A Look at Washington Trails Association

The Washington Trails Association (WTA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting trails in Washington State. WTA and volunteers work year around to help maintain trails to keep them open, accessible, and sustainable while teaching people about trail work. WTA also collaborates with other groups and does grassroots work on issues such as trail funding and wilderness protection. If you would like to learn more about WTA, support the valuable work they do, learn more about hiking, or volunteer visit their website at: https://www.wta.org/

Sustainable Practices at Cunios

Cunios is a resturant in Clearview and they are commited to following sustainable practices. They get the ingredients they use from organic local farms in our area such as Chinook farms and Bob’s Corn. Also their fryer oil has been converted into bio diesel for ten years. While on site consumption is not allowed right now due to the emergency, Cunios does take out! If you would like to learn more about the resturant visit their website at https://www.cunios.com/.

EvCC and WSU Collaborative Wind Turbine Project

Everett Community College (EvCC) is collaborating with WSU (Washington State University) to work on a revolutionary type of wind turbine called a variable pitch vertical axis wind turbine (also known as a cyclo turbine) and have formed a wind energy team. Tests are going well and these kinds of turbines can theoretically be more efficient and produce more energy than standard horizontal axis turbines. Cyclo turbines would also be much smaller than the standard horizontal axis ones and would be easier to construct and maintain. This would also allow them to be built in more urban areas and offshore floating wind farms. They can also handle more turbulent air. The wind team are also working with JC Dream (https://jcdream.org/), a Washington organization working to find alternatives to harmful rare earth metals used in technology such as lithium. EvCC and WSU will be attending the Collegiate Wind Energy Competition (https://www.energy.gov/eere/collegiatewindcompetition/collegiate-wind-competition) in Denver in June to present their turbine and learn more about the wind and renewable energy industry. If you would like to learn more about this project contact STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) club advisor jgraber@everettcc.edu

The cyclo wind turbine has four blades instead of the traditional two found in horizontal axis wind turbines.
The turbine is placed in the wind tunnel to test how it will perform in different wind speeds.

Sustainability at Theo’s Chocolate Factory

Theo’s Chocolate is a popular chocolate company based in Seattle. They are committed to sourcing their ingredients in an ethical and sustainable way. They work directly with farmers in the Norandino Cooperative in Peru and Esco-Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and buy certified fair trade and organic cocoa beans. They purchase these ingredients for a higher than market price which ensures that farmers receive a living wage. If you would like to learn more about Theo’s Chocolate visit their website at: https://theochocolate.com/

From the left: Media and Event Coordinator Sherwin Afable, Sustainability Officer Annali Kangas and Data and Program Coordinator Ben Austin

SEA Club Visits University of Washington Native Plant Nursery

EvCC’s Students for Environmental Action (SEA) Club went to the University of Washington’s Native Plant Nursery at the Center for Urban Horticulture on the UW-Seattle campus on February 22nd . This is an important program that raises and maintains thousands of native plants. These plants are often used for student led projects on environmental restoration sites. SEA Club visited some of these projects such as the heron rookery where several great blue herons nest; plant restoration/invasive species removal projects, collaboration with the Duwamish Tribe on native plants, and the amphibian corridor which is a project aimed at restoring habitat for amphibians such as salamanders. If you would like to learn more about this incredibly valuable program visit their website: https://sites.uw.edu/seruw/

Great Blue Heron Nests in the Heron Haven (the rookery)
The Amphibian Corridor

The Northwest Stream Center and the Importance of Preserving our Watersheds

The Northwest Stream Center is an important area that helps to protect the North Creek watershed and the riparian zone. They are partnered with the Adopt a Stream Foundation. What is a watershed and a riparian zone? A watershed is the large area of land that drains/”sheds” water into a stream, river, lake, wetland, etc. The riparian zone is the vegetation area next to a river or stream that affects that aquatic system’s ecology. It is very important to protect these valuable ecosystems because many animals and plants live there and improves water quality. In the 1970’s the area here used to be a parking lot; now it’s a lovely restored watershed ecosystem that you can explore! Thanks to the hard work that still continues here, the ecosystem has changed completely. If you would like to learn more about the Northwest Stream Center, check out their website via the following link: https://www.streamkeeper.org/visit/discover_the_nw_center/

This 1/2 mile boardwalk guides you through the surrounding woods, streams, and wetlands. This boardwalk was made from 100% recycled plastic lumber, which is equivalent to 1.97 million one-gallon plastic milk jugs.
A sculpture of an ancient ice age saber-tooth salmon known as Oncorhynchus rastrosus
A trout seen from the stream viewing exhibit at the Northwest Stream Center.
Freshwater mussels seen from the viewing area.

WOHESC Conference: Tackling Climate Change

For the last 5 years, the Juliana vs United States lawsuit has been making its way through the court system, asking for a climate emissions reduction plan from the state and to protect the atmosphere under the public trust doctrine. Kelsey Juliana, who was 15 years old when she co-filed the lawsuit, will take the stage at the 2020 Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) at the University of Oregon in Eugene on March 2-4. She will give an update on the status and the next steps of the landmark lawsuit. Immediately preceding her talk will be a plenary session on Understanding the Crisis of Our Time: Writing About Climate Change, featuring a diverse panel of prominent writers. There are staff, student, and faculty discounts available. Register today to join!

SEA Club Writing Letter Writing to Legislature Event

The Students for Environmental Action (SEA) Club is sponsoring a letter-writing event to email Washington State legislators about important environmental issues. Topics legislators are voting on this year include a state-wide plastic bag ban, clean fuel standards, climate pollution limits, and protecting and restoring habitat for endangered orca whales. Club adviser Nancy Vandenberg will explain the issues and walk you through the process of writing short but powerful emails. SEA Club will be meeting on Wednesday January 29th from 1:30-2:30 in MC 111. Snacks provided, and also environmentally-friendly prizes for participation!

SEA Club Advisers Nancy Vandenberg and Laura Wild with SEA Club Students