Our Mission & Vision
Sustainable 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.
Sustainable 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.
The 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.
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.
Anya Kochel Meals with Neighbors (email Anya)
Anya moved to Seattle from Canada in 2017 after falling in love with the Pacific Northwest through researching lakes in the area as part of her graduate work. She previously studied fisheries biology and has worked in the Pacific Northwest, Yukon, Alaska, and Uganda on various water and fisheries conservation projects. She loves being outside and exploring her new home!
Bev Beppler Free Letters Home (email Bev)
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. 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.
Christine Ingersoll Bakery Gleaning (email Chris)
Chris was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Ballard since 1987, where she and her husband Robert raised two sons. Chris retired from a full time social work practice eight years ago, but continues her social work by volunteering in her community. Chris currently serves as the Vice President on the Board of the National Association of Social Workers, WA State Chapter and as a Precinct Committee Officer in the 36th District. She has been active with Sustainable Ballard for over ten years. Besides volunteering at the Sustainable Ballard Festival, Chris has been active with the Rain Garden project, installed a Little Free Library along with her neighbor, has been knitting with Jody Grage for years, and has been on the Bakery Gleaning team and the Sprouts growing project since their inception. For Chris, being part of a community means participation.
Gillian Cowles Board Member (email Gillian)
Gillian is a California Bay Area-native, who has made a new home in Seattle for the past 4 years. She lives in Ballard with her partner Melissa and a very sassy mini dachshund named Suzy. Gillian has always been a tinkerer and maker of many things including jewelry, weavings, clothing, furniture, vegetarian food and pastries. Her love of making and sustainability led her to join and volunteer with the Ballard Tool Library, where she first got connected to Sustainable Ballard. In her professional life, Gillian works as a software Product Manager.
Jenny Heins Executive Director, RainWise, Festival Organizer
Jenny 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.
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 27-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”.
Paula Jenson Board of Directors, Projects & Events Group, Ballard Sprouts, Little Free Libraries (email Paula)
Sixteen 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.