It’s all about kids at the Grow Community! We want to make sure our children have the best quality of life possible at Grow, and this section is devoted to anything kiddo related taking place in our community.
Our bountiful neighborhood gardens get all the press, but there’s still plenty going on during these chilly indoor months.
YULE FEST: Over the holidays one Grow resident hosted a Weihnacht Evening, a German-themed Christmas get-together with tasty hot mulled wine (and NA cider, for those who don’t imbibe), homemade cookies and spicy bread.
FETE ’15: Across the way, residents of the new Cooper building threw a neighborhood-wide New Year’s Eve party, a get-acquainted social to introduce Grow’s most recent residents.
BARGAINS & BINS: Our eco-conscious ethos served us well through the holidays, as residents made sure unneeded items found their way to the nearby Bargain Boutique thrift store, and leftover packaging wound up in the appropriate recycling bin.
STAYING SAFE: Grow’s Emergency Preparedness Training got underway with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, with the goal of “Building and Strengthening Disaster Readiness Among Neighbors.” Emphasis was on “mapping” the neighborhood to know our neighborhood resources and identify residents who might be vulnerable in an emergency. Grow is all about being a self-sustaining community.
PEDALS READY: The new bike barn was finished – and promptly filled up with two-wheeled wonders. One resident donated a small children’s bike community use, for any young visitors who want to get to know Grow by pedaling around the green.
GETTING ON BOARD: For strategically minded gamers, a new neighborhood Chess Group is forming.
Oh — and the 2015 Garden Committee is now looking for new members to plan for the upcoming planting season. You didn’t think we could get through a whole post without mentioning the gardens, did you?
Grow Community’s first phase, the Village, is at full occupancy, so we’re making more room just for … you. Find out what our next two neighborhoods, the Grove and the Park, have to offer by visiting our sales office at 180 Olympic Drive in Winslow, just up the way from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal.
Learn more about the Grove on our website here and pay us a visit! We’d like you as a neighbor too.
Your closest neighbor at Grow Community? The environment. Healthy, sustainable living has never been more convenient.
Grow puts you close to your community – and closer still to the great outdoors. Residents of the Grove enjoy the quiet company of woodland trees and an orchard right outside their doors; homes in the Park flank the sprawling central green that gives the neighborhood its name.
Altogether, sixty percent of these neighborhoods are dedicated to peaceful and natural open spaces. Parking is underground, reducing impervious surfaces and putting cars out of sight (where they belong).
Not that you’ll really need a car. We’ve got bikes you can borrow, too.
Even as we slip into a lovely high autumn, we can still take a fond look back to Grow Community’s summer garden party.
Residents of the Village celebrated the rich greenery and edible bounty found throughout the neighborhood with a festive and tasty afternoon get-together.
Flowers in glorious bloom. Vegetables ripe and ready. And neighbors who give the Northwest’s greenest community its amity and spirit. Now that was a day worth celebrating.
We’re already looking ahead to next summer!
In our new neighborhoods, the Grove and the Park, sixty percent of the homes offer single-level living with elevator access to front entries, and the community spaces invite interaction and sharing between generations year-round.
And accessibility extends beyond the neighborhood. You’re just 5 minutes from downtown amenities like shops, restaurants and theaters – even ice cream.
If you haven’t visited yet, come find out more about intergenerational living at Grow Community at our sales office, 180 Olympic Drive SE, right next to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. The office is open noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Or see www.growbainbridge.com
Hi my name is GROWmit, I’m a One Planet frog representing the one earth we all share, and I live at Grow Community. I was painted by local artist Pierr Mogan and I’m part of the ‘Frogs on the Rock‘ community art project here on Bainbridge Island.
Did you know frogs like me are what scientists call an indicator species: we are particularly sensitive to changes in our environment. Toxic chemicals in the water and small changes in climate can make us very unhealthy. Many of us are disappearing because our homes have been polluted or because our habitat is getting warmer.
What if frogs didn’t have unlimited clean water and air? What if WE didn’t have unlimited clean water and air? What if there were just ONE planet for all of us to share?
The One Planet Living® program at Grow Community envisions a world in which it is easy, attractive, and affordable for all of us to lead happy, healthy lives with fewer of the earth’s resources.
If you live with me at Grow Community, you don’t have to make big sacrifices, learn a bunch of new stuff, or completely turn your life around to live here. But you can live in a way that helps both frogs and people to enjoy healthy habitats.
Come visit me and learn all about the 10 One Planet Principles that provide a framework for building healthy, vital communities.
July 29th 2013, 6-8pm
Bainbridge Performing Arts
Join us to provide feedback on our site plan, home designs and floorplans for the next phase while enjoying some tasty treats and local wines.All are invited. We look forward to seeing you there!
6pm – Arrive and connect with friends and residents of Grow Community. Learn whats coming next.
6.30pm – Grow team member and sustainability expert, Greg Lotakis will discuss One Planet Living.
6.45pm – Local, internationally acclaimed, Architect and the newest member of the Grow Team, Jim Cutler, will present our new concept in the context of livable communities.
7.15pm – Connect and provide feedback on home designs, floor plans and the community concept as a whole.
The concept for Grow Community has always been based on an intergenerational community. We imagine a neighborhood where families, young children, singles, retired couples, and elders all live in homes that suit their needs. But not only that, the community, in it’s physical and social design is intended to encourage interactions amongst all these residents. We imagine a neighborhood where relationships are formed, spontaneously and intentionally, where young and old play together in the garden, share experiences and care for each other.
To explore what this type of community might look like, we held a workshop last month. In our workshop we asked folks to ‘backcast’ – imagining that they were living at Grow already and they sent a postcard to a loved one about the community. Here is what they wrote.
Ani – you will love my new house/life in Grow. We have soup night every month and I am a driver volunteer taking people to the ferry, store, etc. in the community electric car. I babysit for a 6 and 8 year after school they live 2 houses down – so much to do in the neighborhood. I lead a writing group at our converted “Grow House” every week. I’m gardening and eat what I grow – finally. Still live a walkable life like I used to, but best is my carbon footprint is about zero. Yay! Mama
Dear Racheal, Can’t wait to have you visit when we move to our new community in Winslow (growbainbridge.org). You will really appreciate the very ecological building and the intentional community aspects. Love Kate PS – Check out the One Planet Principles – you would love it.
Dear Gabby, We’re looking forward to your visit with Ava (still our only beloved granddaughter). Ava will meet other kids her age, and we can all spend some time working in the garden. The families in our immediate neighborhood will come together for a potluck during your visit, so we’ll be cooking together. There’s usually some music and dancing before the evening is over. Cheers, Dad
Wow – I’m finally settled into my new home at Grow Community. Never thought I’d move again – and here I feel a lot more community support as I got older. I like being with a mixture of ages and family types – and not just people my own age or older. Happily, there are quiet places where kids don’t hang out. And my space is very quiet, which is lovely. Come visit – I have a guest room!
Dear Lisa, I can’t wait for you to come visit pops and me at Grow Community. We’ll celebrate your birthday in our community room, pick tomatoes in the garden, listen for frogs in the pond, walk to town for a cookie, then take the gerry to Seattle and ride the wheel. We’ll read books together in our cozy apartment and we’ll check out bikes to ride from our shared bike barn. Lots to do together. Love Mama B
We are constantly using words like inclusivity, walkability, visitability and (of course) sustainability in our conversations about how we design, build, and create opportunity for community to take hold in a place. Considering all these words and all our hopes and dreams to incorporate in one place can be quite a challenge… and one we are thankful to be undertaking. This is made easier with ideas from our community.
The next buildings we construct will be designed to take this intergenerational concept to the next level. The beginning of an idea has taken shape as we’ve listened to your feedback. A building based on Universal Design principles, with one-level flats, accessible spaces, comfortable spaces, spaces designed for people of all ages.
Couldn’t make the workshop, but have some ideas to share? Please share your thoughts by clicking the comments link above. No idea is a bad idea! We look forward to hearing from you.
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.
By our Health and Happiness Champion, Leslie Schneider
As a 12-year-old, I remember well the territory I was comfortable exploring on my bike with friends and siblings. We could ride on a dirt path from the residential road through an empty lot to the usually vacant parking lot behind Safeway. The empty lot had little hills that helped us hone our bike handling skills. And the Safeway store offered us refunds for empty bottles and plenty of ways to spend the new cash.
These days, as parents we put a lot of money and time into taking care of our kids. Different families make different choices, but the community we live in makes many choices for us too. During the week we drive our kids from one activity to another, and then on weekends we drive to big box stores to provision ourselves for the coming week. These rituals can be fun… come on, admit it, Costco has us nailed, offering free samples of prepared food sold in volume, cheap pizza or a cone at the checkout. But it is not a kid’s world. We don’t feel safe letting our children run around by themselves as we shop.
Going somewhere and buying something… that is what grown-ups do. So isn’t it the Holy Grail of freedom for a kid to be able to get somewhere by themselves and purchase something of high kid-value? How many parents with school-aged children in your neighborhood would think it safe to send their kids to the grocery store alone? Architect Ross Chapin is an advocate of small scale communities. In his book “Pocket Neighborhoods”, Chapin describes what he calls the “Popsicle Index” – the percentage of people who think it is safe to let their kid walk to a store and buy a Popsicle without adult supervision.
On Bainbridge Island, we are lucky to have Mora’s Ice Cream, surely a part of many families’ ritual outings long before a kid has much independence. So. If you lived within walking distance from Mora’s in downtown Winslow, would you let your daughter walk there by herself to buy a treat?
To reach that Holy Grail safely, a child needs to start much earlier in life with smaller circles of independence, or safety zones that expand with the age and confidence of the child. A safe base creates independence. The Grow Community is designed so that no one ever crosses a street while inside the community. Courtyards between homes are the protected close-in zones, with opportunity to meet the neighbors as the first integration into the larger community. Living in this community, a child will graduate to playing alone at the community center, with helpful eyes watching out for the unexpected. It takes a community to keep an independent child safe, to contribute to raising independent children.
When children graduate to the outer circles of the community, there are many options for walking and biking—to get to two nearby elementary schools, Ordway and Odyssey, the two Island middle schools, Sakai and Woodward, and the high schools, Bainbridge and Eagle Harbor. The library and a park is even closer. The Farmer’s Market is practically across the street. Hmmm. Maybe this smaller world helps us stay out of our cars and gives our kids the autonomy they crave a little earlier!
Leslie Schneider is a marketing and communications specialist with a history of building community. Leslie has worked with both start-ups and software giants offering messaging, marketing collateral, and training development. She is also a founding member and ‘graduate’ of cohousing, having developed and then lived in Jackson Place Cohousing (near downtown Seattle) for eight years. She served on the cohousing development LLC managing board for five years and was the owner’s representative for the 27-unit condominium construction. You can find her at Office Xpats, a co-working and conference center based on Bainbridge Island.
ABOUT GROW COMMUNITY
Grow Community is an urban Net Zero neighborhood on Bainbridge Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. With beautifully designed solar-powered homes, shared community gardens and clean transportation options, Grow allows all generations to enjoy a high-quality and healthy lifestyle.