What is stormwater runoff? On a forest floor, the rain is absorbed by the soil, but when rainwater falls on the mainly non-permeable surfaces we use like asphalt, gravel and concrete; this rain can mix with harmful substances on the ground like oil. This runoff ends up polluting our waterways and hurting wildlife.
There are many ways to reduce and combat stormwater runoff such as never dumping anything down a storm drain, avoiding pesticides, picking up pet waste, rerouting water from a downspout to help rain soak into the soil, repairing leaky side sewers, and much more. Check out a local stormwater or stream group like SnoKing Watershed Council (http://snokingwatershedcouncil.org/) to learn more and find stream and habitat restoration volunteer opportunities.
Visit the WA Farm Finder on https://eatlocalfirst.org/. This is a great application that can be used to find local farms, growers, and producers in Washington State to support. They have online portals for other kinds of farms as well, such as CSA’s. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a style of farming where customers can buy a plot of farmland or shares of a farm’s harvest in advance.
Included in the PDF file and PowerPoint slides are many recipes for great sustainable cleaning products that can be made at home with simple ingredients such as baking soda and olive oil. The products include toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner, lemon disinfectant, and many more. Thanks to Washington State University and Snohomish County for crafting the green cleaner booklet and Nancy Vandenberg for the PowerPoint slides.
The EvCC ORCA (Ocean Research Academy) program uses a variety of sensors and equipment to monitor ocean temperatures, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and more. This important data is not only used in the ORCA program, but is also shared with other classes, the scientific community, and the general public. To view live data from the sensors visit this link: http://www.wqdatalive.com/public/609
ORCA recently purchased two new Seabird CTD 16 plus sensors that monitor dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and pH. ORCA was able to purchase these through the Student Green Fee. The Green Fee is an exciting opportunity for students to propose and fund sustainable ideas on campus through college funding. Students can submit proposals but keep in mind that proposals will stop being accepted after January 31st. More information can be found at this link: https://www.everettcc.edu/administration/college-services/facilities/sustainability/evcc-green-fee
The campus may be closed but the Greenhouse at Everett Community College is still alive and well! Grounds Lead, John Syson, and his crew, have been taking good care of these plants.
The Greenhouse is used to propagate plants and grow annual flowers used by the Grounds department to beautify the campus. In the last 11 years that John Syson has worked for EvCC, he has transformed the college grounds from a lifeless and bland college environment to bursting with life and beauty everywhere you look. In speaking with John, it is clear that he has a true passion for what he does. He says, “Plants are as honest as they can be, as long as you speak their language they tell you what they need. You just have to listen.”
When the campus is open, the Greenhouse is also used to grow vegetables for Laura Wild’s nutrition classand extra vegetables are donated the the Early Learning Center.
Another use of the Greenhouse is to grow plants for EvCC’s annual Earth Week plant swap. (Although last years plant swap was cancelled due to covid, we are hoping to be able to figure out a way to continue the plant swap this year. Come back for updates on this years plant swap)
This library guide for the Sustainability and Systems class is a great resource for research and learning about the library system. There’s a wide variety of studies and databases in this guide as well as the EvCC AASHE (The Association for the Advancement of Higher Learning) sustainability presentation. Visit this link to access the library guide: https://everettcc.libguides.com/naturalscience103/Welcome
The Everett Wind Team is a combined effort from Washington State University Everett and Everett Community College that’s working on exciting new turbine designs and projects for an upcoming interdisciplinary wind energy competition. They need help from students pursuing a wide variety of majors. This is a great opportunity to learn, network, and add some community service to a resume.
Everett Community College faculty members Spring Petta (linguistics and natural science), Jeff Fennell (environmental science and biology) and Laura Wild (nutritional science) presented at this year’s AASHE (The Association for the Advancement of Higher Learning) conference. AASHE is dedicated to advancing sustainability in higher education. This video contains their great presentation about social justice in learning outcomes. Spring Petta also introduces how our area is located in one of the most severely threatened indigenous language hotspots in the world (the Northwest Pacific Plateau) and how this impacts the community and cultural fabric of Washington State.
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!
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.
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!