Sustainability Strategy

Sammamish’s vision is to become an environmentally and economically sustainable community by crafting and implementing an achievable, multi-faceted and measureable strategy that maximizes opportunity and efficiency while minimizing cost. Undertaking this work will help Sammamish contribute toward larger regional and global goals such as mitigating the effects of climate change and will make our community an even better place to live, work and play. ~ Sammamish City Council (October 9th, 2009 Study Session)

In late 2009 and early 2010, the City of Sammamish began the process to develop a sustainability plan for stewarding our community’s resources so that they endure for future generations. The process for developing the Strategy involved our Sammamish community inside and beyond City Hall.

In spring 2010, City staff participated in conversations, a survey, workshops and a sustainability idea contest, all intended to inform and help start the process of identifying sustainability goals and priorities inside City Hall.

At the same time, to reach beyond City Hall, this project web page was launched, offering project information and updates, definitions, resource information, and a community survey link to solicit citizen input. During spring and summer 2010, over 850 Sammamish residents and businesses provided direction on sustainability goals and priorities via surveys on the City’s website, at project information booths held at the weekly farmer’s market and other community events such as summer concerts and the 4th of July celebration.

In fall 2010, a community workshop was held to discuss the top five sustainability goals resulting from all community outreach activities, and to work alongside local experts to identify avenues for pursuing selected goals. Based on this input, the following top 5 sustainability goals were established:

Goal 1: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

To reduce, reuse, and recycle means to minimize the amount of waste created; to look for new uses before recycling or tossing an item; and, if reducing or reusing is not an option, to create something new from what was once considered waste. 71% of community survey respondents and City staff ranked this as a top goal to pursue. It is a core goal that many communities have adopted and promote. It is also a natural extension of the City’s current waste management and minimization efforts. Reducing waste and reusing materials means reduced need for energy and natural resources to produce new products and less waste hauling costs. It makes environmental and economic sense.

Goal 2: Create and Protect Natural Habitats

Sammamish community members value natural aesthetics and urban wildlife. Citizens want to protect and create natural habitat by maintaining and improving green space, as well as fish and wildlife habitat. Habitat protection focuses on preserving high quality habitat within the City. Natural habitat creation seeks to replace lost natural habitat function through expansion, restoration, or enhancement activities. 67% of community survey respondents and City staff ranked this goal as a priority. Protecting and creating natural habitat improves landscape-scale connections in our watershed and supports regional efforts to enrich Puget Sound’s ecosystem health. By preserving natural habitat we can maintain natural resource function and wildlife diversity. This could reduce long term infrastructure costs related to stormwater drainage and flood control.

Goal 3: Conserve Energy

Reducing energy consumption starts with conservation and increased efficiency. Conservation focuses on identifying and reducing wasted energy from behavior and technologies. The next step is exploring and developing alternative energy options. 55% of community survey respondents and City staff ranked this goal as a priority. Many community respondents noted easy steps such as turning off power strips and lights when equipment and rooms are not in use and using daylight or task lighting instead of overhead lighting. By reducing energy consumption, we may eliminate the need for additional power plants or other energy generation capacity in the future. This can have an enormous financial benefit for our region, and helps our pocketbooks by keeping rates low. Conservation also translates to direct environmental benefit through reduced carbon emissions and related climate change concerns.

Goal 4: Conserve Water

Water conservation focuses on using water-efficient strategies and equipment, and substituting non-potable water for potable (drinking) water where possible and appropriate. Safe and clean drinking water is critic al for human and ecological health. 48% of community survey respondents and City staff ranked this goal as a priority. Water r conservation makes sense for our City because we use a lot of it for irrigation and to supply household, commercial, and municipal water needs. Water conservation pays back in three ways: savings on water you don’t use; savings on sewage you don’t produce; and since a significant proportion of the water we use is heated, savings on water you don’t heat.

Goal 5: Foster Healthy Neighborhoods

Strong, healthy neighborhoods have many components: a clean and safe environment for families; knowing your neighbors and working together towards common goals; balanced development and environmental protection to accommodate growth while respecting open space/habitat; a range of housing options; robust transportation choices including walking, bicycling, transit and driving; and diverse neighborhood services and community amenities. 47% of community survey respondents and City staff ranked this goal as a priority. Fostering healthy neighborhoods also fits right in with national initiatives led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Transportation’s (DOT) “Partnership for Sustainable Communities.” By selecting this goal, Sammamish links to a much larger effort and many resources. This goal builds off of one of Sammamish’s finest assets: great neighborhoods. It’s also a goal that has direct and very personal benefits for individuals and families in the community.

The Strategy

The Sustainability Strategy and associated 2011 action plan are now available for public review and comment. Related support documents are also available for review upon request.

Please provide any questions or comments to the project manager by email at Sustainable@sammamish.us and/or by telephone at 425-295-0527 and please join us at upcoming events to relay your ideas for envisioning a more sustainable Sammamish.


The Sustainability Strategy was introduced to the Planning Commission on March 3, 2011 and was discussed at a joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting on March 21, 2011. Please check back for further updates.


These links are provided for informational purposes only. The City of Sammamish does not ensure that the information regarding or provided by the following sites is complete or accurate. This library will be expanded as the project progresses.


Green Tools

The GreenTools program is designed to help all King County stakeholders green their built environment while addressing critical environmental issues, such as global warming, critical habitat restoration and solid waste reduction. GreenTools provides technical assistance, grants and hands-on training to help users create green projects efficiently and effectively.


Whether you’re looking to make more environmentally friendly choices, or are just curious about what green living entails, turn to the King County Library System as your resource for information.


These web pages are designed to provide the necessary framework for understanding sustainability. Their purpose is to help individuals, businesses, and government learn how to turn the concepts of sustainability into action.


EPA programs and resources are helping states and local communities to promote urban sustainability by supporting smart growth, green communities and green buildings. Also, check out EPA’s new green homes web site.

Green Guide

The GREEN GUIDE makes living in an environmentally-aware way personal, practical and positive. Intended for general consumers, GREEN GUIDE (in its book, magazine and online formats) shows people how to make small changes that add up to big benefits for their wallets, for their health, and, of course, for the health of the planet.


ICLEI is a democratic, international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development. Success stories of the United States focus on a variety of topics including clean power and waste reduction.

Climate Change

Climate Change

This site provides information on climate change for communities, individuals, businesses, states, localities and governments. Topics include: Basic Information, Climate Change Indicators, Science, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health and Environmental Effects, Climate Economics, Regulatory Initiative for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, U.S. Climate Policy, What you Can Do and a For Kids link.

Climate Change in Washington State

This site offers general information on climate change that is specific to Washington State. Topics include: What is Climate Change, What’s Happening in Washington State, What YOU Can Do, and Climate Change Education.

Carbon Footprint Pledge

Simple actions can drastically reduce the carbon dioxide produced during your daily activities. This site invites you to take a pledge to reduce your personal contribution to global climate change. Record those activities you already do or have done, and those you are willing to do next.


Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government "buy green," and in doing so, uses the federal government's enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services. Geared first to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small -- and consumers.

Green Tools for Economic Development

Sustainability practices give businesses competitive advantage – a boost to the environment and the local economy. Green buildings and infrastructure are good investments. Healthy, balanced communities attract investment and new residents.

Sammamish Chamber of Commerce

Provides information on Sammamish Chamber of Commerce’s resources and services for local businesses.


Community Food Projects

Community Food Projects fund proactive approaches to making communities more self reliant at maintaining their food systems while addressing food, nutrition, and farm issues.

Community Food Security

The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a North American coalition of diverse people and organizations working from the local to international levels to build community food security. This page lists six basic principles of community food security along with a definition.

Green Tools for Agriculture and Food Systems

Sustainable production and transport of food is a foundation of a sustainable community. Local food networks and urban agriculture are opportunities to create local jobs, optimize land use, achieve multiple sustainability objectives through green infrastructure strategies, and improve public health. This site includes information on sustainability and food systems resources.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Through program leadership and funding opportunities, NIFA' Food, Nutrition & Health programs strengthen the nation's capacity to address issues related to diet, health, food safety, food security, and food science and technology.

Organic Gardening and Natural Resource Conservation

Seattle Tilth is a nationally recognized non-profit educational organization dedicated to inspiring and educating people to garden organically and conserving natural resources: This site includes information on regional organic gardening classes and events.

Sammamish Farmers Market

Provides information on the Sammamish Farmers Market.

Puget Sound Fresh

Local farm Information


Fish and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement

Programs that enhance fish and wildlife habitat are promoted on this website.

Natural Landscape Preservation

Stewardship Partners is a non-profit organization that helps private landowners restore and preserve the natural landscapes of Washington State by promoting and implementing incentive-based programs that encourage landowners to participate in fish and wildlife conservation and restoration activities while simultaneously meeting their economic needs through sustainable land management.

Sammamish Community Wildlife Habitat Project

Describes the Sammamish Community Wildlife Habitat Project.

Information on Living With Wildlife

Provides description of strategies for living with wildlife.

Information on Attracting Wildlife to your backyard

Provides description of strategies for attracting wildlife.

Native Plant Guide

Provides information on gardening and landscaping with native plants

Natural Yard Care

Provides information on natural yard care.

Composting & Healthy Soil

Provides information on composting and healthy soil.

Habitat Project Volunteer Opportunities

Provides information on habitat project volunteer opportunities.

Biodiversity information

Provides information on biodiversity.


Designing and Building Healthy Places

Designing and building healthy communities can improve the quality of life for all people who live, work, worship, learn, and play within their borders. This site offers information on Accessibility, Children’s Health, Healthy Community Design, and many other topics.

Healthy Air

The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air you breathe is clean and safe. Learn more about how polluted air can make you sick and how we are fighting to keep our air and nation healthy.


Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound

Low impact development (LID) is a stormwater management strategy that emphasizes conservation and use of existing natural site features integrated with distributed, small scale stormwater controls to more closely mimic natural hydrologic patterns.

Puget Sound Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are one of the most versatile and effective tools in a new approach to managing stormwater. Read the Rain Garden handbook to learn about the multiple benefits of rain gardens and the steps involved in building them.


Sammamish Library

This site offers sustainable resources for the use of the entire Sammamish community.

Washington Green Schools

This site provides Washington schools with the tools and support needed to integrate a focus on environmental sustainability both inside and outside the classroom and to take action that results in environmentally responsible facilities.

Solid Ground

Provides information on Solid Ground’s efforts and resources for helping vulnerable community members overcome economic crises and develop skills needed to thrive and break the cycle of poverty.



A resource for commuting options in the Northwest.

VanPool and VanShare

Provides information on King County Metro Transit VanPool and VanShare resources.

Park & Rides

Eastside Park & Ride Lot Information (includes Sammamish)

King County Metro bus information

Provides information on how to ride King County Metro Transit.

Sound Transit

Provides information on Sound Transit services.

Light Rail Connections

Provides information on Light Rail connections.


Provides information on Greyhound bus services.


Provides information on Amtrak services.


Provides information on Zipcar services.

Mobility Coalition

Provides information on King County mobility resources.

Bicycling Guidemap

Provides a King County Bicycling Guidemap.

Cascade Bicycle Club

Provides information on the Cascade Bicycle Club and related bicycle resources.

Bicycle Traffic Laws

Provides information on bicycle traffic laws.


Construction and Demolition Recycling

Save money and resources on your construction project - view your unwanted jobsite debris as a resource for someone else, not as a waste. This site provides the tools and assistance needed to help you to obtain the highest diversion rates possible on your construction, demolition and deconstruction projects.


This site provides information on managing and reducing waste.

Waste Management Recycling Information

Provides recycling information.

Allied Waste/Rabanco Recycling Information

Provides recycling information.

King County Recycling Guide

Provides recycling information.

King County Ecoconsumer Guide

Provides information on how to balance consuming and conserving resources.

King County What You Can Do Guide

Provides information on things you can do to help achieve zero waste.

King County’s What Do I Do With… guide

Provides information on how to properly dispose of items.


Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District

Provides water conservation information.

Northeast Sammamish Sewer & Water District

Provides water conservation information.

Wastewater Services

Provides water conservation information.

Things you can do to protect the environment

Provides water saving tips.

Water Footprint

Provides information on the relationship between water consumption and use.

Smart Watering Tips

Provides smart watering tips.


Carbon Neutral

Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference. Best practice for organizations and individuals seeking carbon neutral status entails reducing and/or avoiding carbon emissions first so that only unavoidable emissions are offset.

Modified from Wikipedia Definition Carbon Neutrality

Climate Change

Climate change is a change in weather and atmospheric conditions over a period of time. Current usage places the term mostly in the context of environmental policy, with climate change data referring to changes in the past 50 years, and the cause linked to human activity. Contributions to climate change include: increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases; changes to land surface, such as deforestation; and increasing atmospheric concentrations of aerosols.

Modified from Wikipedia Definition Climate Change

Energy Independence

Energy independence is a state in which a place (often a city, state, or country) does not rely on or is not impacted by foreign nations or fluctuations of the market in meeting its energy needs. In a sustainable economy, the goal of energy independence is also coupled with the goals of reducing energy consumption and using renewable sources of energy to meet energy needs.
Green Economy / Local Economy

A green economy is locally based, self-reliant, and diverse, which by nature make it both resilient and strong. The definition of ‘local’ varies, as some use mileage radius (400- 500 miles typically) while others use watershed or geo-political boundaries, but it generally speaks to the goal of reducing transportation impacts from goods and services and supporting businesses as near to the community as possible.

Modified from the Kirkland Economic Sustainability Assessment

Healthy Neighborhoods & Habitat

Habitat is the place where a population (humans, animals, or plants) lives, both built and natural. Healthy neighborhoods provide these populations with a clean environment that protects, air quality and critical habitat. A healthy neighborhood balances development and environmental protection, and has a diverse range of housing options and transportation choices that give inhabitants the option to walk, ride a bike, take transit, or drive.

Modified from Smart Growth and Green Building Residential Appraising Handbook

Social Equity

Social equity is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society have the same access to opportunities. Social equity includes equal rights under the law and access to education, health care and other social services. Sustainability addresses social equity through environmental justice and access to public transportation, affordable housing, a mix of housing types, and essential community services.

Modified from Wikipedia Definition Social Equity

Sustainable Community

In a sustainable community, resource consumption is balanced by resources assimilated by the ecosystem. The sustainability of a community is determined by the availability of resources and by the ability of natural systems to process its wastes. A community is unsustainable if it consumes resources faster than they can be renewed, produces more wastes than natural systems can process or relies upon distant sources for its basic needs.

Modified from definition provided by the South Puget Sound Sustainable Community Round Table

Sustainable Sammamish

Sustainable development was defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’

Sammamish’s vision is to become an environmentally and economically sustainable community by crafting and implementing an achievable, multi-faceted and measureable strategy that maximizes opportunity and efficiency while minimizing cost. Undertaking this work will help Sammamish contribute toward larger regional and global goals such as mitigating the effects of climate change and will make our community an even better place to live, work and play.

Sustainable Sammamish Preliminary Vision Statement

Zero Waste Community

A zero waste community is a community that has implemented strategies to eliminate nearly all discharges to land, water, or air, and reuses all products used within the community without waste or environmental damage, similar to the way that resources are reused in nature. Zero waste means designing and managing products and processes to dramatically reduce the volume and eliminate the toxicity of waste, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.