Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Question 1:

March 5th, 2010 | Brandon

Community Action – What sustainability activities are you excited about in Corvallis and Benton County?

Please comment on March 11.

50 Responses to “Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Question 1:”

  1. Jake Lopez says:

    I can’t believe that The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality annually collects information about how much solid waste (recyclables and garbage) is generated by residents, businesses, and industry in each county waster shed. What a great initiative and information to have at hand.

  2. Brian says:

    How can you not love that the city is putting in more electric car charging stations. It is like being alive when gas stations were first being put in and horse ties were being taken down.

    Also, eating local food and restaurant composting has me stoked. I work at a place that was started doing this and can’t imagine the positive effects that would happen if even just half of the country’s restaurants started doing this.

  3. Food - Susan Wulfekuhler says:

    1. Lot of food groups—would be good to connect them.
    2. OSU built new steam co-generation plant.
    3. Allied Waste’s leadership in composting, Master Recyclers program
    4. Library used books sale
    5. City Transit Service’s OSU bus working well.
    6. Corvallis need to accelerate sustainability efforts to stay on cutting edge.
    7. Traffic lights out of synchronization
    8. Bean and Grain project helping farmers shift away from grass seed
    9. Renewable energy projects in community
    10. Water conservation/rainwater harvesting
    11. Population reduction/education
    12. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon—teaching people to cook, preserve and grow food
    13. Habitat for Humanity moving toward green building

  4. 36 - Whitney Grissom says:

    * Projects that Waste Prevention Action Team are working on. The reuse directory; helping people find places for items that they no longer want, but still work.

    * Corvallis Community Energy Project, weatherizing houses. The city making more electric car charging stations.

    * Waste reduction and composting at dining places. Campus also working on a more efficient way to compost.

    * Availability of locally grown food and turning grass seed fields into crop land we can benefit from.

    * Local economy supporting the local farmer, and how to get them connected with consumers.

  5. Food - Tim Christion says:

    Overall Interests:
     Eating organic
     Find out where I can fit in more with the Sustainability Coalition.
     Help people make more sustainable choices.
     Encourage eating locally
     Part of food action team, local 6 connection.
     Share passion with people.
     Think about what we eat everyday

    What are you most excited about?
     Food—we have a choice as to what we eat for a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.
     Preserving land in Willamette Valley
     Asphalt use from city waste to county roads—reuse, not just recycle
     The maturity of the sustainability movement here in Corvallis—impressed by how many people are involved, the passion, the infrastructure.
     Local 6 Campaign

  6. 26 - Kate Mathews says:

    josh – student – information, extra credit
    mary ann –food action committee local 6 – representing
    holli – learning ad net working
    neel – find out about activities
    Alvin – wants a sustainable world

    J – 10 rivers food, fats, local 6 – farming at some time
    Ma – sus food, some org is addressing almost all aspects
    H – Ecnotech, da vinci green
    N – compost, waste, water catchment rain hence no chlorine, money system exchange
    A – local agriculture, il hearvy ag with corn and soy bean only 4 % is eaten, CA only 4% of what is grown there is eaten,ie food is from out of state,
    Ma – 5% of this area food is grown here, OR has capacity to grow 90% of its own food, 25% of coop is local products not include produce
    N – feed self, if income low it is hard to get hi qual food or local

  7. 21 - Jared Walhowe says:

    • Excited About
    o Straw bale, net zero housing, food share.
    o Bike trailer project with bike coop. House they can live in behind their house. Project building it at the Jackson street youth shelter open to any volunteers.
    o Amount of items in presentation. Two waste cans for 2500 college students.
    o Could we build a web to show interconnectedness of the groups in the presentation???
    o Food part. OSU master gardeners working with kids.
    o Programs teaching how to grow foods in yard
    o Programs teaching youth how to garden as well as all ages.
    o Like to see more work to get people to grow crops instead of grass.
    o Blog about Hamilton county in Texas. During depression, FDR gave funds to start canning in cooperation with the gas company. Important to local survival. Bring in food, company keeps some, gives rest back to you canned.
    o – Order cannot be imposed from the top. Must start at the community level.
    o Gleaners of food and wood and disposable paper.
    o Fresh food bank. Food bank with local canned foods.
    • Surprises of presentation
    o Semi independent organizations.
    o Didn’t talk about health issues very much. More Free Clinics.
    o Ecnow tech.

  8. 47 - John Ross says:

     The Greenbelt Alliance and it’s land preservation activities to preserve more land in a pristine state.
     The rain gardens—there seems to be more and more of them this year—especially from Sandrock Landscaping.
     This Town Hall meeting and the energy coming from it. Everybody seems into it.
     The enthusiasm—it seems like we’re reaching some kind of tipping point.
     The solar panel array I’ve noticed on Peak Sports and other businesses.
     The city developing a master plan that includes community gardens.
     The report that Nissan has chosen Corvallis to launch a Leaf dealership.
     The response of City government and the Council in devising action plans in response to the Coalition initiative.
     The activities in Corvallis schools like the project to use human power to create energy for buildings.
     The composting and green activities at Ashburn School.
     The launch of the OSU Extension’s new Climate Masters certification and the impressive array of local government speakers at it, including transportation, waste and planning as well as their depth of understanding of the issues. “I was amazed.”
     A lot of solar systems going up around town and the networking that’s developed between businesses helping each other out and sharing from their experiences.
     The neighborhood produce swaps and potlucks.
     One neighbor getting together with other neighbors to solve a common drainage issue by creating a diversion of water into a pool.
     It’s like we’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg of sustainability things going on in the community.
     Community access TV being available through the web and them trying to get involved and documenting what neighborhoods are doing. They’re documenting the ethic and sharing information about what people are doing.
     The number of people who bicycled and the number of bicycles at Da Vinci Days.
     How students were taking on the take-home projects to measure water flow and calculate water use reduction by low flow devices.
     How this year’s Olympics in Vancouver was focused on being a green event by promoting car pooling and public transit.
     The coverage of local school activities in the newspaper.
     Everybody in the community seems to be involved—people of all ages.
     The tree planting in the downtown area and neighborhoods.
     The partnering between the city and organizations and businesses. I really like the process.
     Efforts to create connecting corridors between neighborhoods and schools to support bicycle commuting.
     Organized carpooling of students to and from school.

  9. 24 - Don Kuhns says:

    • Excited about riding my bike and excited about seeing others ride their bikes around town.
    • This town hall meeting
    • Youth sustainability education activities in the Philomoth and Corvallis areas. Seeing kids excited and engaged.
    • State water, Fresh Water Trust
    • Working on an organic farm
    • Kids planting trees
    • The Coop and farmers market and the availability of local foods.
    • One participant commented they thought more support was needed for the smaller (say compared to Gathering Together farms) local farms. The opinion is the large farms have an advantage at the farmers market and the smaller ones could use a boost.
    • Also related to above, farms such as Stahlbush can be less efficient than the smaller organic farms in the area.
    • Shifts in people’s attitudes towards sustainability and conservation. Tall Mountain to climb, but it is happening.
    • Seeing movement for a small town like Corvallis. The awareness seems to be growing and support by many for sustainability. It needs to be a change in life style. It is long term we are in it for the long haul.
    • Someone commented they are waiting for when coercion becomes the rule of the day.

    What has excited you at the fair tonight?
    • The diversity of organizations at the fair.
    • So many great things at the fair tonight, hard to know where to start.
    • Organizations and action around river/water conscientiousness, caring of our rivers and water uses.
    • Waiting for fusion, united force movement to occur.
    • Food sustainability and the potential it has for reducing our foot print.
    • Sustainability education
    • Passive solar water heater display. Exciting to hear how quickly one can pay off the cost of a system when factoring tax credits, rebates and energy savings.
    • A network of coalitions between Eugene, Corvallis and Portland would be good to see.

  10. 27 - Kirk Bailey says:

    -Recognition of the importance of local food production: Soil quality assessments & water availability
    -Buy Witham Oak & donate to City as open space natural area: Raise $1M, more accessible than others
    -Develop domestic cistern for home use
    -Catalyzing actions to spur community actions
    -Engage the un-involved
    -Collective neighborhood cooperation to share car trips (rural Oregonians already do this…)
    -House gardens are on the comeback just like 50 years ago
    -However, new houses occupy more of sometimes smaller lots, less garden room
    -Planning priority might be access to garden space on home lots with solar access
    -Energy co-ops for collective solar source
    -Combine solar gathering w/other land use to improve the economics
    -Arizona military base will be first community in US completely off the grid
    -Find solar spaces on existing big buildings (Home Depot, Safeway, schools, etc)
    -Diminishing sources of fresh local food with big chains supplanting local markets (e.g. Richey’s)
    -Alter planning priorities to reduce travel distances (e.g. 9th Street)

  11. 11 - Mary Steckel says:

    1. The work the Community Services Consortium is doing to weatherize the houses of low-income homeowners. They are providing real and immediate savings for over 500 homes a year.

    2. The work the Corvallis Environmental Center is doing through a City grant of federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program dollars. This funding is supporting follow-up with participants in the Corvallis Energy Challenge to encourage them to do the recommended improvements from their audits and to help them identify funding (incentives, loans) to reduce the initial or total project cost.

    3. The progress at OSU to institutionalize recycling education so all incoming students get information about what to do and how to do it as part of their general orientation to campus. Other programs on campus that are exciting include the new composting equipment, Allied Waste collecting pre- and post-consumer food waste (including proteins) from some food service areas as a pilot project, and selected dorm floors self-organizing to collect compostibles for the SSI facility.

    4. The economic vitality work that is continuing from the ‘Prosperity that Fits’ public process, such as the Food Biz Boot Camp, training interested folks in how to start up and run a food-related business.

    5. The Coalition growth in three years, from a group of people that could fit into a conference room to a group that requires the Alumni Center ballroom.

    6. The connections being made with folks outside our region. At the Town Hall are representatives from the City of Gresham and Longview Washington, just to name two. The work Corvallis is doing is a positive influence for others, which is extending our reach to the broader world.

  12. 43 - Sharon Johnston says:

    A group of nine engaged and astute people gathered to discuss sustainability around table #43. A summary list of their introductory remarks includes: walking map, toxic waste group (Allied Waste has hazardous waste collection days), Muddy Creek Charterr School, local food, Hours Exchange events, arboretums at all Corvallis schools (one per year), ride the bus and bicycle, electric vehicles, vegan diet, native habitat restoration, gardening and sustainable food (eating within season), water conservation, trash, the human element of sustainability, acquiring more knowledge on issues, eating nettles, planting trees and native plants, permaculture, locally grown peanuts by 2020, and soil quality.

    While each participant expressed their unique views and personal commitments, there were several topic areas that generated more thorough discussion. The importance of food sustainability was reflected as the conversation touched on the following topics: the relationship between food and transportation, the importance of eating seasonally, support for local growers, permaculture in the home landscape, home-grown food and sustainable gardens. The restoration of native habitats, use of native plants, improving and maintaining soil quality, protecting water resources and better ways to deal with garbage were also discussed. The group agreed that more knowledge and a deeper understanding of problems would help us all move toward the shared goal of sustainability.

    Did you see anything at the Sustainability Fair or in the slide show that was of interest to you?

    Lots of enthusiasm with this question. Kudos for the Muddy Creek Charter School and their environmental awareness program. Lincoln school has a garden, native plant habitat area and nature studies in the curriculum. The school arboretum project will align with current school activities.

    Collectively, the group was surprise and thrilled to hear that Corvallis Transit System was considering a no-fee-to-rider program. WOW!

    The group discussed the compostable forks and plastic glasses used for food service. This was not considered to be the best idea for the sustainability fair. If the forks are corn-based, should we question depleting soil quality and replacing food crops with utensil crops? What is the real carbon footprint here? The compostable glasses can be confused with look-alike plastic and contaminate the recycling stream. A group consensus surfaced based on the fact that every single item uses numerous unseen resources, including transportation costs. Reduce consumption is the answer. One participant shared a simple solution: ask participants to bring their own utensils, as he showed the group the plate, fork and cup that he had in his backpack.

    In your travels around the community or where you work or among people you know, is there anything that has been of interest to you related to sustainability?

    This discussion tended toward counter-sustainability issues like excessive consumption – THE REAL PROBLEM along with population. Every use of energy and resources should be questioned. Example: is it sustainable to use electricity for grow light and heat pad to start garden seeds?

    The group discussed that often times we are misinformed or assume sustainability of a system. For example, we imagine that electronic documents save paper product resources, decrease costs and the need to ship paper and other supplies. But is electronic technology sustainable? Huge climate controlled buildings with large footprints are required to store electronic data bases – this is not as sustainable as one thinks!

    Last but not least, we should campaign for a community commitment to keep dogs out of cemeteries.

  13. 10 - David Shapiro says:

    City Council starting next month (April) finishing in June is considering funding for new initiatives
    Free transit in Corvallis
    Implement urban forest plan
    Local fund source for renewable energy grant program
    Hopefully targeting middle-income households (200-400% of poverty line).
    Funding to repair sidewalks in the community
    “All travelers are pedestrians at both ends of the journey.”
    Increasing availability of alternate modes of transport
    e.g. More/more secure bike parking
    Bike boulevards

    Paid for using a fee on utility bill. Approximately $5 per single family home.
    Some flat rates (2,3,4), others (1,5) based on avg. number of trips taken.
    Not an opt-in. Based on city council vote.
    More information in April City Council Newsletter.
    Information for submitting feedback.

    Working with Cyclotopia to provide an electric-assisted bicycle for hauling heavier loads.
    Add-on kits for bikes
    Lead-acid or Li-ion batteries, depending on price point.
    Difficulty in obtaining bikes?
    OSUsed (OSU surplus)

  14. Table 19: FOOD says:

    -Anything to do with local food production
    -Teaching kids about food and as to where it comes from
    -OSU to progress as a large institution: become a model for the rest of the town
    -Excited to see greater interest in farming: turn lawns into garden space, city council is on board!
    -Corvallis has a small-town, feel like you’re contributing, sorta feeling.
    -Responsiveness to ideas
    -Water harvesting that is occurring
    -Solar hot water
    -School district sustainability committee

  15. 45 says:

    All six participants were currently or had been recently involved in leadership positions with the Student Sustainability Initiative at OSU. The conversation focused mostly on how the SSI is organized and what it is doing.
    Students’ observations:
    – Seeing increased interest in sustainability issues from OSU Admin.
    – Increased number of class offerings focused on sustainability issues.
    – Students felt they were “ahead” of most, but not all, faculty. They noted that more professors are incorporating sustainability-oriented projects to course requirements.
    – OSU is realizing the importance of sustainability; there’s a lot of opportunity on campus right now. Awareness and ideas seems to be flowing both ways – bottom up and top down.
    – More students realizing we really “should” be living in a sustainable manner.
    – The SSI has tried to make itself all-encompassing with lots of different ways to get involved. It sees itself as a support network for students who can either get involved with an existing SSI project or can come to SSI for help & support with their own projects. They also work with OSU admin on energy-related issues and are available to speak to classes (“class raps”).
    – They were asked how one decides where to get involved and if it is easier to get involved in a city or small town. They said people get involved where their passion lies, where they can make a difference, where they find community. This can happened in large or small places.

    – All the students are Oregonians though none from Corvallis and all arrived already with some understanding and commitment to sustainability concerns.

    – One student participated in the Copenhagen talks and left feeling pessimistic about the outcome.

  16. Scott Dybvad says:

    - People taking their own initiative and doing sustainable things that are not part of the bigger effort.
    - Solar panels on the Coop roof.
    - Food waste composting. Especially, leading with restaurants and then moving to residential.
    - The bus service in Corvallis.
    - Less consumerism (and the associated waste generation). It’s likely due to a slow economy, but will it last?
    - Partnerships between OSU, City, County and businesses.
    - The Master Recycler program.
    - Excited about all the young people in attendance.
    - All the informational signs about energy and water use at the Town Hall.
    - SSI / OSU Bike coop

  17. Table 48 says:

    1. Water catchment, valley has serious water problem. Ex: Lebanon has 24-hr water supply. Farmers may not have enough water to irrigate crops this year. And this is the Northwest!
    Why: a. Population
    b. Farmer irrigation practices can be wasteful, run off with fertilizer and insecticides
    c. Slow to change
    d. Global warming

    Recommend to citizens to take “baby steps” rather than expensive projects, rain barrels, start small and expand.
    Australia is 30 years ahead of the US.

    2. Local Food, Are there resources to help identify where to obtain and support local food supplies and producers, including restaurants?

    3. Hours exchange, keeping things in the community. Discussion of how this works.

    4. Emphasis on personal sustainability, checking water use, grow own food, carry cash and decrease use of credit cards because 2% goes outside the community, choose to use compostable products when possible.

    5. Allied Waste will soon have weekly collection of green scraps, working with DEQ and restaurants to be able to include all food scraps, including protein and fats.

  18. -Corvallis school district stimulus grant for $45,000, lighting, upgrade
    -Field of Dreams-recycled aluminum bleachers
    -Gree building-built house close to net zero, all natural house
    -new magainze- Willamette Living Magazine, featuring small farms, sustainble living
    -Becomign more involved in sustanability coalition, want to be more self-reliant-personal connection to Oregon
    -climate masters vol. program-lower your carbon ootprint
    -Bus to adair village and Corvallis

  19. 28 says:

    Sustainability activities participants are you excited about in Corvallis and Benton County:

    + Reduce, reuse and recycle. Keeping the focus on reducing unnecessary consumption (e.g., napkins, disposable plastic water bottles, etc.). Local processing of recyclable materials.

    + Donation of food to low-income citizens, especially families, so that this demographic has access to healthy, fresh, locally-grown products.

    + Community education on options for growing your own fruits and vegetables – considered especially important for school-aged children as “growing your own” promotes better food choices among a generation for which health is a concern.

  20. Table 22 says:

    Table 22 had a great time and many intriguing discussions.

  21. Table 22 says:

    Action group leader summary mentioned that there have not been enough volunteers to get to goals 2 and 3. Emphasis has been on Goal 1, including
    • making healthy food more widely and readily available.
    • finding ways to share facilities to promote exercise

    Discussion around promoting healthy eating, particularly through schools. How does one build it into curriculum. Such as in the Farm to School Program.

    Invitation to the health and human services group to build awareness that family planning and population reduction is necessary for a truly sustainable future.
    Potentially build a tax structure that encourages small families.
    Promote small families as a green value.

    Childhood Obesity possibly addressed through healthier food and exercise- more biking, walking and PE. Coordination with the food group to make sure children are healthy.
    Promote more local food in the schools. Have kids nurture gardens- have children summer garden programs in school gardens.

    An idea to think about- a soda tax to encourage healthy habits.

    The creation of focused projects like the soda tax might be a way to give the Health and Human Services action team a clearer identity

  22. Table 22 says:

    This Year’s top personal priority related to sustainability (old and new):
    • a good garden, and get advice to make it happen, suggestion to find help form Master gardener program
    • increase the garden, reduce driving and get rid of car. Green circle on the calendar for each day the car is not used
    • promote food and gardening as a city sustainability goal, get back to use electric bicycle, grow enough food to store more
    • drive less, continue not using dryer, support local farmers, promote car pools
    • trade in car for a more fuel efficient model, giving up Starbucks on Saturday morning until it comes to pass, some gardening
    • spend volunteer energy on the sustainability coalition, make strategic donations, and stay politically active, keep up small targets- like improved appliances
    • be attentive to energy efficient construction
    • development of energy conservation and renewable resource program for 4 Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii. Hawaii is going to a “smart grid” and modify behavior that way (such as high rates at peak times).
    • education, particularly with respect to family planning

    Consensus of the group that population issues need to have a high priority in a plan for sustainability.

  23. 20 says:

    Building homes for the homeless and improving their lives

    Removing invasive species: cutting ivy away, get rid of scotch broom along with other invasive species around the community

    Keep litter down at schools

    Ride bike more

    Install a new low energy, efficient furnace.

    Build a chicken coop, use recycled materials to build it

    Eat local food

    Creating a compost system at local places for all the compostable items that are being used in the community

    Corvallis Clinic is planning on sharing local produce that workers are growing at home or obtaining in CSA boxes or other ways

  24. 16 says:

    Community gardening – involving younger generations – day programs and education

    Food biz – 10 rivers food web – sustainable local food model in Willamette Valley

    Corvallis hours program – local currency & values

    Willamette Valley – conversion from grass seed to food production

    Shifting towards vegetarian diet and how it fits into the equation of local foods and reducing energy use and waste. Animal rights.

  25. Table17 says:

    What sustainability activities are we interested in?

    1) Tona – faculty – Civil Engineering. Housing action group. Involved in sustainability for structural engineering.
    2) Jason – student of Tona’s. Looking at agricultural systems. Went on tour, stonybrook, etc.
    3) Patricia – House building, gardens, getting her trees established. 31 of them. Making plants part of their life.
    4) Christine – Bicycles, lots of them.
    5) Becky – wildlife, part of chintimini, bringing sustainability to the horse world.
    6) Me – Following and using sustainable and green methods materials and systems in housing construciton. Exciting to see the companies and options.

  26. 46 says:

    Energy Improvements at a business scale – interest in “air-source” heat pumps as opposed to “ground-source” heat pumps.

    OSU’s connected their irrigation system to a weather station so that the water applied is appropriate

    “Tasting table” – to increase the knowledge of school kids about where our food comes from – kids try it and learn about how it grows or is farmed. Started at Lincoln School. Connecting kids to where food comes from. Other ideas include field trips to local farms to see the food in the field. Slow Food Corvallis.

    One church received a grant from the City of Corvallis to plant along a stream bank. 5-6 OSU students volunteered with the planting.

    Community Gardens – youth gardens. Reclaimed vacant lots. HP gardens. Local Schools. Starker Arts Garden. Donation going to local food banks via a bike trailer as a sustainable demonstration.

    South Co-op – Rainwater catchment and solar demonstration projects.

    Home weatherization program – Community Services Consortium. Energy Trust Audits – Although they recommend a blower door test, it’s really expensive – interest in making these services available to community members of all income levels. Rainwater catchment.

    OSU’s bike-powered energy production – great demonstration of how much energy it really takes to ‘generate’ energy.

  27. Table 8 says:

    +Methodist church has a Natural Step driven program. Replaced single pane windows, low energy lights and electric charging stations in the lot on Monroe (between 12th and 13th on Monroe).

    Interested in Land Use, Food, and Planning (the impact of the interaction of this). The Public Health Department is spearheading a public health look at the impact of city planning on health and access to food (starting with South Town). The resources there include the Coop, the Food Pantry, and the neighborhood exchanges of food from
    There is produce and bread available (weekly or more) from the food bank, more often than the once a month visit.

    Lots of people coming together on behalf of a cause where progress happens! (The JANA neighborhood door to door, working with groups of neighborhood folks to take a barn raising kind of approach to taking out invasives and planting natives.)

    Master Recycling group creating a set of tools to enable folks to know how/where to buy things that are used and to donate or make available things that they no longer need. (Keeping things out of the landfill.)

    High School students leading on the idea of individual buy-in for a solar slice….as a means of getting federal tax credits.

    The farm to school program in the Corvallis School District and the fact that it is up and running was very fun to see over the last few years.

    The Feed In Tariff is coming! If we could pool our money to put solar on buildings (without worrying about tax credit appetites), we could get our money back (in 15 years) and have our schools or public buildings get free energy for the rest of the lifetime of the system.

  28. 38 says:

    What we are excited about:
    Easier recycling in Corvallis, door to door pick up is great.
    This sentiment is echoed by the table.
    Composting is great, reduces energy use.
    Fresh vegetables at Sage Garden is producing thousands of pounds of food for the community. A complete diet is now possible due to the range of local options.
    The Saturday market not only provides a local option, but instills a valuable sense of community.
    South town has a neighbor hood surplus food exchange.
    The Bike Co-op recycles old bikes into new workable transportation. They accept Hours, the currency, and have expanded to wheelchairs, BMX, and more. It is volunteer effort.
    The towns bike lanes are excellent for promoting sustainable transportation. Corvallis has developed a mentality of being safe for bikers.
    Corvallis hospital has gone smoke free, a great example of how city institutions can drive individual contributions to sustainability. Glad to hear some of the stories at the start of the presentation. This meeting in general is something to be excited about.
    Local food booths at the fair are cool, the local six emblem is a great idea.
    The directory for re-use is a useful document and a good idea.
    Blue sky signs, solar panels, and consumers power methane based power from the land fill are all examples of sustainable and sometimes local power.

  29. 29 says:

    -the opportunities for local agriculture and food production. the more local we can keep the agriculture systems, the more sustainable our town can be. Must focus on local eating to take down pollution from transit/fossil fuels

    -Community gardens. Grew up on a small farm in Minnesota, grew all of his own food in WWII. The idea of individuals being responsible for their own food production was educational. Participation in gardening allows individuals to understand their food system and take responsibility for it.

    -da Vinci days: is celebrating sustainability as important as suffering for it?

    -Excited to see how sustainable activities are becoming more mainstream and tied in with a mainstream economy. Plasticware becoming veggiebased… here is a company invisioning locally grown products that can be used locally and biodegraded locally. Building our economy, which is agriculture, but serves a much broader community than our own. It’s a brilliant idea. Compatible with what could be happening here – makes sense in our community because of our natural gifts to be leaders in this. On personal and community levels. The number of people who are not “Green” but see the point on different levels.

    -The state taking interest in restoring the main branch of the Willamette River. The restoration projects of the Greenbelt Land Trust has only happened in the last 10 years. Moving into the mainstream Willamette River, we’ve only had 6 projects. The state is going to invest $3 million dollars to work on river restoration. Now we need to work on the social factor – getting individuals interested in work on public and private lands. Any public land of any kind must become more dedicated to preservation or restoration. Companies are buying up public land – we must dedicated to conserving what’s good and restoring what needs restoration. To dedicate public lands, we need to have a government with the vision and eloquence to preserve river. There is a lot of public fear of the river. For the river to be healthy, it needs to move. It will not stay in place. A healthy river is moving, and we need to not get in its way. People believe in rock, they don’t believe in vegetation.

    -Cultural sustainability. Strong historic preservation effort – in our rush to build green, sometimes we lose the underpinnings of our culture that give us our roots. “The greenest building is the one that’s already built.” Corvallis has balance between LEED fervor and historic preservation. Happy to see balance between the old and the new. Happy to see efforts for restoration. A 250 year old barn that gets torn down is never coming back.

    -Good building standards in Corvallis – we’re building historic buildings.

    -Trust between rural and urban communities – is there communication that actually works between rural and urban areas in Benton County?

    -Tension between the rural and the urban – the bridge between urban and rural is potentially in food. 80,000 people in Benton County – 53,000 in Corvallis. Lots in agriculture and forestry.

  30. 13 says:

    movements toward sustaainability:

    Allied waste is composting– very big improvement. Good to have a user-friendly option

    Would be nice to see some information about the usage of the program– education and publicity still needed in terms of use

    BSWCD gave funding to Dixon Creek watershed residents to get native plants and residents pooled efforts for a synergystic restoration efforts

    Businesses making “green” changes without the need/quest for publicity

    Push for Compostable food containers into schools

    Comment that the majority of compostable containers are derived of GMO corn… look to reusable instead

    All options come wiith trade-offs

    Local food initiatives in resturaunts

    Fast food places in Canada use reusable stuff! Hands down the most efficient, according to studies.

    Getting local, whole, sustainable foods to lower income families very good thing.

    As well, efforts to help people learn food preservation leading to greater food independence.

    South town produce sharing groups– great model and easy to expand

    Habitat restoration initiatives great

    Question: are there a lot of different groups putting together efforts? Would streamlining be better?

    Yes, a central clearing house would be really helpful.

    Biking is prioritized and that’s wonderful. Bike commuting is easy and feels safe. Great model for other communities.

    More mass transit as well as public transportation to the train system.

    Biking could always be better… more bikes on buses. Better covered parking for bikes all over town.

  31. Table 9 says:

    It would be nice to get the scrapbook out on the website in order to be able to send a link to other people, friends, colleagues across the country. Promote Corvallis as a model of sustainability.

    We are excited about local foods.

    The Corvallis-Albany Multi-Use Path is going well. Involves plaanning, site prep, preliminary alignment need to be completed first. The project is probably 5 years out from completion.

    The Get FIT (Oregon Feed-in-Tariff) for solar photovoltaic systems. Home owners and businesses that install solar systems that qualify for the program can receive cash payments for the power they produce from their utilities.

    Meta-sustainabilty–how do we create sustainable programs that are in and of themselves sustainable?

    Exciting to realize the capacity that Corvallis has to enact sustainable programs. Simultaneously, the ability to maintain an overall organization/coordination of the sustainability programming is amazing.

    -Better marketing of house improvements, e.g. solar water heating, energy-efficient windows, home energy efficiency in general. Promoting the financial incentives for these household improvements.

    -Neighborhood Listening Surveys: for home-owners and renters. Beneficial for the home-owners or the landlords. It is a weatherization program.

  32. 32 says:

    Excited about the education aspect of sustainability — importance of educating kids about gardening, composting, and other activities that should be part of daily life.

    Excited about how the event is wate-free, ability to walk the walk.

    Another sustainability meeting someone attended only had about 15 people at it, it’s inspiring to see so many people at an event such as this.

    Proliferation of energy efficiency projects at local businesses.

    CEC has been helping businesses and now residences, and even rentals.

    Community Services Consortium has weatherization programs available for low-income residents, even if they do not own their home.

    Impressed by the Ten Rivers Food Web effort to convert grass seed farms to food crops.

    Some of the turnover from grass seed farms to other crops may be linked to a lack of demand for grass seed instead of the demand for local grains.

    While it is inspiring to see transitions to food crops, the issue of monocropping still remains.

    The existence of so many backyard chicken coops is a great sign for the prevalence and commitment to local food in Corvallis.

  33. 35 says:

    Plant A Row for the Hungry – Overwhelming some of the local foodbanks.

    Corvallis Community Energy Project – cooperative project between OSU students, Energy Trust of Oregon, talking to people about energy habits and the opportunities that exist for cost-sharing of sustainable energy. Bulk solar is an example of a discount energy option.

    Windturbin technology that would reduce the impact on wildlife (birds and bats) – saw an example of a different design at DaVinci Days.

    Increased awareness of local businesses and local food, and independent businesses.

    Excited about meeting goals of sustainability coalition.

    EcoTech recyclable plates. Someone put some cups and utensils in their compost pile and half a year later they did actually decompose.

    Masters Recyclers program (like Master Gardeners) take classes and put in volunteer hours in the community.

    Land Use Action Team survey eg) bike lane on Crystal Lake Drive.

    Land Use Planning – hoping that more action can be put in a sustainable direction.

  34. Table 31 says:

    -business involvement is enouraging b/c it proves it’ not just about money
    -heightened awareness about water bottles
    -Corvallis transit system epanding to Crescent Valley
    -bike trail from here to Albany
    -Oregon Public transit funding bus line from Monmouth all the way to Junction City
    -the increase in people bringing their own bags to the grocery store
    -Coop to charge money if cstomers don’t birng their own bags
    -United Church of Christ working with OSU and other oranizations to keep the creek clean, also doing energy audits
    -Akro Construction company will only build houses with geothermal power
    -just two years ago there was no one who would build straw bale homes, but now there are a few companies in Corvallis that do it
    -green construction, insulated walls
    -Green Town at DaVinci days keeps getting better and better
    -Seeing a lot of hybrid cars, electric cars, new plans for chrging stations
    -Allied Waste now oing weekly plant waste pick ups
    -City Hal new Farmer’s Foodbox program for employees – every Friday employees who sign up get a box of produce, they bring back the box each week to get it filled up
    -Communiy-supported agriculture
    -Education in schools has ramped up – a lot more curriculum has come up
    -new green building at Linn Benton Community College – enviromental-oriented classes, shool garden

  35. 12 says:

    Part 1: Community Action

    What are some activities that you saw or are involved with that you’re excited about?

    James: Excited about Energize Corvallis Campaign, which is basically recruiting volunteers who were involved in the Corvallis Energy Challenge to get people to more involved. Good way to get people involved.

    Corvallis Energy Challenge happened in 2008. The energy trust of Oregon sponsored it… they focussed on Corvallis Alum, trying to see how much they could change in just one town. Following up, the main thing is just doing home reviews… so Energize Corvallis is going around doing free evaluations on Corvallis Homes. Consumer’s Power has a similar program.

    Susan: There seems to be a lot of collaboration between the state, county, and city. It’s good to know that energy isn’t coming from just one source.

    Brandon: Corvallis is considering increasing the price of water. This marketing campaign will help build awareness and support clean water.

    Ed: Will the water tax build any credits?

    Brandon: It will be a flat rate. Such as $1-2. I’m not sure what the funds would go towards. Mainly urban beautification, such as sidewalk improvement, tree plants, etc.

    Ed: People are already paying extra for green power (Blue Sky). Why should these people pay more for water too?

    James: The water is the only thing the city of Corvallis has control over.

    Claire: It’s amazing how much more advanced Corvallis is than many other communities. The entire community is so passionate about everything. I love the action teams and how much they’re able to cover.

    Ed: Are other high schools in other communities doing stuff like this?

    Mayrah: It’s mainly student run.

    Claire: The Student Sustainability Steering committee is doing a lot of great stuff and helping encourage activism in high school student.

    Sarah: I’m very involved in food in Corvallis. I’m interested in promoting local food within our community. I work with the Coop.

    Claire: Are there any food projects you’re working on?

    Sarah: There are three food groups. The groups I was working with focussed on food access. We saw that in soup kitchens, the families were way more under-served so we’re moving on a south town family soup kitchen. But we ran into some insurance troubles. But recently, the sustainability coalition is working on getting insurance.

    Susan: So mainly single homeless people were served?

    Sarah: Yeah.

    Susan: Was it hard finding a place?

    Sarah: We finally found a place near South Side Community Church. They were interested in hosting us. They have hundreds of kids come by every Tuesday to get food. There was just some hesitancy putting us on their insurance because they were worried we were going to try to focus too much on sustainability in food and not as much on feeding people.

  36. Education 7 says:

    What sustainability activities are you excited about in Corvallis and Benton County?
    -Gardening action team, individually, trying to conserve as much as can. pretty efficient. new gas heater – seeing if city has a sustainable one.
    -Sustainability spirit has spread significantly throughout Corvallis. Bought all hybrid car – excited because it demonstrates passion and care
    -higher influences such as businesses and OSU make community members more aware
    -food processing should improved
    -First alternative local 6 (6-county area). Wish more people would utilize local products, so we could minimize transportation costs
    -Chef’s Show-Off and Food Fair – Sunday, April 11th 2-5pm, Linn Benton, CC Main Campus, $10 per person
    -Concerned about the green food wast that’s going in the yard debris containers
    -Have own compost pile; you can get compost containers at Allied Waste

  37. Table 22 says:

    excitement expressed over
    • re-using of resources, such as the asphalt for the road.
    • the local food food movement- using previously unused land for food cultivation and sharing of resources in the food-garden community
    • redevelopment of campground to make a garden and the South Town Harvest and Resource Exchange. Sharing and building community as food is grown
    • a new staff person budgeted in City budget for community involvement., and outward focus rather than inward
    • promotion of ground-source heat pumps that makes it possible to save about 70% of energy. Knowing that so much energy consumption could be cut creates a mandate to do so.
    • solar hot water is a way to reduce energy consumption and this is increasing
    • existence of lots near town that can be developed in more sustainable way
    • composting at a community level
    • the existence and developments within the sustainability coalition
    • long term excitement in building of long-term green-conscious and green-built cohousing development (presently 34 townhouses). This builds community conciousness and promotes sustainable behaviors.

    Question asked: is there enough land for all to have a community garden if they like?

  38. 44 says:

    Group likes seeing great composting solutions. Folks wanted to make composting happen at there houses/dwellings. You can buy composting equipment from Allied Waste. EcNow Tech supplies compostable Foodservice disposables to 35+ restaurants, hotels, hospitals, universites in the area.

    DaVinci Days is a great sustainable event for Corvallis.

    OSU had recycling bins at football games – new concepts for last season.

    Great participation for Bike to Work this year and bike use in general.

    Reduction in lawn costs, by reducing size and water use and pesticides.

  39. 20 says:

    -most excited for the community and the work towards sustainability
    -gardening groups
    -energy trust came to look at house to see how efficient they were, and working on getting better
    -excited about the sustainability spirit in our community and the influence that the sustainability coalition has on the community
    -recycling programs
    -city bus at CVHS
    -local food ordering online
    -went on coop tour
    -city, schools, and large employers are all involved
    -composting workshops at OSU April 22, May 20
    -hopes for future: solar panels at CHS, community gardening, more local food, water conservation, and composting

  40. kathleen says:

    Growing local food – check out Growing Edge Magazine @

    Local food reduces fuels used when trucking (ave 1,500- 2,000)

    School District connection with local food

    Community Gardens

    Farmers Market

    Opportunity to save water with water tanks, water gardens ect.

    Chickens in town, growing own food

    Converting farms to organic farming techniques

    Impressed with this event, how it was put together and that the action committees followed through

    Living in a community that is practicing sustainability


    The potential to not grow the economy with more jobs but have prosperity without growth

    Transit system

    Corvallis’ participation in the Electric Vehicle project through the Dept. of Energy

    7,500 fed. tax credit to purchase Nissan Leaf + 1,500 tax credit from state

    Growing local helps food security

    The conversation about bringing back local food processing

  41. Table 40 says:

    Sustainability activity most excited about:

    Introductions, what brought us here
    - Bikes
    - Celebration
    - Bikes
    - Recycling
    - Local involvement
    - Future

    Most exciting events/projects in local community:

    - Community inclusiveness
    - Oregon Trail Cards accepted at Farmer’s Market
    - Sustainability reaches everybody

    - Biking
    - Simple way to do something that makes a huge difference
    - 15% – 22% of trips taken within Corvallis are taken by bike
    - Contributes to so many causes (health, pollution, energy, etc)
    - Corvallis/Albany bike trail (~10 years out)

    - Options around food
    - Gardening with neighbors
    - Rain/Shine Farms (Community Supported Agriculture in South Town)
    - Informal co-op idea
    - Teaching class on sprouting (indoor gardening) through
    - Corvallis Local Foods

    - Good, local organic food
    - Money, health, environment triangle
    - Community garden would benefit low-income residents
    - Would rather buy local food, but can only afford WinCo

    - Growth in student population
    - Corvallis is a unique city
    - Great place for so many students to be exposed to such a great culture
    - Hopefully they can take it to the suburbs
    - Something we can improve: inter-city transportation (light rail, etc)
    - Students can take away: walkable community, local foods, ease of recycling

    - Food Biz Camp

  42. 34 says:

    Solar energy at fairgrounds

    Landfill captures methane

    Corvallis to sea trail for bicycles and hikers along designated route from Benton county to coast

    The increase in local food availability

    Alternative transportation locally

    Citizens are supportive of parks systems and natural areas

    Community energy strategy to build outreach for sustainability energy use in city of corvallis

    City initiative to add $5 to municipal water bills to support free transportation for residents and safety for pedestrians and bicycles among other initiatives

  43. 25 says:

    Gresham getting ideas to take back home
    Hour Trader
    Roots man from day one. $220 worth of Hour Trader
    Had a history of the Hour Trader-Group was very interested in this.
    Both Coops. Library, OSU thrift shop,Beanery,Coffer shops,
    Hour Trader is a data base.
    Get a Farmer’s market.
    Degree to which the Corvallis wide support and receptive to this concept.
    Commitment to energy efficient in the schools and the colleges. Solar panels in school to use the energy. Teaching opportunities Every school should get green roofs, diverting water and reuse.
    Doing at home to shut down.
    Overlap in all the sciences and classes.
    Food web is a big drive.
    Garden story from Pam: gave people to other food.Food bank 381 pounds of food. What could 50 do as Pam is doing. Food bank is helping with the stone soup program. Trade with friends.
    Work in my garden to help. Connect help with local gardners to help them totally use their garden with the green concept.

  44. Table 30 says:

    - The food was exciting in the sustainability fair – local.
    - Composting was interesting.
    - The sheer amount of tables. There are a lot of people involved in local foods. Exciting!
    - Add up the number of hours (kilowatts) and general savings as a total for the entire year from our sustainable efforts.
    - Liked the booth where you could tell the camera what you are doing to foster sustainability in the community.
    - Sense that this effort – the sustainability townhall meeting – is growing, which is exciting.
    - Some of us see nothing in our neighborhoods in regards to excess attempts at sustainability. Seems like there’s an awareness, but maybe not as much action as there could be.
    - Wonders if teenagers are as in touch with issues of sustainability as their parents/guardians
    - However, if you GET the kids to understand and act, they will bring their parents along.
    - Our schools have strong recycling programs, which is a wonderful way for kids to begin to understand the basics of what it means to be sustainable.
    - Exciting to see the first straw bale structure in Corvallis. A real break through.
    - Environmental Center work in the community is Huge.
    - Local food in the schools – again, huge.
    - In general, Corvallis is a “tipping point” a kind of progressive place that is in the forefront of many of these activities.
    - Bike Boulevards; an option for the future.

  45. Table 23 says:

    -Food recycling program
    -Educating new students on sustainability through a student orientation called Start Orientation.
    -Farmers market and the associated SNAP/food stamp program
    -Events like this Town Hall event with such an high turn out
    -Changes at the hospital from seeing many folks not knowing about composing and other sustainability measures to now seeing the the hospital describe sustainability actions in the intro to the Town Hall.
    -Compost at home and at work
    -New ways of recycling
    -The diversity of organizations active in the community, especially low income related efforts
    -Seeing so many others in the community doing good things. Encouraging!
    -Seeing groups reach out to school children
    -Rain water harvesting
    -Finding ways to engage folks in apartment complexes.
    -Making apartment complexes more sustainability, such as with recycling efforts.
    -Activities at the State of Oregon Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities in Portland (including public transit to get people there)
    -Better passenger rail system in Oregon
    -Learning from all the organizations in town, like NW Earth Institute, and their resources
    -Like the way local businesses are getting creative to be more sustainable, such as a company burning hazel nuts shells for fuel (Hazel Nut Hill).
    -See that community gardens are “growing”
    -City of Corvallis effort to increase Blue Sky enrollment, and also their effort with having the vote boards to determine what else to do

  46. Table 5 says:

    We are impressed by the recycling efforts that have occured over the past couple of years and have continued to grow.
    We are also impressed by the biking.
    A question we have is how to get people involved. Some people are not tuning in. We considered running commericials on the local public access TV channels. We need to go farther in getting this knowledge out because so many people have no idea. We considered showing the powerpoint just shown on TV.
    We also think it would be important to show this slideshow at local schools, where children could go home and tell their parents about this. We feel that there comes a point where we are preaching to the choir and we need to reach new people.
    We are excited about Allied waste compost, especially that they are now implementing a policy where we can compost animal products.
    We talked about composting everything at Da Vinci Days. We hope that we can remove the “sorting” factor from recycling and composting.
    We are impressed that the city of Corvallis itself is so sustainable and proactive, especially in the public works dept. They recycle everything from sytrofoam to plastic bags. They are proud that it is not just paper anymore. The Public Works dept. is also starting paper towel composting.
    At high schools, it is difficult to get the manpower to implement recycling and composting.
    At the Public Works Dept., they work with Allied Waste and First Alternative Co-op. There are still gaps when people don’t use the means that are there, but everything is labeled. We wanted to get the message across. They divided the people into small groups and talked about recycling in a very personal, one on one environment where they provided examples of different types of plastics that could be recycled.
    We are excited by all the food education that is going on in Corvallis. We are excited about the restaurants that are committed to sustainability. Downward Dog, Cloud 9, Block 15, Coffee Culture, Zia, Nearly Normals, and Fireworks are several of these restaurants.
    With transportation, the city is considering a sustainability intiative fee. It would be a utility fee that would allow for expansion of service. Especially service on Sunday. We have seen an increase in the number of riders, but when the gas prices went down, it took a downward turn. It is slowly climbing. They have identified a breaking point at four $ a gallon.
    Ridership has increased on the bus between Corvallis and Philomath. Philomath has lowered their bus fares and worked with Corvallis so that people do not have to pay to transfer between Philomath and Corvallis buses.
    New buses will go to Adair Village, the airport, Monroe, and even Junction City.
    We wish that there was a communications office in the city and we hope that the city will advertise the many wonderful transportation options more.
    At the Senior Center, there are rentable buses.

  47. Jeanne Holmes says:

    interested in schools and bond levies to improve sustainability, and working to change the minds of the school facilities people.

  48. Valerie Goodness says:

    I am interested in inclusion and having marginalized peoples have more of a voice as stakeholders.

  49. Aileen Hood says:

    Loved the food stuff and composting but is concerned about the justice of sustainability. She says it is very interesting what the schools are doing and teaching the kids about sustainability. She grew up growing her own food and raised her kids to do the same.

  50. Dustin Quardt says:

    Working on a project to use better fertilizers and pesticides or reduce them on campus at OSU. Right now he is collecting data. Once he does that he will be doing tests, he works for the campus sustainability. He is confident he can get student support. He says will also reduce labor costs for less spraying