Growing A Concept

Gardener holding wooden seedling tray in vegetable garden, with plants for cutting garden and vegetable patch (zinnia and pea).

The concept for Grow Community began with a question:  If you could imagine the ideal place to live, what would it be like?  We began to answer this question as we talked with friends and colleagues.  But the idea for Grow really took shape when we reached out to the wider community and challenged people to think about how a neighborhood could be intentionally designed to improve their quality of life.

Over the last two years we have created a vision of a neighborhood where people of all generations and a diversity of economic means can live mindful of their impact on the planet.   An intentional community where environmental, economic and social sustainability are equally valued and where all people can focus on creating abundance, in their relationships to others, to nature and to the community.

This vision is only just the beginning.  We have designed a site plan for the first phase of the community and built three model homes to invite people to learn about the project, about the community concept and the sustainability goals that we have adopted through the One Planet Living program.  These homes are prototypes, representing the various living opportunities that we plan to build throughout the project.  We encourage you to stop by, walk through the community garden, experience the homes and tell us what you think.

Over the last three weeks we have had more than 850 visitors and we have learned an incredible amount of information, about the homes, the community design, the community programs.  We are already incorporating this feedback in to the final house designs and will continue to improve the plans as we learn more from our visitors.

We are now getting ready to launch the next planning phase to create the Community Center and the other spaces that might be associated with it, including non-profit cultural and educational uses, a large open space and community garden.

We have only just begun, and the one thing that we are certain of is that this community will grow and evolve along with the people who contribute to it.   Our vision, our plans, our designs are just the seed.  We are looking forward to seeing what it grows into.  Whether you are a friend, neighbor, visitor or potential resident, we hope you will join us in shaping this community.

 

Now Taking Reservations.

We are now taking reservations on homes in the first 3 phases. We are also taking back-up reservations, and creating a wait-list for rentals and homes in later phases. Regardless of your timeline If you are interested in living at Grow we encourage you to schedule an appointment soon.  Please contact our Sales/Leasing Director, Joie Olsen at 206.452.6755.

Model Home Tour Schedule.

Our Model Homes will be open for tours on the weekends through September from 1-4pm (with extended hours for Labor Day weekend 10am-4pm) and by appointment. Contact us 206.452.6755 to schedule an appointment.

Grow Community Sustainability Tours.

Interested in a sustainability tour? Join us Thursday afternoons at 4pm for a sustainability tour with our Architect, Jonathan Davis (Davis Studio Architecture and Design) or a member of our development team. We can walk you through all of the sustainability features incorporated into the designs of the homes and the community at Grow. Please RSVP here or call 206.452.6755 to schedule this tour.

Share Your Thoughts With Us.

Already toured our Model Homes? Would you like to share your thoughts? We would appreciate your feedback. We have only just begun, with an expectation that this community will grow and evolve along with the people who contribute to it. Our vision, our plans, our designs are not yet complete. Whether you are a friend, neighbor or resident, we hope you will join us in shaping this community. Please share your thoughts, reactions, ideas about the home designs, the community, anything really.

5 Minute Lifestyle; Sustainable Transportation Options For Residents At Grow Community

[The following is part of our Five Minute Lifestyle series. Living at Grow Community makes getting out your car easy with all of your local amenities and transportation needs met within a quick 5 minute walk or bike ride away. Our Five Minute Lifestyle posts are dedicated to spotlighting nearby local businesses, transportation options for residents, community resources and the spectacular local attractions of Bainbridge Island and our surrounding community.]

Building a healthy community takes more than just building energy efficient homes. Solar panels on your home and energy efficient appliances are a great start, but it’s only the beginning. There’s a much deeper story to be told.  Whole communities are built on the understanding that sustainability is defined not only by physical impacts to our environment, but also by the experience of support, equity and connection for the community’s members.  One Planet communities address all aspects of sustainability, from the ecological to the economic and cultural impacts, with social well being and quality of life as a foundation of the concept.

One of the principles behind Grow Community’s One Planet sustainable development model is reducing carbon from transportation. With this principle in mind, we set out to provide several sustainable transportation options for residents of Grow Community to make it easier to live without a car, or with only one family vehicle. Grow Community is a 5 – 10 minute walk (or leisurely bike ride) from downtown Winslow and the ferry to Seattle and the location of the development was carefully chosen to support a lifestyle that isn’t dependent on a vehicle. All of your in-town amenities and transportation needs are close by, and, if you work in downtown Seattle, commuting is easy from Grow.

[Related: 5 Minute Lifestyle; Five Local Food Havens Minutes From Grow Community]

We know that residents will still need a vehicle on occasion, and there is room for each resident to have their own car. But what if you would prefer not to own a car, or need a second car only once in a while? That is when Grow Community’s car-sharing program for residents comes into play. For a small monthly fee residents can opt-in to our Nissan LEAF car-sharing program and book our electric car for trips around town or into Seattle. The car is charged by it’s own dedicated solar panel array and is a 100% emissions free transportation option for Grow Community residents.  If interest is high, we will add a number of cars to the car share program, making this a choice that residents can depend on.

For the more casual outings, we have community bikes available for our residents. We are providing the bikes as a healthy option to easily get around Bainbridge Island, and we are hoping the bikes will help people explore the community. The bikes, made by Public Bikes, have already been popular with our own project team—a great way to get around town.

By providing a number of different options for Grow residents to choose low-carbon transportation options, we hope to reduce our overall carbon footprint, create healthy options for getting around town, and demonstrate how sustainable transportation choices can be easy on the pocketbook.

Scroll down to check out some pictures of our new Nissan LEAF and community bikes! 

 

 In the picture above you can see Grow Community’s new LEAF with it’s EV Station (on the right) and the solar array which is charging the station (the structure just to the left and behind the vehicle). In the background you can see our three solar powered model homes, now open for public tours. From left to right: The Aria, Ocean and EverettRead more

One Planet Principles; Grow Community’s First Community Garden

[The following is a guest post by Lauren Haire, Project Manager at Grow Community. Aside from being a wizard with numbers and graduate of local sustainable-design university, BGI, Lauren enjoys working on Grow Community’s community garden space and has been a leader in planning the community features being built at Grow Community. She also shoots a mean game of hoops.]

Urban agriculture.  City farming.  Community gardening.   Whatever you prefer to call it, growing your own food has become increasingly popular.  In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to live in a region where several organizations have paved the way for others to follow.  A great example is AlleyCat Acres in Seattle, who created their first garden on donated land in Beacon Hill.  The effort brought together volunteers to build the garden, and over the last few years they have helped harvest over 1,600 pounds of produce, much of which is donated to local food banks.  AlleyCat now has sites in the Central District and at MLK and Cherry.

Another great organization is The World in a Garden in Vancouver, BC.  This program has built partnerships with schools, restaurants and Farmer’s Markets to create an educational program that attempts to cross cultural barriers with food.  The garden has successfully built sustainable revenue streams through workshops, garden tours, sales of produce and garden products (honey, plants, etc).

At Grow Community, we have a vision of creating our own sustainable agriculture program right in the center of Bainbridge Island.   We have designed multiple community garden spaces that will allow residents to grow their own food, grow food for others, build connections with their neighbors and be part of the Grow Community Garden Program. Read more

Save The Date! Model Home Tours Begin at Grow Community; But You Can Get a Sneak Peek

On Friday, August  10th, public tours of model homes begin at Grow Community. Join us! 

The wait is over. Grow Community will begin public tours on Friday, August 10th. This project has been designed, with the help of community volunteers and sustainability experts, as an intentional urban community meeting the 10 Sustainability Principles of the One Planet Living framework. We want to thank everyone who has been involved in the project and who has helped us reach this point, and we invite all of you to schedule an appointment to visit our three model homes. 

Read more

5 Minute Lifestyle; 5 Local Food Havens Minutes From Grow Community

[The following is the first in our Five Minute Lifestyle series. Living at Grow Community makes getting rid of your car easy with all of your local amenities and transportation needs met within a quick 5 minute walk or bike ride away. Our Five Minute Lifestyle posts are dedicated to spotlighting nearby local businesses, community resources and the spectacular local attractions of Bainbridge Island and our surrounding community.]

Eating fresh and local on Bainbridge Island is as simple as stepping out your front door and taking a five minute walk to Downtown Bainbridge. Grow Community is uniquely situated for its future residents to enjoy the bounty of this beautiful islands local farms. We are a quick walk (or bike ride) away from restaurants which feature farm-to-table fare, the local grocery store which has deep ties to local Bainbridge farms and the local farmers market. Whether you’re looking to bring home the fixings for a local food feast, go out on the town or chat with the local farmers, you can be sure that your evenings meal supports the local economy and has made its way to your table from a farm only a few miles away. Read on for our selection of some of our favorite local food havens all within a 5 – 10 minute walk from Grow Community.

[Related: One Planet Principles; Supporting Community With Local Food]

1. Bainbridge Farmers Market.  Bainbridge locals gather at the Farmers Market every Saturday. Open 9 – 1PM, the farmers market is less than a 3rd of a mile from Grow Community. You will find here every local food need that your evening salad calls for and meet the local farmers that make it possible to eat healthy and local on Bainbridge Island. Location: Town Square at City Hall Park.

Read more

One Planet Principles; supporting community with local food

[The following is a guest blog post by Greg Lotakis, Project Manager at the Grow Community construction site. Construction prowess aside, Greg has been an important proponent of implementing the One Planet Communities development framework at the site, and has carefully thought about how to take One Planet Principles and turn them into a reality in Grow Community’s built environment.]

I went running a few days ago on one of Bainbridge’s waterfront trails. Between taking in the scenery on a beautiful afternoon and watching my feet so as not to fall on my face, some little details jumped out at me and I began to think about local food and agriculture on the island. Read more

First solar panels installed at Grow today, one step closer to a zero-carbon community

The first of many solar panels are being installed today on the model homes! These are the first of thousands of panels that will be installed on the homes, apartment buildings and community buildings at Grow, helping us to create a zero-carbon community, with the goal of making all buildings zero-carbon by 2020. If all goes as planned, this will be the largest residential solar community in Washington State. This means that both homeowners and renters at Grow have the opportunity to reduce their overall annual cost of living by paying little or NO energy bills! Imagine that.

The solar package, supplied by BlueFrog Solar, includes all Washington manufactured components: Itek photovoltaic panels – manufactured just 100 miles from here in Bellingham, Washington; APS Microinverters, also locally manufactured in Poulsbo, Washington, and  racking from Sunmodo Corp. in Vancouver, Washington.

Reporting from the Grow Community, our architect, Jonathan Davis of Davis Studio  Architecture & Design, had this to say:

It wasn’t a blue-sky day, but it made it easier on the installers.  When the micro-inverter was plugged in the lights lit up showing we are making power!! Read more

Pricing at Grow Community to be announced this Thursday, at Grow Drinks

This Thursday, July 12th from 7 to 9 PM, we will be gathering in the Pavilion at OfficeXPats for Grow Drinks—an evening of positive connection, wine, cheese and conversation. We will be sharing pricing at the event, so if you’ve been wondering how much a Grow home will cost, mark the date on your calendar, invite a friend, and get ready to meet the Grow Team and all the other people who are interested in life at the Grow Community. Read more

Come visit the Grow Team at the Bainbridge 4th of July street fair and take home your very own Grow basil plants!

If you’re looking to connect with the Grow Team, why not come visit with us at our 4th of July booth at the street fair in downtown Bainbridge? The Grow Team will be at booth #64 and we’re giving away a basil plant to everyone who stops by! These little guys are starting to sprout and we hope you stop by and claim yours!

Where to find us: Bjune Dr. below the Town & Country.

When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Go here to see a map of all the booth’s during the fair—we’re at #64!

If you’re coming from Seattle, go here for the ferry schedule. Leaving the ferry: Walk up Olympic Drive, take a left on Winslow Way E. and then another left on Bjune Drive. Take your first right to stay on Bjune Drive, and we’ll be right on your left.

Let us know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter if we can expect to see you! We’ll hold a basil plant for you.

Grow Team

Keeping you in the loop: 5 things taking place on Grow Avenue this week

Wondering what’s happening at the construction site on Grow Avenue this week?

A lot has been happening at the Grow Community construction site this week. You may have noticed how quickly the model homes are going up and been wondering what exactly is going on along Grow Avenue. Read on for your weekly digest of Grow Community construction news and let us know in the comments if you have any questions. Read more