SEA Club visits the Beacon Hill Food Forest!

Last Saturday, EvCC’s SEA club took a trip to the Beacon Hill Food Forest in Seattle to see what kinds of environmental action other people are taking in the community! This was a really fun place to visit and they had a great variety of plants, fruits, and vegetables. From fig trees, to squashes, native blackberries, gooseberries, blueberries, tomatoes, flowers, peas, nuts, and much more. There are places for people to rent private garden space as well and they are working on expanding the size of the food forest at Beacon Hill. But what is a food forest? A food forest is a gardening technique/land management system that features creating a more natural forest-like environment with different types of plants including fruit and nut trees, edible perennials, berry shrubs, and other edible plants. This is opposed to industrial agriculture which focuses more on harvesting a single kind of crop repeatedly on a plot of land. Beacon Hill Food Forest is driven by volunteer action to create change at the grassroots level. If you would like to find out more about the Beacon Hill Food Forest visit their website at: https://beaconfoodforest.org/.

Tree Planting Event in Silver Lake

The future rests on your shoulders, young one…

Did you know that last Saturday was Green Everett Day? Over the weekend the Students for Environmental Action Club participated in a tree planting event hosted in Silver Lake, Everett. Volunteers from all over Everett and beyond came out to plant over a hundred trees and shrubs to promote clean air and to provide shelter for some of the local fauna. A greener future starts with a seed and a dream!

Wild Mushrooms Show!

Hey guys, Ben here again! Sherwin and I went to the Wild Mushroom Show here at Forest Park in Everett on Sunday! There were so many different kinds of mushrooms and fungi there! I went to a great wild mushroom/fungi identification class at this event and I learned a lot about identifying mushrooms, which ones were edible, how they grew, and more! I learned that some mushrooms can even be used to absorb and biodegrade oil and other pollutants that might end up in water! Big thanks to the Snohomish County Mycological Society for hosting this great event! If you’d like to find out more about the group, learn more about fungi in the Pacific Northwest, or become a member please visit their website at http://www.scmsfungi.org. Here are some mushroom pictures we took!

Cedar Grove and Sound Sustainable Farms

I had the opportunity to tour both Cedar Grove, in Everett, and Sound Sustainable Farms, in Redmond.
While at Cedar Grove, I was able to watch the composting process in action. The most notable aspect of the visit was how much plastic makes its way into composting bins and then how much effort must be used to successfully remove it.
On my trip to Sound Sustainable Farms, I was able to see the results of using Cedar Grove’s compost to grow produce. By using the compost from Cedar Grove, Sound Sustainable Farms is able to grow nutritious food, while also making sure they leave the soil in better condition than they found it. As we toured the farm, I was able to stop and pick tomatoes, carrots, beets, and a pumpkin!
I loved seeing how Cedar Grove and Sound Sustainable Farms overlapped with one another and how they worked at incorporating sustainable practices.

To learn more about Cedar Grove and Sound Sustainable Farms, visit their websites: https://www.soundsfarms.com/about  https://cedar-grove.com/about-us

Taiko Performance at EvCC!

Hello! Ben from the sustainability office. On October 10th I attended the taiko drum show at our college and in my opinion this is one of the best events we’ve had at Evcc. These performers are part of a taiko drum group called Okinawa Wakati-da Chinjinshuu that came all the way from the japanese prefecture of Okinawa! The performances were beautiful and fun to watch. One of my favorite things there was the performance using the Okinawan lion costumes otherwise called Shishimai. If these creatures bite you traditions tell that you’ll have good luck for the rest of your life! And the cups they were using for the tea were compostable!  Big thanks to Okinawan Kenjin Kai Chijinshuu for hosting them in Washington State!

Reading Material at the Library!

The world and how we as a species relate to it is changing and evolving faster than we can comprehend it.  Human activity is the main driving force behind these changes to our environment. Human activity will also have to be the solution to some of these problems. Even though things are changing faster than we can process it, it doesn’t mean we can’t try. The library at EvCC has some really interesting reading material regarding the various aspects of our changing world. These books not only discuss some of the issues that we face in the coming future, but also provides possible solutions to some of the problems that ail our planet. Here are some of my favorites that the library has to offer:

Throwaway Nation: The Ugly Truth about American Garbage  by Jeff Dondero

Arguably the most discouraging book of the bunch. This book reads sort of like a prequel to Disney Pixar’s Wall-E. The book talks about an age where we’re literally burying our planet and outer space in waste. From single-use plastics contaminating our oceans to fast fashion waste products poisoning the soil, the book provides lots of research into how some of America’s largest industries are affecting the planet. All is not without hope though, as Dondero provides us with lifestyle consumer suggestions that would help alleviate some of the strain. This book on waste is not a waste of your time!

Growing a Sustainable City? The Question of Urban Agriculture by Christina D. Rosan and Hamil Pearsall

When discussing sustainability, the topic of the environment usually comes to the front of our minds. However, social and economic sustainability are also important factors that fall under the sustainability banner. The book tackles a ton of different problems that plague urban societies such as food insecurity, storm water runoffs, and even unemployment from unique angles. The book also discusses how the development of urban agricultural policies (which are at the heart of progress towards sustainability) are marred by stakeholders and racial and class tensions. Growing a Sustainable City? offers a holistic and captivating picture of efforts to transition to sustainability in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet by Varun Sivaram

Our civilization is facing an energy crisis. The societies that we’ve built during the industrial ages is reliant on the very substance that threatens to destroy them. Currently, solar energy is responsible for a mere 2% of the world’s energy production yet shows much potential as a renewable source of energy to help power the planet. Taming the Sun not only informs readers of the science and technology behind the future of solar energy, but also discusses how policy making and capital investment are at the core of solar energy’s success. Varun Sivaram’s realistic and even-headed arguments are so well articulated you’d wonder why you hadn’t heard them before.

Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them by Paige Embry

Did you know that there are over 4,000 species of bees that exist in North America? While Honey bees (which are actually a European import) often take the spotlight when talking about our planets most reliable pollinators, many of North America’s native bee species are more efficient pollinators and are just as endangered. With detailed and engaging full-colored pictures, Our Native Bees serves as a fun introduction to the many bee species that live in North America and follows the natural history of bees in the US. If you’re a fan of this fascinating fauna then do yourself a favor and check out this book!

EvCC Bird Garden

The EvCC Bird Garden on the west side of Index Hall.

Tweet tweet! Did you know that Everett Community College has it’s very own bird garden? It is located between Index Hall and Graywolf Hall, features many plants that are native to Washington, and even a has water feature so birds can cool off on these hot summer days.

Bird friendly water features so they can stay hydrated or take a refreshing dip.

The EvCC Office of Sustainability teamed up with Cedar Grove and the Audubon Society to ensure that the plants and garden design were bird friendly. The choice to use native plants ensures that not only will the birds be happy, but it requires less maintenance and resources than if it utilized non-native plants. Many of the flowers are currently in full bloom so when you have a moment stop by and practice your bird-watching skills!

EvCC Greenhouse

It seems that everywhere you look on the EvCC campus there are beautiful plants and flowers, but did you know that many of those plants are started right here in the EvCC Greenhouse? The greenhouse was almost demolished in 2008, but thanks to capital funding the roof was redone, and the greenhouse is now better than ever!

A few starts and larger plants.

The EvCC Greenhouse is currently used by a variety of plant lovers.

The Students for Environmental Action (SEA) club grows plants in the greenhouse to sell at different events throughout the academic year to raise funds for club activities.

Classes such as Sustainable Food Systems utilize the greenhouse for various classroom assignments.

The EvCC Grounds Department utilizes the greenhouse and surrounding nursery area to care for numerous seasonal plants that they use around campus throughout the year. That’s why, no matter the season, our campus always looks its best!

EvCC Native Wildflower Meadow

Thanks to the EvCC Grounds crew, the hillside by Parking Lot C is blanketed in native wildflowers. Not only do these wildflowers brighten the EvCC campus, they serve an important purpose as well! These beautiful blooms help guard against soil erosion and provide habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Wildflowers also tend to require less maintenance and water than other plantings, making them a great sustainable choice. They are in full bloom at the moment, so check out EvCC’s wildflower meadow on the hillside by Parking Lot C and Grey Wolf Hall today!

Student Green Fee 2019-2020 Budget Approved

On May 3rd, 2019 the Student Green Fee Administrative Committee chairperson presented the Student Green Fee budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 to the EvCC ASB Senate for approval. After a few questions and a brief discussion, the 2019-2020 Student Green Fee budget was unanimously approved!

A large part of the budget has been set aside for student-led sustainable projects. The Student Green Fee Advisory Committee is in the process of finalizing the guidelines and processes for students seeking to utilize Green Fee funds and intends to begin accepting applications for projects beginning January 2020. If you are interested in getting involved in the Green Fee Committee please contact us at sustainability@everettcc.edu or 425-388-9484!

Portions of the budget will also fund three student employment opportunities in the Office of Sustainability. Applications for Sustainability Officer, Event/Media Coordinator, and Program and Data Coordinator are being accepted until July 15, 2019.