The City of Kirkland invites you to celebrate Earth Month!

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

April 3, 2019

city of kirkland washington

Message from the Mayor

Mayor Sweet

As a Kirkland resident for 36 years and a Kirkland business owner for 35 years, I treasure this City. It is an exceptional place to live, work and play, and we on the City Council work diligently to keep it that way. We believe that this involves a holistic approach in which City policy, City staff and City volunteers all work in harmony to honor and protect the environment. That is why we proclaimed April as Earth Month during our most recent Council meeting, held on Tuesday, April 2.

Together, we celebrate its natural beauty, engage in deliberate action to preserve its future and craft forward-thinking policy to help bolster our commitment to its well-being.

The recognition of Earth Day began in 1970, to raise awareness of how 150 years of industrial development had negatively impacted our environment. Increased public awareness brought change in the form of new agencies and policies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. Almost 50 years later we still have so much more to do.

It will take a global effort to address the environmental challenges we face today. And though those challenges may seem overwhelming, I suggest that we will accomplish the most by continuing to, “think globally and act locally.”

This year the City completed its first greenhouse gas emissions report. This report outlines our successes in reducing our emissions, and highlights opportunities for improvement. Additionally, the City Council directed staff to undertake our first Sustainability Master Plan. Once complete, the Sustainability Master Plan will identify best practices and prioritize action steps that can be implemented in the short, medium and long term to ensure Kirkland becomes an even more sustainable and livable community.

The City has also invested resources to keep waste out of our landfills. In 2018, 10,439 pounds of batteries were recycled through our City drop-off locations, while our Styrofest collection events collected an average of 125 cubic yards of Styrofoam at each event. And, in just one latex paint collection event, the City collected 25,888 pounds of latex paint and containers.

During my time in elected office, I’ve been passionate about protecting our water supply, working proactively on various boards to address water quality, analyze pollution sources, discuss water supply sustainability, and support conservation programs meant to help ensure our future water needs are met.

In 2018, Kirkland stormwater crews inspected 100 percent of City-owned stormwater flow control and water quality treatment facilities – there are a total of 651 – and performed maintenance on 119 of them. Additionally, they inspected 7,876 catch basins and cleaned over 3,061 of them. This important work contributes greatly to the protection of our stormwater infrastructure, and helps keep Kirkland’s vast network of creeks, wetlands and lakes clean, healthy and vibrant.

To celebrate Earth Month, the City is sponsoring several programs to help you “green” your home and community. Take the “Green Home Challenge” to learn creative ways to improve your recycling habits, reduce household clutter, eliminate junk mail and waste less food. With that, qualifying residents can participate in our Yard Smart Rain Rewards program, which offers free technical assistance and rebates to community members living in the Forbes Creek watershed.

More information on each of these programs is available on the City website.

The commitment to preserving and enhancing our environment runs deep in our community. Over 30 dedicated park stewards and thousands of volunteers donate over 10,000 hours every year to our parks system. These industrious community members spend their free time removing invasive species, spreading mulch and wood chips, picking up litter and restoring native habitat. Are you interested in helping sustain one of our parks? The City welcomes new volunteers and is looking for more stewards.

Taking care of the environment is everyone’s responsibility, and in Kirkland our efforts are amplified by our robust, combined response involving policymakers, residents and City staff. We are champions for the environment in Kirkland, and I couldn’t be more proud of our City and excited for its future.


Earth Month Proclamation

The Climate Story of Waste

Everything that you dispose of, whether an apple peel in the compost or a candy wrapper in the trash, represents a combination of energy, water, and materials that went into growing or manufacturing and shipping that item. When you throw away, recycle, or compost anything, you’re influencing its impact on the climate.

Things that are thrown away get taken to the Cedar Hills Landfill in Maple Valley. Because the landfill is packed down and buried daily, items in the landfill decompose very slowly, over the course of many years. Any food and organic material thrown away produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, as it slowly breaks down. The Cedar Hills Landfill uses a high-tech system to capture the methane to prevent it from being released into the atmosphere, but it would be better if food and yard debris were composted instead.

When you recycle something in your blue cart, it’s sorted by material type, processed into raw material, and used to create new products. Making plastic from recycled material uses 88 percent less energy than using raw materials.

Food and yard waste that’s composted becomes a nutrient-rich soil amendment in a matter of weeks. When tilled into the soil as an amendment, it sequesters the carbon from your food and landscape trimmings until it is taken up by new plants growing. Storing carbon in soil and plants is one of the most effective ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The City of Kirkland has goals to reduce our community’s climate emissions, and what we do with our waste can help us meet those goals.

You can reduce the climate impacts of your waste by:

• Recycling items on our accepted materials list
• Composting all your food scraps and yard trimmings
• Choosing food and products in recyclable or reusable packaging over disposable packaging (e.g. yogurt tub versus tubes of yogurt)
• Using reusable products instead of disposable ones (e.g. cloth towels instead of paper towels)
• Skipping single-use items like paper cups and plastic straws, or plastic produce bags
• Reducing the total amount of waste your household produces, especially your trash but also your recycling and food waste
• Purchasing items made with (preferably post-consumer) recycled content or just purchasing less!

Climate story of waste

Yard Smart Rain Rewards Program

Yard Smart Rain Rewards

Are you planning a landscaping project this summer? Make it an earth-friendly project by participating in the City of Kirkland’s newest program, Yard Smart Rain Rewards. This exciting new program provides free technical assistance and financial rebates up to $3,500 to Kirkland property owners who install simple, earth-friendly landscape projects like rain gardens, rain capture cisterns, and native landscaping.


Every time it rains, water picks up and carries pollutants like oil, soap, fertilizer, pesticides, and pet waste from our roofs, driveways, patios, and lawns, into the nearest storm drain, and finally into local creeks and Lake Washington.

During big storms, the volume of rainwater runoff can cause neighborhood flooding and erosion hazards. In fact, the average Kirkland home produces more than 62,000 gallons of runoff each year, the equivalent of two bathtubs of water per day!

Yard Smart Rain Rewards projects are designed to capture that polluted rainwater before it leaves a property, slow its flow, and allow it to soak into the ground where pollutants can be filtered out naturally.

Join Today

Property owners in the Forbes Creek watershed (including large portions of North and South Rose Hill neighborhoods, and small portions of the Highlands, Juanita, and Norkirk Neighborhoods) are eligible to install a Yard Smart project and claim a Rain Rewards rebate.

Participants will receive a free consultation at their property to determine the project that is best suited for their budget, time, and goals. To learn more, determine your eligibility, or sign up for a free Yard Smart consultation, visit our website at: Kirkland Yard Smart. Each property consultation also includes a free bag of yard-friendly compost!

For more information, contact Kirkland’s Yard Smart Rain Rewards program at 425-587-3857 or

Celebrate Stewardship during Earth Month with Green Kirkland!

As we spring into April you’ve likely found yourself out in Kirkland’s parks enjoying a stroll on a forested trail, spotting a flowering trillium in bloom or simply soaking up the quiet majesty of a mature Western redcedar.

Our wonderful natural areas make Kirkland an especially green place to live by providing clean air and water; healthy wildlife habitat; stunning views; and safe spaces for people to play, relax and connect. But did you know that our natural areas need a helping hand from the folks that enjoy them to keep them healthy and thriving?

As we enter Earth month, we celebrate our Green Kirkland Stewards who are community leaders in caring for our natural areas. Stewards are trained and dedicated volunteers who share their joy of natural areas by leading fellow volunteers in environmental stewardship projects. You may have seen them out at your local park pulling invasive weeds, spreading wood chips and replanting native trees and shrubs along with your friends and neighbors.

Our thirty Green Kirkland Stewards help the City leverage over 2,000 volunteers and 10,000 volunteer hours every year in Kirkland’s parks and have enrolled over 100 acres of natural area into restoration. The next time you’re out in a Kirkland natural area, remember to give a shout of ‘thanks’ to our Green Kirkland Stewards, or better yet, join Green Kirkland and lend a hand to help keep your parks healthy and sustainable for the next generation to enjoy.

Your Natural Areas need YOU!

Green Kirkland Stewards have different backgrounds, experience levels and time availability, but are united by their love of nature and green spaces! YOU could be the next Green Kirkland Steward at your favorite park!

For more information on becoming a Green Kirkland Steward view the Green Kirkland Parks Love Connection video and email

Not sure if you can commit to being a steward yet? You can still join the fun! Visit the Green Kirkland Partnership webpage to register to volunteer at one of the many monthly stewardship events including Earth Day Saturday April 20, 2019 at Edith Moulton Park.

Green Kirkland

Upcoming Events



Kirkland Public Works Maintenance Center, 915 8th Street

Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Drop off Styrofoam™ for recycling at the City’s monthly polystyrene foam collection event. Kirkland residency is required - bring ID. Please visit our website to view the Styrofest flyer, which explains what materials are accepted and what materials are not. 

For more information on recycling, please visit:

Corridor volunteers

Help remove invasive plants on the Cross Kirkland Corridor!

The Cross Kirkland Corridor at N.E. 68th Street

Monday, April 8, 9 to 11 a.m.

Join other Cross Kirkland Corridor volunteers as they work to remove invasive species from along the corridor! It is recommended that volunteers wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy boots or shoes. The ground may be uneven in places and possibly slippery. Bring leather gloves if you have them! Tools are provided on site. 

Young men and women under the age of 18 need to bring a waiver form signed by a parent. 

Please visit: Cross Kirkland Corridor Volunteer site to sign up!



Recycling Center Tour for Kirkland Residents

Cascade Recycling Center, 14020 NE 190th St. Woodinville

Wednesday, April 10, 6 - 7 p.m. 

Take a special behind-the-scenes tour to see where your recycling goes once it leaves the curb. Please register for this FREE event, which is open to Kirkland residents only. 

Zero waste

Zero Waste Workshop

Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Ave.

Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 - 8 p.m. and Monday, May 6, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

In this free workshop, learn how you can switch from disposable products and produce less waste! Learn tips and tricks to reduce trash and live a healthier and more satisfying life. Registration is required. 


Earth Day volunteer event

Earth Day at Edith Moulton Park

Edith Moulton Park: 108th Ave N.E. & Northeast 137th Place

Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. - 12 noon

Celebrate Earth Day 2019 with the Green Kirkland Partnership and EarthCorps!

Give back to the trees, soil and water by volunteering to help restore the forest at Edith Moulton Park on Earth Day 2019. Volunteers will spend the day saving mature trees from invasive ivy and blackberry, placing water-saving wood-chips and opening new sites for restoration.

Register to volunteer on the EarthCorps Volunteer Registration Site.

All tools, gloves and training provided. No prior experience needed and all ages welcome. For more information about this event, please visit our website at: Volunteer Calendar



Shoreline Master Program update public hearing

Kirkland City Hall, 123 5th Ave. 

Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m. (open house starts at 6)

A public hearing jointly hosted by the Kirkland Planning Commission, the Houghton Community Council and the Department of Ecology takes place 7 p.m., Thursday, April 25, at Kirkland City Hall (123 5th Avenue) in the Council Chamber. An open house will precede the hearing at 6 p.m. to give attendees the opportunity to learn more about the SMP and the proposed amendments. Community members are invited to give public comment at the hearing or submit written comments.

For more information on the Shoreline Master Program update process, please visit our website at: Shoreline Master Program news release.


Repair cafe

Kirkland Repair Café

Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Ave. 

Saturday, April 27, 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Bring your small household items including clothing and we'll work on them! We want to keep stuff out of the landfill, conserve resources and save you money. Free to the public!

You must be present during the repair. Our experienced general "fixers" and sewing fixers will try to repair or mend your items, and can often also give you useful advice. There are no guarantees an item can be fixed, or that attempting to fix it won't break it even more.

Please only bring items small enough to be easily carried in by one person. Do not bring any items that are leaking, dangerous, contain gasoline, or have a strong odor. Clothing and other textiles you bring in for mending should be washed first.

All King County repair events are first-come, first-served, with no appointments or set times. But please contact us in advance if possible to let us know what you plan to bring, so our fixers can be prepared. For specialized repairs (which many are), please bring any specific parts or materials needed for your repair.

To ask about your repair, or if you have questions about this event or any King County repair events, contact Tom Watson by email or at 206-477-4481, or post a comment or question on the Facebook event page for this Kirkland event. Thanks!


Map Your Neighborhood

Map Your Neighborhood

Fire Station 22

Tuesday, April 30, 7 - 9 p.m. 

Is your neighborhood ready to work together in case of a disaster? If professional first responders are unable to reach everyone who needs assistance, do you have a plan to respond with your neighbors?

Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) teaches you to organize with your neighbors and develop an emergency plan to respond and help each other. This facilitator training will teach you how to host your own MYN session, get to know your neighbors, and make a community plan tailored to your neighborhood.

The class is free, but registration is required. Sign up online at:

For more information email or call (425) 587-3691