Annual Earth Week Celebration: Earth Art Competition

This year during Earth Week, EvCC Sustainability is partnering with the Art Department to host an Earth Art Competition. This competition is open to any currently enrolled EvCC student, staff or faculty. Prizes are as follows:

1st place: $300.00
2nd place: $200.00
Peoples Choice: $150.00

Competition rules:
1. 
Entries must be at least 75% reclaimed, recycled, upcycled or otherwise reused.
2. Entries must be ready to put on display in the Whitehorse Hall Critique Space by Tuesday, April 17. They will remain on display through Thursday April 19, the day in which the entries will be judged. Judging will take place between 1 pm and 3 pm on April 19.
3. All entries must be removed from the Whitehorse Hall Critique Space by 3:00 pm on Friday, April 20. Any entries left in the Critique Space beyond this time will become EvCC property and disposed of accordingly.

To sign up for this competition, follow this link and submit your entry form to EvCC Sustainability by emailing it to sustainability@everettcc.edu.

 

EvCC Wildlife Garden: 11/6/17 Update

Now that Phase 1 of this project is complete, it’s time to show off the hard work of our Grounds Crew. Take a look:

View of entire project site.
Close-up of the “Columbia Bowls,” basalt dishes that create ideal bird baths.
Flowering Dogwood
Vine Maple and Mountain Hemlocks

Three loads of compost and four loads of topsoil later, the results are better than we imagined! Currently the beds contain a mix of vine maples, one flowering dogwood, one rocky mountain fir tree, and a handful of mountain hemlocks. Phase two will consist of filling in the empty spaces between the trees with smaller shrubs, annuals and perennials.

And, just for fun, here’s John Syson celebrating by fishing out of the newly installed birdbaths.

John Syson, Grounds Crew Lead, fishing in the new bird baths

UPCOMING EVENT: Energy Efficiency Fair by Snohomish County PUD

Purchase low cost energy efficiency appliances here on campus, on Wednesday October 18 from 11:30 am till 2:00 pm in the second floor hallway of Parks Student Union. The PUD team hosting this event will be selling a Home & Bath Savings Kit which includes 8 LEDs, 2 filament LEDs, a showerhead with smart adapter, and two faucet aerators for just $10.00 plus tax. This normally would cost $75.00 so don’t miss your chance to save up to $250.00 annually on energy costs for a fraction of the retail price. Also offered at this event is an LED flood light pack, that has the savings potential of up to $45.00 per year. Please read this flyer for more details.

 

EvCC Sustainability, College Services Launch New Pilot to Incentivize Alternative Transportation

 

Students boarding a bus at EvCC’s Transit Center

 

New year, new projects. That’s how we look at things here in the EvCC Sustainability program! One of the many new projects underway for this year is a pilot program to incentivize students and employees to use public transportation. Island Transit has reinstated a once discontinued route, the Everett Connector, which runs a single bus from Terrys Corner Park and Ride on Camano Island to the Everett Station, with a stop at Tower and Broadway, right in front of EvCC.

A report put together by EvCC student and Sustainability Staff, Max Tinsley, determined that this route could potentially cut commute time in half for students who live in the North County region, comprised of Stanwood, Camano Island, and the unincorporated areas north of Arlington. The report also outlined that approximately 10% of annual enrollment at EvCC are students living in the North County area.

Similar to the existing ORCA program, students can purchase a buss pass for Island Transit route 412, the Everett Connector, for $45.00 in the Cashiers Office, in Parks Student Union. This is being run as a pilot program for Fall Quarter, with a limited number of passes available to find out the demand for such a program. The passes are valid for the entire quarter, rather than just a month, as they would be if purchased from Island Transit directly.

This project is not only a benefit to the environment, but it can also help to reduce traffic and parking congestion. The outcome of Max Tinsleys effort is also a reminder that one person has the power to bring about significant change and leave a lasting impact on their community, if only they stay engaged and involved in the public process.

The totals are in!

As the 2016-2017 school year officially comes to a close, many of us are reminiscing on the phenomenal year here at EvCC. For us in the sustainability business, it is no different. Except, rather than looking back at great memories, we are reviewing data collected on energy consumption and other utility usage, such as water and natural gas. In doing so, we’ve calculated the total amount of renewable energy generated by the Liberty Hall Rooftop Solar Array. Any guesses?

23,607 KWH of clean, green electricity, which is fed back into the grid rather than consumed directly by the campus. Considering an average US household consumes about 10,000 KWH of electricity each year, EvCC can proudly say that it provided a years worth of energy for at least 2 four-bedroom houses! A big thanks to the PUD and Washington State Legislature for the grant funding that put these panels on the roof of Liberty Hall! Hopefully, as the campus grows, the solar project will too, increasing our contribution to building a sustainable community!

DID YOU KNOW… That you can sign up for a tour of the Liberty Hall Rooftop Solar Array and see the green energy production in action? Just email us at sustainability@everettcc.edu with the subject “solar tours.”

EVCC Bike Fix It Stations: Updates!

EvCC will soon have a bicycle repair station on campus, generously donated by Everett Transit. This station will provide the equipment needed for regular maintenance and repairs on bicycles, and is intended to encourage more students, staff, faculty and the public to utilize alternative transportation to commute to school or work.

This repair station will be free and available to the public. As the final details of this project are still in the works, more information will be provided and posted on the EvCC Sustainability page on the main website. Stay tuned!

Upping the Ante on one of EvCC’s Greenest Buildings

The Walt Price Fitness Center, one of EvCC’s LEED Certified buildings

It’s no secret that EvCC has several LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified buildings on campus, and that we strive to meet energy efficiency standards wherever we can. The Walt Price Fitness Center, which opened in 2011, earned LEED Gold status, a testament to the sustainably managed construction and operation of the building. But, if you thought that we couldn’t take it any further, you’d be surprised to hear one simple idea that we applied to make this building even greener.

Steve Lyons and Jeremiah Berndt are our campus electricians, and they have spent the last several days swapping out the old compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, in the fitness center with longer lasting and more efficient LED bulbs. To most people, the difference is hardly noticed. This would make almost no significant difference in your household electricity bill if you did the same – although we still recommend using the most energy efficient appliances in your home – but, in a building this large, at nearly 50,000 square feet, the difference is incredible.

Previously, the gym was lit up with a combination of 42 watt, 32 watt, and 26 watt CFLs, which all have an average lifespan of 1-2 years. With over 160 light fixtures, replacing them adds up over time. LED bulbs could last up to ten years depending on which type is used. But, even if we only get half of that with these new bulbs, that’s still twice as long as we would get out of the CFLs. Although the LEDs cost a little more than the CFLs, the investment is quickly paid off by reducing the frequency of replacing burnt out bulbs.

The LED bulbs are ran on 9 watts, which means that they consume less energy than CFLs. On average, using the LEDs could save us about $1,700 per year on utility costs compared to using CFLs. According to Steve Lyons, because the LEDs use less energy and produce less heat as a byproduct of emitting light, there is less damage to the ballasts and fixtures that hold the lights. This results in less maintenance on the fixtures and ballasts, which also saves money. This is harder to predict, but combining all of the cost saving potential for this small scale energy efficiency retrofit could save more than $2,000 annually on lighting, and reducing the amount of energy needed to light the fitness center by up to 75%.

 

EvCC Wildlife Habitat (Bird Garden) Installation Update 7-24-17

EvCC is ready to break ground on the wildlife habitat (Bird Garden) installation, funded by EvCC, Snohomish County Conservation District and the Pilchuck Audubon Society.  Pre project pics of the largely turf covered area between the West wall of Index B and the East wall of Graywolf hall show minimal landscaping and LOTS of grass…

The project, scheduled for completion in late September of 2017, will include native plants that are bird habitat friendly as well as a water feature.

The project will not only create a wildlife habitat, but beautify this corner of the campus.

 

 

EvCC Wildlife Habitat Installation

Baby bird feeding time!

EvCC and the Pilchuck Audubon Society are in the beginning stages of planning for a wildlife habitat installation designed to support the local avian population.

EvCC Sustainability team members Molly Beeman and Max Tinsley met with Jed Holmes, the Pilchuck Audubon Society’s Backyard Habitat Coordinator late last month to determine a suitable site on EvCC’s main campus to develop a bird friendly habitat.

EvCC Sustainability and Pilchuck Audubon are currently working on developing the necessary resources for this project, which will likely be completed by summer of 2018.

On completion, the project will provide habitable spaces for bird nest construction and native plants that attract insects to support the feeding of avian young.

The completed project will result in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife certified backyard wildlife sanctuary for Everett Community College.

 

New Garden at EvCC Represents Indigenous Cultures

Red Columbine, commonly found near streams and mountain meadows

Red Columbine, commonly found near streams and mountain meadows

Over the 2016-17 school year, a group of students have undertaken a project to bring a new sense of indigenous culture to our campus. The 1st Nations Club, co-advised by Brian Ramos from the Workforce Funding Department, has slowly been converting a section of the wooded area in the heart of campus to an Indigenous Garden, putting in native plants such as Red Columbine, Miners Lettuce, and Nootka Rose to name a few.

EvCC has a history of representing indigenous cultures on campus, through the various pieces of art donated to the college by some local tribes. There is a totem pole in the northwest section of campus outside of Olympus Hall, and the Thunderbird Killer Whale sculpture is located on the edge of the site of the new garden.

A student and staff member planting Bleeding Hearts

When asked about the purpose of this project, the students were eager to tell the story. They explained how this garden, to them, represents the success of native people, and how they’ve overcome many challenges to get to where they are today.

“I am this plant, I am of this Earth,” said Erik Sanchez, a student working on the project, “It’s really cool to feel connected.”

The group has finished with the planting, and over time will be adding outdoor furniture to resemble a traditional native gathering area. The project will continue throughout the rest of the school year as well as into the future.

A student adds fertilizer to a planting spot
Erik Sanchez, one of the students working on this garden.