Ecological Economics) from the University of Maryland, as well as a B.A. in Ecological Agriculture from The Evergreen State College. Ken lives with his wife Leyla and their dog Molly in a LEED-certified home in Ballard.

Margaret Wetter  Administration & Publicity, Reusable Cups Campaign (email Margaret)

Sustainable Ballard came to Margaret’s attention while working on a project with the EarthCare team at her church.  A 23-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 and publicity coordinator for Sustainable Ballard, volunteering on the social justice initiatives at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, gardening, quilting and spending time with her 21-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 Vice President & Treasurer / GO! Team (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.  Beginning as the Treasurer, Mary took on the VP role in late 2015.  Professionally, Mary works at Pacific Science Center and teaches yoga.

Paula Jenson  Board of Directors / PEG, Little Free Libraries, Edible Garden Tour (email Paula)

Thirteen 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 18+ 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 is actively involved with the Literacy Council of Seattle and proudly shares a great variety of books in her Little Free Library.

Tom Sheehan  Ballard District Council (email Tom)

Tom Sheehan was born and raised in Seattle. He teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, and is interested in just about everything— Tom was keeper of our Sustainable Book and DVD Lending Library before most were dispersed into the Little Free Library system, was an active participant in the New Economy reading group, and now serves as our representative on the Ballard District Council.

The board is actively recruiting for new board candidates, especially those who can contribute in any of the following ways:

  • Contribute to the board’s diversity
  • Have experience with non-profit financial planning and budget forecasting
  • Have experience with leadership development and support
  • Willing to commit 3-5 hours per month attending board meetings and events
  • Willing to lead, organize and/or present at one or more events per year

If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please contact our President Jenny Heins, via email or call (206) 384-0053.