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An informational sign is awesome, but the Center for Wooden Boats is about much more than that. On top of the vessels at the Center for Wooden Boats, there are also much larger ships on display next door at the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Museum (it’s practically connected to the Center for Wooden Boats). We suggest taking the time to check out the Center for Wooden Boats and the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Museum. TweetA little over a week ago, we hosted our first annual Customer Summit, bringing together a select group of leaders from utilities and energy efficiency organizations throughout the United States. And of course, we left a bit of room for fun with dinner at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union. Scott Pigg: Bringing evaluation in-house and getting involved with the process saves programs money and time and fixes several of the issues that arise from evaluators and program administrators “speaking different languages”. Amanda Carrico: Energy rebate amounts do matter, but non-price factors in program design and execution matter more. Given that attendees had traveled from all over the country to join us, we wanted to know what they were hoping to learn. The range of programs available for consumers from utilities, governmental and other organizations can be confusing, and therefore a barrier for participants and other stakeholders.
Barriers to scaling up non-lighting programs, and ultimately creating long-term success, include participant recruitment and a lack of consistent program standards. Along with challenges, we also discussed possible solutions from cross-marketing by programs to reduced paperwork for contractors and participants.
The dramatic transformation of a large tank farm to a public park and the unique and sustainable design features caught the jury’s attention. In other words, not denying the industrial past but rather featuring it and reemploying various components, while at the same time creating a striking new public realm on one of Sydney harbour’s most prominent headlands.
The emphasis on sustainability includes managing all stormwater runoff so that it is filtered through planted areas and cleaned before entering the harbor.
The Ballast Point Park came about as a result of citizen action that successfully blocked development of the site for residential use. Entrants: California State Coastal Conservancy, Oakland, and AECOM Design + Planning, San Francisco, both California. The jury thought this a very special project, recognizing that its location on the banks of the Connecticut River is subject to floods and adopting a design that can handle same. The jury felt this was an amazing, artful transformation of a former garbage dump, where the secret is the minimal intervention into the landscape. What has been accomplished here is an expansion of a small river trail into an 8.5-kilometer ice trail – expanding public access onto the river! The person recognized here is part of Missouri River Relief, a volunteer, grassroots organization dedicated to river clean ups and education. The non-profit San Diego River Foundation, founded in 2001, is recognized for its stewardship of the San Diego River Watershed in general and its core volunteer action group in particular, the Health River Healthy Communities program. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were boathouses (also known as liveries) all over Seattle.
Located in Lake Union Park (1010 Valley Street), the museum (which is free to the public — although a donation is suggested) is home to more than 170 wooden vessels, which represent a wide variety of hull designs, sailing rigs, construction techniques and more. You can see the historic Fireboat Duwamish (built in 1909), the beautiful steamship Victoria V (built in 1921), the fishing troller Twilight (built in 1933) and many more vintage vessels. Even if you don’t know a lick about boats, the museum is a nice place to spend a sunny day in Seattle.


The two-day Summit was designed around a series of smart discussions on moving the energy efficiency industry towards the future, through software, marketing, program design and evaluation. We heard and traded personal stories about energy efficiency program successes and challenges energy efficiency program administrators face everyday. With the same rebate dollar amounts, programs can have an order of magnitude difference in impact depending on program design. We heard a range including wanting to learn best practices from their peers, to hear how other organizations structure their programs and to see how other programs are embracing EnergySavvy’s software products. Ultimately, the solutions we discussed at the Summit and at the office post-summit will be reflected in the software we build. For instance, the Honor Award in plans for “Shoelace Park” along the Bronx River in New York includes sections on stormwater and floodplain resource management plus vegetation management and restoration.
The reuse of material from the industry such as an old wall that is retained and the idea of taking rubble and recycling it by encasing it in mesh gabions as part of the park were notable. The symbolism of generating power from wind at the site of a former petroleum installation is major.
The onetime grease manufacturing plant on Sydney Harbour is now a 2.8-hectare public space at the entrance to the Parramatta River with stunning views. The overhead reflective canopies under the bridges also impressed, offering both protection and catching light and watery images from the river. They said it was as “design with nature” approach and marveled at the image showing the building, that houses expensive rowing shells, completely surrounded by water.
The coastal protection project recognized here both dealt with the flooding issue and simultaneously changed the entire relationship of Blackpool to the sea. The plan provides design principles and guidance for Shoelace Park and Fort Knox Park, key components of the eight-mile Bronx River Greenway. Their sense was that wooden boat-building was a dying art – heightened by the fact that books on the subject in the library were dated 1890’s. A first initiative of the group was to bring a barge to the area in 2001 for the first major river cleanup. The group conducts surveys to identify problem areas and then devises projects to service them. People could rent boats and take them around area lakes for transportation or entertainment.
Every boat on display at the Center for Wooden Boats has a sign loaded with information, so you can learn all about the historic vessels. Tove and I even had a chance to tour the tugboat Arthur Foss, which is one of the oldest wooden-hulled tugboats in the United States (built in 1889). We didn’t rent a boat when we were there (we will soon though), but many other people were throwing on life vests and getting ready for an awesome day on the lake. These stories will ultimately guide our efforts to develop software to improve experiences for program participants, contractors and administrators. The wall was taken down and replaced with graceful steps fully capable of withstanding storm waters.
The San Francisco Salt Pond Restoration Project is a huge undertaking based in sound science. The jury was impressed that the effort has its foundation in sound science, one of the judging criteria.
But underneath the debris were industrial artifacts, including tools meticulously salvaged and repainted, as well as cranes (preserved) and cobblestones. The red ribbon runs 500 metes and provides at once lighting, seating, environmental interpretation and environmental orientation.


Two hallmarks of this effort were on the one hand, extensive community consultation, all the more important as this river and greenway are in an underserved area.
Meetings followed, boats were assembled, and by 1978 a wooden boat festival was held and the future Center for Wooden Boats was launched.
The group has now hosted 55 such cleanups involving 12,000 volunteers, and has cleaned an astonishing 537 tons of trash over nearly 600 miles of riverfront.
Monthly monitoring and water quality testing is conducted to check the efficacy of the efforts. As technology started to advance, and street cars and public transportation grew, the need for boathouses disappeared, leaving them high and dry. A metal superstructure echoes one of the large storage tanks and incorporates a series of wind turbines. The design reflects a Victorian heritage as Riverside Park was designed in the 1890’s by Frederick Law Olmsted’s sons.
Today, this pioneering and visionary institution with its large volunteer corps serves over 100,000 people annually, without losing its informality or creativity. Vicki Richmond since 2002 has been Middle Reach Program Manager for Missouri River Relief, a not-for-profit organization. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun attractions in the Emerald City! Researchers will learn how best to restore these areas and will apply lessons learned on the ground to future management practices.
Furnishings in the park use found materials, such as perforated metal, metal grilles and heavy timber. Four pavilions are part of the ribbon and there are perennial flower gardens of white, yellow, purple and blue plants that act as a patchwork and help turn the degraded site into an attraction for nearby residents but leaving natural environment intact. Part of the community outreach was establishment of a Youth Design Team that took part in two design charettes, whose outcomes were shared with two subsequent community-wide design charettes. Likewise she has served as an educator for another non-profit, the Little Blue River Watershed Coalition, among her numerous civic activities. As of mid-2010, the San Diego River Park Foundation and its volunteers have removed over one million pounds of trash and debris. Public access along with interpretive panels has been provided so the people will learn from a living laboratory about this remarkable restoration. Riverfront Recapture, the non-profit entity that built the boathouse rents the space and adjacent park area for all sorts of events.
The seawall’s color was picked to exactly match the famed beach here, and native maritime plant species are used on the promenade. Significant is that the territory is owned by IKEA whose large box store is nearby but who will maintain the parkland in public use in perpetuity as a condition of its permit. The new seawall is part of a larger effort at the rejuvenation of Blackpool, whose attractions have become worn and suffer from easy access to overseas resorts.
One of the outcomes was a proposed reduction of a pathway along the river from 40 feet to 17, allowing for plazas, play areas, fitness stations and stormwater treatment plus a bike trail and walkways.



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