Groundbreaking for Kirkland Shelter, City Honors Volunteers, Tree Code Update, and MORE!

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this week in kirkland

April 11, 2018

city of kirkland washington

City and Partners Break Ground on Kirkland Shelter for Women and Families

On Wednesday, April 10, City leaders joined community partners at a groundbreaking for the new permanent Kirkland Shelter, for women and for families. This project will provide welcoming shelter and focused services for people experiencing homelessness.  This partnership of faith communities, non-profit shelter and housing providers, and local, county and state government will help those in desperate need in our community.

The Kirkland Shelter will be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and will offer: 

  • Singular cubicles for single women in a communal space and private spaces for families.
  • Housing and supportive case management services to keep our guests well, safe, and supported as they work to rebuild their lives and re-establish their housing.
  • Facilities to shower and do laundry as well as access to nutritious food.
  • On-site medical and behavioral health services offered by expert providers.
  • Volunteers will bring food, companionship and restorative resources for guests.
  • Food, companionship and restorative resources provided by volunteers.

In 2016, the City of Kirkland convened a group of stakeholders to discuss and plan for a permanent facility to serve adult women and families with children experiencing homelessness. According to the 2018 Count Us In Report, over 12,000 people are experiencing homelessness in King County. Over half of those people are unsheltered on any given night. And on the Eastside alone, over 800 school aged children are experiencing homelessness.

There is not yet enough shelter space to bring inside the many families and women who are outside. The current system means that women and families must move each day from shelter to day center and back again, without the stability of a fixed place to store their belongings and have a base from which to address their homelessness.

The City of Kirkland has joined the following partners in this collaborative effort:

The Sophia Way is committed to helping ending homelessness for single adult women in King County by providing shelter, social services, and permanent housing with support, offering a path from homelessness to stable and sustainable living.

New Bethlehem Project is a program of Catholic Community Services/Catholic Housing Services and was founded by members of Holy Family Parish (Kirkland), St. Louise Parish (Bellevue), and Salt House Church to help provide services to families experiencing homelessness on the Eastside. The New Bethlehem Day Center opened in November 2016, hosted in the Salt House Church facility.  

Holy Spirit Lutheran Church and Salt House Church and the City of Kirkland entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to secure a Kirkland site for the shelter in 2017, with the City of Kirkland purchasing the property and leasing it to Catholic Community Services in 2018. Salt House Church will continue to partner with their new neighbors at the shelter to serve the community.

Capital funding for the Kirkland Shelter is coming from:

City of Kirkland:  Committed $1,150,000

King County:  Anticipated to provide $2,500,000

Washington State: $2,350,000

ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing):  $504,406

East King County CDBG are contributing $894,000

Private donors from the community, particularly Holy Family Church in Kirkland, St. Louise Church in Bellevue, and The Sophia Way donors, have contributed over $2,100,000 to date.   They will also be significant funders of operations for the shelter programs.  


Pictured Left to Right: Former State Representative Joan McBride, Councilmember Kelli Curtis, Councilmember Tom Neir, Human Services Supervisor Leslie Miller, Mayor Penny Sweet, Councilmember Toby Nixon, Deputy City Manager Tracey Dunlap, City Manager Kurt Triplett, Councilmember Dave Asher, Neighborhood Services Coordinator David Wolbrecht. Image courtesy of Michele Ahearn.

City Honors Volunteers, Neighborhood Leaders, and Boards and Commissions

It was a gala affair featuring Academy Award-worthy featurettes, a Broadway-style performance and endless gratitude for the hard-working community members who make Kirkland a better play to live, work and play.  

Held on Tuesday, April 9, at the Kirkland Performing Arts Center, the City’s Community Engagement Appreciation Celebration was a veritable showcase of Kirkland’s extraordinary level of civic engagement. Mayor Penny Sweet, members of the Kirkland City Council and City staff took the time to honor, praise and recognize the City’s hard-working volunteers, along with the dedicated members of the City’s various boards, commissions and neighborhood associations.

2019 marked the first year all have been honored together, resulting in a true celebration of those who serve the Kirkland community with grace, devotion and tireless consistency. 

In the spirit of National Volunteer Month, we are taking the opportunity to present some exciting insight into the ways our community members serve the Kirkland community. This week we are highlighting our volunteer program – check out our video for more details about this rewarding work!

volunteer program video

Tree Code Update: The Importance of Preservation


In our last article we explored how specific changes to Kirkland’s tree code can address some emerging issues we've discovered through our monitoring efforts. This article discusses the importance of preserving mature trees.

Nearly 40 years of scientific studies tell us that trees make cities healthier places to live. Trees improve air and water quality, provide energy savings, regulate temperatures, mitigate flooding and buffer noise. Shoppers will spend 9-12% more in retail settings having a quality urban forest. The presence of larger trees in yards and on the street can add 3-15% to home values. Trees add value to our lives in a multitude of ways. We mentioned in a previous article that Kirkland has a city-wide 40% tree canopy cover goal.

One way to reach canopy cover goals is with tree planting initiatives that strive to plant a large number of trees by a certain date. Although tree planting efforts are very worthwhile, research indicates the majority of urban tree canopy cover is not the result of human planting.1 Newly-planted trees much reach a certain height before they begin contributing any benefits.2 Within the context of an existing urban forest a few hundred, or even a million planted trees, do not automatically translate into an increase in the overall tree population3 and the odds are stacked against a young tree “replacing” a mature one.4

Our field studies showed that Kirkland is doing a great job replanting trees after land has been developed. However, preserving existing trees might be the best method of maximizing tree benefits.5 This brings us to an important question: when considering the benefits of trees, wouldn’t our time and energy be better spent preserving the mature trees we already have?6

The next public meeting on Kirkland’s tree code includes a quick update at the April 25 Planning Commission meeting, then a more in-depth review of proposed tree codes at the May 9 Planning Commission meeting.

1“Changing Urban Tree Canopy Cover,” November 15, 2018 webinar, archived at, jump to 1:30 - 5 minutes.

2David Nowak, Eric J. Greenfield, “Declining urban and community tree cover in the United States,” Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 32 (2018) 32-55.

3How Many Trees are Enough? Tree Death and the Urban Canopy. Scenario Journal 2014.

4Max Piana & Blake Troxel, “Beyond Planting: an Urban Forestry Primer,” Scenario Journal Spring 2014.

5Leda Morritz, “A Million Trees? Only if We Can Keep Them Around,” Next City, 1/18/2012.

6Ellyn Shea, “Running to Stand Still: Predicting Benefits for Replacement Tree Plantings,”, October 23, 2017.

The Waste Hierarchy

As part of our commitment to Earth Month, we will be providing a series of articles focused on how we can collectively reduce our impact on the planet. Today we're focusing on the waste hierarchy. 

The waste hierarchy prioritizes how we should handle our waste - preventing and reducing waste is the best choice, and throwing things away is the worst environmental choice.

Although recycling items instead of throwing them away allows the material to be turned into something else, recycling everything shouldn't be the end goal. Reducing the amount of waste we produce overall – whether trash, recycling, or compost – will make the most impact for the planet.

The best way to reduce waste is by preventing it in the first place. This can be accomplished by choosing long-lasting products, skipping a purchase altogether, or by extending the life of your possessions.

What you choose to buy directly influences the waste you produce. Many products designed for our convenience are disposed after a single-use. These single-use products can be avoided with a bit of preparation. Even if a single-use package or product is recyclable, it’s better to avoid the single-use item if possible. Instead of getting your coffee in a paper to-go cup, bring a durable mug to the coffee shop for your morning fix. Instead of buying single-serving snack packs, get a larger box and pack crackers into reusable snack bags yourself. Instead of wiping up spills with a paper towel, keep a few microfiber cloths on hand. It’s up to you to decide whether the convenience of single-use products is worth their impact on the planet. You might decide that some products are worth the waste they produce, while others are not.

When you buy used items you avoid the need for a new item to be made, thereby saving the raw materials, energy and water that would have been used to manufacture it. Reusing an item saves about 20 times as much energy as recycling it, according to Waste Management.

When you’re finished with items that are still usable, like a working cell phone or TV, instead of recycling them, try to sell, donate, or gift them to neighbors using local sharing groups. The next time something breaks, see if you can repair it instead of replacing it. And consider buying reused items, like refurbished electronics, vintage furniture, consignment clothing, or thrifted serveware, to let these items get used longer.

Waste hierarchy

Removing Noxious Weeds on CKC

King County Noxious Weeds and members of the Kirkland Grounds crew will be spot treating Poison Hemlock and Tansy Ragwort on the Cross Kirkland Corridor the week of April 15, pending weather. The City is required by state law to control these invasive, noxious weeds. Crews will be hand pulling weeds on the trail itself. Signs will alert the public when spraying is occurring. 

If you come across Poison Hemlock or Tansy Wagwort, please report locations with the mobile app King County Connect or through the County’s online Report-a-Weed form. 

poison hemlock and tansy ragwort

Upcoming Events

Ultimate Frisbee

City of Kirkland presents its adult Ultimate Frisbee league starting this summer! Whether you’re an Ultimate Frisbee expert or a beginner, this Ultimate Frisbee league is for you! Develop your Frisbee throws and learn the Spirit of the Game during our 7-week league. For those that don’t know, this non-contact sport is played with a disc, and points are scored when a team catches the flying object in its opponent’s end zone. It incorporates the quick motion of basketball, the cutting of football, and the endurance of soccer. Games are self-officiated and our Ultimate Frisbee rules will be used in conjunction with current USA Ultimate Frisbee rules.  The league starts June 18th-August 1st and games will be scheduled between 5:45-8:30pm at Spinney Homestead Park. We will be hosting an Open Division this year for teams of any skill-level and gender. When you sign up, your team will receive a standard Ultimate Frisbee Disc to keep and cones for game setup. Sign up today at You can also call 425.587.3350 to ask questions or get signed up.

Limited space is available so sign up early to reserve a spot!

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. 


Edith Moulton



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

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.