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Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese


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Rail Turned Trail


While researching the Burke Gilman Trail (BGT) and its Missing Link, I found the origins of the (t)rail particularly intriguing. Rather than loading readers down with a ton of historical data in the original BGT post, I dedicated a separate post to the history of the multi-use trail.

Rail History

The origins of the Burke Gilman go all the way back to 1885, six years before SPU’s inaugural year. The Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern (SLS&E) Railroad founders: Judge Thomas Burke, Daniel Gilman and ten investors, spearheaded an effort to get Seattle on the map as a major center for transportation and trade.  Continue reading

Connecting the Missing Link


This summer I’ve enjoyed running on the Burke Gilman Trail (BGT). Some evenings I’ll use the trail to connect my route from SPU to Gasworks Park; other times I’ll run from yoga in Ballard towards Fremont to get back home. Rain or shine, thousands of cyclists and pedestrians frequent the 19.8-mile trail every day. Extending from Bothell to Ballard, the multi-use trail runs alongside various bodies of water including Lake Washington, Lake Union, the Fremont Cut, Salmon Bay, and Shilshole Bay.

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The Burke Gilman trail with various road access and recreational points along the way.

The BGT has been one of the best surprises and most accessible places for me to exercise, although I’ve always felt leery (Leary) about running through the Missing Link. Following those feelings, I decided to do some research on the mile-and-a-half portion and how its completion may affect trail-users at SPU.  Continue reading


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The Commute


Almost half of SPU’s student body commutes to campus. Have you ever wondered how all of that time getting to and from campus contributes to overall student wellness and SPU’s environmental footprint? Over the last few months, we’ve collected a bit of data to find out.

In terms of happiness, studies connect commuting to lower rates of well-being, physical exercise, political activity, and life satisfaction as well as higher levels of emotional and relational stress. At the same time, some studies have found that the happiest commuters are those who walk, cycle, or take the train to work. In addition to increasing happiness, fewer greenhouse gas emissions are emitted into the environment by commuters who are able to take advantage of these options. If you’re a commuter unable to walk or cycle, consider carpooling or taking public transportation even a few times throughout the year to decrease your eco-footprint – every bit helps. Additionally, be sure to check out the resources offered by SPU’s wellness initiative! 

As far as environmental footprint goes, commuting mileage has a bigger institutional impact than one might think. In 2011, faculty and staff commuting made up 6% and student commuting accounted for 23% of our total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.  To continue our efforts in effectively measuring and lowering SPU’s GHG emissions, we conduct an annual Student Commute Survey. Continue reading


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Inexpensive and good for you -10 ideas for 10 dollars or less for your Friday night


In Seattle many of the students at SPU have a hard time finding fun activities to do that won’t break the bank. Seattle has exponential opportunities to try something new, but it might cost you a pretty penny. Here are some ideas for students (or people on a budget) for Friday nights.

1) Board games at a local game store (Free + bus fare and snacks) This activity can be totally free! For SPU students Blue Highway is a walk up the 3rd Ave. hill to upper Queen Anne. If the weather isn’t ideal, the 13 also goes up the hill and stops just two blocks away from this fun game store on the corner of Boston Ave. and Queen Anne. The staff is really helpful at teaching you a new game if you need help, and sometimes they even have fun events in their store. It’s also a great place to try before you buy, and then invest in a favorite game once you have a little extra cash. Their Friday hours are 10 am to 11 pm. Playing board games is a great way to connect with people and exercise your brain. This location isn’t the only one though; there’s another game store in Ballard as well.

2) Visit a park and play Frisbee (Free if you own a Frisbee)

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The view from Bhy Kracke Park. Photo credit: SeattleStairwayWalks.com.

Seattle has so many gorgeous parks, and I’m certain other cities and towns have parks with spacious lawns for Frisbee. Getting out and running around a bit can be really fun, no matter how uncoordinated you may be. For Seattlites and other pacific northwesters it can get dark pretty early in the evening, so checking out options for a glow in the dark disc is a must, finding an affordable one isn’t too difficult, just stay away from specialty ones, or the lit ones that require batteries. A few of my suggestions for parks are Discovery park in Magnolia or Bhy Kracke park in Upper Queen Anne. I caution the klutzy though, because Bhy Kracke is on a steep hill and you could easily lose your disc down the hill. Both parks close at 11:30 pm (sunshine and shoes are optional). Continue reading


Taking a Bike?


That’s right, now in Seattle you don’t have to take a hike (unless of course you want to). Instead you can take a bike with the new  Seattle bike share program, operated by the non-profit Pronto Cycle Share. This program launched in October and was such a hit that it is expanding. Deciding where more of the solar powered bike share stations will go is up to the general public. That includes you, so vote here!

The bike share program encourages Continue reading


Pretty Cool Thing: Seattle Greenways


wallDid you know about Seattle Neighborhood Greenways? These are streets on which pedestrians and bicyclists are given the priority, using an array of small alterations that make a big difference. Pavement markings alert drivers to be extra watchful. Clearer crossings with curb ramps make crossing the street safer and easier, larger lanes for bicyclists make biking in the city a less stressful experience, and frequent speed bumps reduce the speed of passing cars. Greenways have further pavement markings as well as signage geared towards those going places without a car, telling them what’s around the immediate area. Continue reading


Reasons to Continue Biking to Work


tumblr_mn4lme6F2z1s0c08no1_500As Bike to Work Month ends, we’d like to congratulation every one who participated and biked to work in May! Whether you biked every day, or just tried it once, your contribution is appreciated.

But now that the month is almost up, we want to encourage you new bikers to keep commuting. Though we’ve covered a lot of reasons why biking is awesome, here are just a few last-minute notes to inspire Monday’s commute: Continue reading