In this section you will find information dedicated to the greater community of Bainbridge Island and Seattle. Here we will spotlight fun events and local businesses for our residents.

5 Minute Lifestyle; 5 Minute Neighborhood for Kids

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

How did you feel about your neighborhood as a kid?

Before I was even 11 years old I could walk on my own to the library, or to a couple of stores in my neighborhood to spend my dimes and quarters. When I visited my grandparents in the summer, my cousins and I would walk to the public swimming pool or a community center for day camp classes. These memories define my childhood because I was not dependent on adults driving me there. My world had a connected set of places that I could “own.”

In the 5-minute lifestyle of the One Planet Grow Community, our homes are walking and biking distance from many family-friendly destinations, and they become such a part of our lives that we don’t even have to plan for them.  The Grow Community on Bainbridge Island offers so many activities that will live in our kids’ memories as part of where we live.

Here are a few favorites that are great for a range of ages:

The Farmers Market in Winslow

For almost half the year, the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Town Square is just a block away. Kids experience the color and bounty of fresh local food, the energy of the music, and even a marketplace where kids are the artisans and vendors.  Keep walking through the market, and just around the performing arts center is the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, with fresh displays as well as the longstanding history exhibits. Come home by way of Winslow with occasional visits to the Curious Child for the latest instructional games and toys, and you’ve got a weekly tradition that will live on for years in your kids’ memories.

On any day, a five minute stroll on friendly sidewalks through Winslow gets you and your kids to the playground behind the Town & Country grocery. From there, another 5 minutes on trails through Waterfront Park opens up to the beach. Low tide under the ferry dock is an unbelievable zoo of anemones, at least seven different species of sea stars, and frequent startling spurts from buried clams. A few times each season there are beach naturalists to help identify your finds. Bring rubber boots or water shoes, and don’t forget to buy the makings for dinner at Town & Country (grocery store) on your way back.

Kayaking on the Sound

For the days when weather discourages extended outdoor time, the Bainbridge library is just a five minute walk up the street, and another five minutes lands you at the Aquatics Center for swim lessons or free play in the lazy river or down the 20′ water slide. Diagonally across High School Road from the library and behind the Commodore Options school is the Bainbridge High School Gymnastics Room that hosts many Parks and Recreation classes, including the urban gymnastics for older kids  called Parkour (it’s much safer than jumping between tall buildings).

Five minutes on bikes (or 10 minutes by foot at an adult pace) and you’ll be at the ferry for an excursion to Seattle (and you can lock the bikes in the protected Bike Barn). Or stay on the island for an adventure at the Kids

Biking around the island

Discovery Museum across the street. “KiDiMu”, as it is mostly called, has built a strong following in its new location in Island Gateway, and soon the Bainbridge Art Museum will be another destination in that same campus. On

that same route, kids probably won’t love their appointment at the Virginia Mason clinic, but stop at Mora’s ice cream on your way back and all will be forgiven. In the car-dependent life, we weigh the benefits of a great destination with the costs of our own energy and time getting kids buckled in, travel and traffic, and finally finding parking in the vicinity of the destination. Then there are the real costs of gas and parking and maintenance, but we don’t usually track these carefully, willing to accept an average monthly budget for such necessities. In a car-free 5-minute lifestyle, instead of a hassle, getting there is half the fun!

If you’d like to learn more about the 5 Minute Lifestyle, check out our blog on Sustainable Transportation

Fun at the KiDiMu

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.

Grow Community in the News: JetsonGreen

Net-Zero Energy Homes in Grow Community

By Preston

This is Grow Community near downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island in Washington.  The first three model homes — Ocean, Everett, and Aria — are finished and work is moving forward for the next 24 homes and two 10-unit rowhouse apartments.  The eight-acre project is the first residential One Planet Community in North America (issued by U.K. non-profit BioRegional).  However, in addition to this recognition, the aim is net-zero homes and an entirely net-zero energy community by 2020.

(See Full Article Here)

Grow Community in the News: SMB Nation

Window into the New: Innovative Design Using Technology Shapes Grow Community on Bainbridge Island For Ultra-Cool Sustainable Living

By Tracy Anna Bader

Sustainability is a concept sprouting up everywhere, defining much of what is associated with today’s cutting edge culture. Shedding a stereotype of an idealistic grass-roots environmental movement, today the concept of sustainability is ultra-cool, hip and hot across age and gender groups, a driving force in sales and marketing, taking the lead in shaping modern design and influencing business—using state-of-the-art technology as a foremost ally.

Leading the way in the concept of attractive, affordable, practical solutions for sustainable living in the United States is the new Grow Community on Bainbridge Island, Washington taking root near the heart of the Island’s commercial center in Winslow located only 35 minutes by ferry, directly west across from Seattle in Puget Sound.

As a designer, and University of California Davis Design Department alumni, I am always on the lookout for new trends—especially in environmental design. So, when I stumbled upon Grow Community being built this summer during my initial visit to the Island, I must say, it was love at first sight!  Warm colors and an array of interesting visuals drew my friend and me inside. Other passerby’s stopped in awe, generating a steady stream of pedestrian traffic with a positive vibe of satisfied intrigue…a collective sigh of relief was felt in the air of content excitement to see dreams and concepts actually being turned into a reality we could experience firsthand, and even purchase.

Read article here.

Grow Community on Real Estate Radio Northwest

Grow team members Joie and Greg were interviewed by Nick Neal and Carolyn Frame on Real Estate Radio Northwest, a weekly show dedicated to “providing a forum for consumers to learn the truth of their financial life, which is mostly centered around their biggest investment, the home they live in.” Be sure to listen to the show segments by clicking the links below (give them a few seconds to load) as Greg and Joie talk about Grow Community and the family values, energy consciousness, and community living which the project is centered upon.

Segment 1 First Segment, Grow Community is a new development on Bainbridge Island focusing on building a neighborhood based on good old fashioned family values with energy efficiency and earth conscious living built in. They are accomplishing all of this with beautiful architecture and style. Greg Lotakis on the Project Management Team and Joie Olsen Director of Sales and Leasing joined us to talk about the project. In the first segment we get to know Greg and Joie and find out about the ideas behind GROW and ONE PLANET. (click here to listen to this segment)


Segment 2: In the second segment with Greg and Joie we talk about the philosophy behind the Grow Project and how the people of Bainbridge Island helped share in it’s development. We also find out about One Planet Living and how that is good for our future. (click here to listen to this segment)
Segment 3: In the 3rd segment we talk about the nuts and bolts of the project. What types of homes they are building at Grow Community and the features they will offer. The designs are beautiful to look at and efficient and cost effective to maintain. The idea is a neighborhood community of homes that are affordable to buy and lease as well as affordable to maintain. All of this with a warm neighborhood feeling. (click here to listen to this segment)
Segment 4: In the 4th segment on Grow we talk about the team behind the project and how much fun it will be to live there. It’s close to downtown Winslow and the Seattle Ferry. With a lot of BI within walking distance. Greg and Joie were great and did a wonderful job sharing the project with us. (click here to listen to this segment)

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

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