Transition Whatcom


Transition Southside

We are neighbors living in South Hill, Happy Valley, Fairhaven, South, and Chuckanut Bay.  We are interested in promoting Transition projects in our community, and we support the Center for Local Self Reliance in reaching its goals.

Members: 51
Latest Activity: Apr 14, 2014


Discussion Forum

Bellingham Cohousing rental opportunity!

Started by Kelsie Mullin Jan 6, 2014. 0 Replies

Come share a two bedroom two story home in Bellingham Co-housing, a lovely intentional community for anyone looking to experience a more sustainable and connected lifestyle.…Continue

Small Family Looking for "Home", in South Neighborhoods

Started by Bryan Krueger Aug 26, 2013. 0 Replies

Hi Whatcome Transitioners!We are a family of four, with two little girls (2 yo and 1 mo) and are currently in Spokane. We are heading to resettle in the "better half" of the state ;) very soon and are looking for a wonderful place to live. We would…Continue

room for rent in Southside household

Started by Kristen McLewin Aug 19, 2012. 0 Replies

Looking for the right roomie for our household.  Room available is large (roughly 11x17) with laminate floors and lovely west-facing windows.  Share house with teacher, one kid, and numerous animals (cats, dogs, chickens).  Garden space and future…Continue

Community Space for rent

Started by LAURIE RISKIN Sep 24, 2011. 0 Replies

Did you know that WellSpring Community School, located in the Happy Valley neighborhood on 24th Street, was originally built in 1921 as the South Side Community Club! Its mission was to gather enough people together to raise money to pave the…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Shannon Maris on February 9, 2011 at 12:32am
I am the one who has been involved with the lot at 21st and Larrabee for the last three years or so. Right now it has cover crop planted on it and i intend to to seed more cover crop soon. The lot has a serious issue with five of the top "invasive" weeds that I am attempting to balance via soil nutrients rather than herbicide. Yes, there is a black berry problem now that I could use some help with. A substantial issue (other than the massive invasives issue) is there is no water to the site, so btwn those two issues that lot is not suitable for a "community garden". I would be happy to talk to anyone about the history and what has been done on this site. The previous Food Not Lawns site has investing time and money into this site exploring the possibilities over the last three years, as well as balance the requests of the Happy Valley Neighborhood who started the initial agreement and support for this project.
Comment by Steve Wilson on January 27, 2011 at 5:14pm

I'm responding to David Marshak's email today (but I don't see it posted here...hmmm?)

I'm wondering if David is suggesting we create community gardens according to the City's guidelines, which I am unable to post here.  Or, rather, is he suggesting we look for private land to develop gardens on the southside...or, something like expanding the urbangardenshare program that is currently available?  Perhaps a bit more direction here would be helpful.

The past couple years at the Seed Swap event (also this Sunday!) there has been time allotted to publicize garden sharing opportunities among participants of the Seed Swap.  Hope to see you this Sunday. 

Comment by Steve Wilson on January 18, 2011 at 8:50am

David, and Transition Southside Initiating Group.  Looking over the notes to your recent meeting...Rob Olason is absolutely correct about CLSR getting ready to initiate some projects at the Caretakers House in Fairhaven Park.  We expect to have the deer fencing complete in time for spring planting and will be working Saturdays (10am-2pm) to accomplish that task.

We welcome your input and enthusiasm.  Our board has four committees which are primarily responsible for keeping things moving along:  Site and Gardens, House, Outreachm and Fundraising.  It might be best to give me a call if you have questions...671-3380.  2011 promises to offer a great leap forward with our work.  Hope you folks will keep involved!

Comment by Cindi Landreth on August 15, 2010 at 12:53pm
Hi David and other Initiating Group members -
I am looking for an update on what is happening for this group. My last conversation was with David and we talked a bit about the overlap of the work of CLSR and the consideration of CLSR being our local transition initiative. Any updates or formal decisions made? If so, perhaps an announcement of support and direction as to how to get involved with CLSR - and perhaps a binding of the two groups on this website somehow?

I would like to update the T4T attendees this weekend on this issue (among other issues).

Thank you,
Comment by Rob Olason on April 28, 2010 at 6:40pm
I had a conflicting event during the first meeting of the Transition Fairhaven group. Would anyone who attended be willing to offer a report of what transpired?
Comment by Cindi Landreth on April 20, 2010 at 11:57am
Thought you all might like to know about this event: (Thanks, Shannon)

*May Poles and Bean Poles: Gardening in the Happy Valley Neighborhood *
Saturday May 1
10:00 AM
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
18th and Harris St.
Bring any extra vegetable seeds or starts you don’t need to the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association general meeting on
May Day, and share them with your neighbors. Cleaning up your garden and dividing perennials? Bring those, too. Let’s start a plant exchange in our Happy Valley neighborhood and share seeds, perennials, compost, or anything else we may have more of than we need. Perhaps you have garden space, but no time to devote to it. Bring that information, and maybe you can work out an exchange with someone who wants to garden, but doesn’t have the space for it. Lots of experience gardening? Maybe you can mentor someone just starting out…

Contact Shelley Weisberg
p-671-2352 and email

All this is leading up to a new event in Happy Valley later this summer: a Walking Tour of Working Class Gardens (weeds welcome). Are you curious to see the garden you walk past on your way to the store? Do you have a garden you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be fancy, or weed-free; it doesn’t even have to be very big. A colorful corner of flowers, or an arbor or trellis you made, fun garden art, found objects you have incorporated… Share your garden and see your neighbors’. Garden Tour Date TBA.
Comment by Cindi Landreth on April 18, 2010 at 10:16pm

Hi Everyone - please take note of the Transition Fairhaven start-up event that David Marshak has posted! April 27th - go to the events tab or click on the link.
Comment by Rob Olason on February 15, 2010 at 10:27am
I agree with Frank that "Fair-haven" has a lot of metaphorical power, which was what the speculative founders of the area were trying to capture when they dreamed up the name in the late 19th century. It still holds that power today and is a suitable moniker for a new metaphorical concept: the "Transition Town." The founders of Fairhaven didn't arrive at a name that would identify their area as south of anything--that its value could only be defined by its geographical relationship to some other place. Instead they chose a name that was also a concept: a place of safety, a "haven." This was probably a good idea, since much of the country saw the far west as a dangerous, unsettled land. And not being too boastful, this haven was not a fabulous utopia that only a few could enter. This haven was "fair," projecting the sense that a new resident could reasonably expect to find a familiar land they could understand and live a life similar to what they already experienced. I would also add another meaning for "fair," a place where inhabitants could expect to be treated fairly, equally. Such a place suggests a principle this country claims as its own but doesn't always fulfill: democracy. Such an egalitarian focus is one of the primal focuses of the transition movement-in itself a collection of powerful metaphors that suggest individual strengths that build a strong community.

Besides, being "south something" requires nailing down boundaries, such as you are "in the group" if your geographical location is south of such-and-such street. If you are north of that street, you belong somewhere else. "Fairhaven" transcends location and includes anyone, regardless of place, who can identify with an attraction to a geographical area, yes, but more importantly to a concept that is a powerful image of a "location" that may be more than a physical place. Such an image fits in very well with the concept of transition.
Comment by Cindi Landreth on January 31, 2010 at 8:55pm
Thanks, Frank! I totally agree. I knew most of that history but not all of it. At our next meeting, we will get this on the agenda. We don't plan on meeting until after The Great Unleashing. Unless of course, we get a juicy discussion going on here - then perhaps we can make a decision on line here. Who knows?!
Comment by Frank James on January 31, 2010 at 9:51am
David and Cindy

"Fairhaven" was established as a City in 1890 and included everything south of the University. It was later included in "Bellingham" about 100 years ago (1903). I really like Fairhaven as a place name and it has been what locals call this part of town since I arrived in 1969. The 'official' city neighborhoods are a contrivance of the city with little authority and are more of a way to direct local activity away from real political action than providing a forum for discussion or change within the city. These groups are wonderful expressions of community but are far too often used by a paternalistic city to manipulate a political process than for substantial engagement.

I suppose my political commentary my make Transition Fairhaven seem less attractive to some but I really like the name and what it stands for, an assertion of the local community in defining itself rather than allowing others to define who we are and what our boundaries are.


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