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Volunteers help put Seattle on ‘green map’

Local environmental groups launched “Seattle Green Map” — one-stop online browsing for recycling sites, organic food stores, eco-friendly buildings, thrift stores, farmers markets, community centers, pollution hot spots and other points of interest for ecologically minded folks.

The creators and sponsors of this US city’s map hope people will turn to the Web site to learn more about their neighborhoods and get a new slant on resources for shopping, recreation and community involvement.

That means letting people know where they can buy locally produced or secondhand goods, encouraging public transportation and bicycling and fostering an appreciation of the city’s parks and other natural places. People visiting the map can zoom into their neighborhood and call up detailed information on parks, museums, “green” businesses and more. The “green map” concept started in the early 1990s in New York. Today, 285 of the projects are operating in 45 nations.

Seattle’s map was made mostly through volunteer labor by local non-profits, including Feet First, Sustainable Seattle, Seattle Urban Nature Project, Transportation Choices Coalition, Johnson Design Studio/Design Resource Institute, Homewaters Project and BALLE Seattle.

The groups are also trying to secure money to produce a printed version of the map, perhaps with multiple versions tailored to residents, tourists or businesses.