by Devin Chicras
From taking on mountains and tackling wetlands restoration to the crazy costumes at Skyway Outdoor Cinema, 2015 was packed with unforgettable moments in West Hill. We look back on a few of our favorites in this round-up:
1. Making it a Day On, Not a Day Off: West Hill Action Mob’s MLK Day Cleanup
Ten hard working human volunteers and one super cute dog decided to make #MLKDay2015 a Day On, instead of a Day Off. We hauled bags upon bags of trash off Renton Avenue South & nearby hotspots.
2. “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”: Saying Farewell to Chief Chubb (and Hello to Chief Clow)
Fire Chief Mark Chubb left his position at FD20 to focus on improving fire safety for workers in Bangladesh (new Chief Joseph Clow joined us in August). His parting wisdom for West Hill: “Stay passionate. Take pride in yourself and the community. And serve one another in a cause greater than yourself. In other words: keep doing what you’re doing.” Read South Seattle Emerald’s full interview with the Chief here.
3. Getting Our Hands Dirty in the Park: West Hill Action Mob’s Wetlands Restoration Spring Cleanup
A contingent of firefighters joined several hard-working WHAM volunteers in working to reclaim the riparian area of Skyway Park (along Taylor Creek) from invasive and noxious weeds with King County Parks. This was the first of a series of restoration events held in Skyway Park throughout 2015. Check out our blog post featuring trophy stumps and Stinky Bob.
4. Your West Hill News, Events and Resources: MyWestHill.org Redesigned
In July, we revealed our comprehensive redesign of your favorite community-obsessed website featuring news, resources and a killer community events calendar. We’re still working hard at making it even better, be on the lookout for not only more news, events and information – but an expanded West Hill directory and archived documents and history coming soon.
5. Water Slides, Bouncy Castles & Fun: WHCA’s Booth at the Urban Family Summer Block Party
At Urban Family’s annual Summer Block Party at Creston Point last summer, we spent the day connecting folks to their neighbors, getting everyone excited for Skyway Outdoor Cinema and sharing a bunch of laughs and high fives with the coolest of kids. Check out all of the unbelievable photos, and read a story about one of our all-time favorite moments of 2015 courtesy of a little girl named Rain.
6. Food Trucks, Free Prizes and Family Films: Breaking Records at Skyway Outdoor Cinema
This year at Skyway Outdoor Cinema we defiantly stared down a rainstorm, chased around a hungry ghost, saddled up to the best darn ice cream truck in town and ate more buttery 50¢ popcorn than we thought humanly possible. We’re all about pushing boundaries, breaking barriers and setting new records. Don’t miss our top ten list of Skyway Outdoor Cinema 2015 tomfoolery and animated GIFs.
7. Line Dancing with Firefighters in the Street: Hanging Out at West Hill’s First Play Street
The first-ever Play Street located in West Hill took place on Labor Day on 75th Avenue South (just off Renton Avenue South, near the 7-Eleven). A Play Street is a program that closes a neighborhood street so that kids, adults and pets can have more space for play and physical activity. The “Love Train Play Street” attracted expert hula-hoopers, hopscotch-ers and chalk artists as well as group of line-dancing firefighters.
8. We Adopted a Road: Celebrated with West Hill Action Mob Fall Cleanup Party on Renton Avenue South
Someone had to do it – we officially “Adopted” the stretch of Renton Avenue South between Grocery Outlet and 7-Eleven. We kicked off what will be a growing number of WHAM parties on this business-district-adjacent stretch of road during our WHAM Fall Cleanup. Volunteers dedicated their beautiful sunny Saturday morning to benefit their community, making a significant dent in the amount of unsightly trash and weeds in our beautiful new sidewalks.
9. Heard it Here First: Skyway Library Ribbon Cutting Announced at WHCA Fall Quarterly Meeting
King County Library System’s John Sheller dropped an exclusive bombshell at our Fall Community Quarterly Meeting at the Skyway VFW – there will be a ribbon cutting on the new Skyway Library on January 23rd complete with a ton of NEW books and a big community celebration. Join us for our Winter Quarterly on 1/19 and hear John talk more about the big event, and what to expect once you’re inside.
10. A Celebration We’re Thankful For: Alajawan’s Hands’ Community Family Thanksgiving
Alajawan’s Hands has created an annual tradition in West Hill: a free Thanksgiving feast at the Skyway VFW. Selfies with Sparky the Fire Dog, copious amounts of cranberry sauce, superstar volunteers and guests who go from strangers to instant friends all in one event.
11. Rebels (With) a Cause: Bikers Join Soldiers & Vets at Skyway VFW to Deliver Donated Toys for Kids
Our very own Skyway VFW shattered records with the most toys they’ve ever collected for the 2015 Toys for Kids Drive and Motorcycle Run. Motorcycle club members and soldiers in military vehicles hauled the giant pile of toys, stuffed animals and bicycles off to needy children in the area.
12. “This is a Good Day for Us”: Celebrating Mt. Anderson Milestone with Dow Constantine
Over the last few decades, the mountain at Contractor’s Concrete Recycling (or, “Mt. Anderson” as it’s known locally) of carcinogenic waste has grown steadily as the entire community it overshadows has gotten weaker and more neglected. This multi-story pile is quite literally a monument to inequity, suffering and social injustice. In December, WHCA was recognized at a press conference by King County Executive Dow Constantine for being instrumental in keeping the community informed about the issue over the last few decades, in amplifying local concerns and in bringing a consistent community presence to keep up the pressure and bring accountability to each court hearing.
But what’s next for the West Hill Community Association? Well we’re looking forward to doing more of what we do best – keeping you informed, having fun and getting things done in 2016. As an all-volunteer, community-centered nonprofit – this means your support is essential.