NEW! Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Quarterly Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

October 2015

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Upcoming Events

Climate Conversations #1 Monday, October 19, 6:30 PM at UW-Tacoma.

Bike to Ice Cream Social Saturday, October 24, 2:00 PM at People's Park Hilltop.

November Green Drinks Thursday, November 5, 6:00 PM at Earthwise Architectural Salvage.

Climate Conversations #2 Monday, November 16, 6:30 PM at University of Puget Sound.

Climate Conversations #3 Monday, December 7, 6:00 PM at Evergreen State College-Tacoma.

Salmon Saturday
Saturday, December 12, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at Swan Creek Park.

Ongoing Opportunities

Sustainable Tacoma Commission - 2nd Tuesday of each month, 3:30-5:30 PM at Tacoma Municipal Building, 9th floor Visibility Center. Public welcome! 

EnviroHouse workshops - Free with advance registration. Weekends at the EnviroHouse, Recovery & Transfer Center, 3510 South Mullen St.

Tacoma Green Drinks - Every 1st Thursday, 6:00 PM, at different locations around town.

Point Defiance Marina Beach Cleanup - 3rd Saturday of each month, 9 AM - 12 PM.

Additional Education and Involvement

Green Living Guide

An award-winning interactive map featuring many of Tacoma’s resources and efforts towards more sustainable living.

Video Features


This series takes you behind the scenes to find out where Tacoma's waste goes

Urban Green

Full Episode Archive

Tacoma Report Eco Videos

Explore the City of Tacoma's archive of videos on environmental topics.

Climate Conversations Banner

This autumn, the City will host a free three-part series detailing Tacoma’s climate risks and what we can do as a nation, state and city to reduce our climate pollution and improve our local environment while preparing for change. The series will bring regional experts together with local residents and decision-makers to discuss potential responses to the changing climate. The meetings coincide with the scheduled release of two new City documents: a Climate Change Risk Assessment and a 5-year Environmental Action Plan. For more information and to RSVP, visit

1. Climate Change Risks: Global to Local. With UW Climate Impacts Group. Oct. 19, 6:30-8 p.m. at UWT.

2. Climate Policy and Pricing: Global to Local. With Sightline Institute, Climate Solutions, Carbon WA, and the Governor’s Office. Nov. 16, 6:30-8 p.m. at UPS.

3. Climate Policy and Environmental Action in Tacoma. With OEPS. Dec. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. at Evergreen-Tacoma.


Air Safe Pierce County

Wood Stove program

The City is supporting the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department’s effort to clean up our air due to wintertime wood smoke. As of October 1, old, high-polluting wood stoves are now illegal in Tacoma and Pierce County. State and federal grants are available to residents to change out their uncertified woodstoves to cleaner heating devices. To learn more and to get on the waiting list, check out


Downtown to Defiance

Downtown to defiance 3

Around 1,500 people participated in the 3rd-annual Downtown to Defiance event in September. Participants walked, biked, and rolled along more than 6 miles of waterfront streets without vehicle traffic, stopping along the way to enjoy live music, food trucks, and other fun activities. Thanks to Metro Parks Tacoma and all the partners and volunteers who helped to make this event possible! Visit to see more photos from the day.


Hilltop in Motion

Hilltop Mural

This fall, the Hilltop In Motion campaign will help residents of Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood connect with resources that make it easier to choose to walk, bike, and bus. Designed to improve local air quality by reducing motor vehicle use, programs like this one have other positive community benefits including increasing community engagement and boosting the local economy. Be sure to join the Slow Social Bike Ride to the Ice Cream Social on October 24 at 2:00 PM at People’s Park.  The ride is family-friendly and all participants will get a free ice cream cone. Visit for more information.  

HHHN: Dometop

Beginning this month, the Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods program will engage with the Hilltop and Lincoln neighborhoods on behalf of the City and its partners. Program staff will meet with community groups and approach about 2,500 doors for individual knock-and-talk conversations with residents about household and community needs. Building on previous success in the Wapato Lake and Dometop neighborhoods, the program will connect residents to local resources that offer eco-friendly cost-savings and plan springtime events and workshops that address community priorities and environmental health issues like water quality, community walkability, and healthy food access. For more information, visit or call (253) 208-9046.




The EnviroChallenger teachers travel throughout Tacoma teaching our future land stewards about the need to reduce the amount of trash going into the landfill, how to reduce the amount of toxins making their way into the environment, the need to increase recycling efforts and how to protect water quality and endangered salmon. If you’re a teacher within the City limits of Tacoma please go to to learn more about the program and use our on-line booking calendar to book your FREE lessons for the 15/16 school year. If you are a teacher within Pierce County but outside City limits please visit


Tree Coupons

Tree Canopy

 Will you help us to increase Tacoma’s tree canopy cover? From October 1, 2015 through April 1, 2015, Pierce County residents are eligible for a $15 discount on up to 5 trees at participating retailers. To find out more and request your free coupon, visit

envirohouse logo

There are three workshops remaining this fall at the City of Tacoma EnviroHouse (located at the Transfer and Recovery Center, 3510 S. Mullen St.). You can learn about tree and shrub pruning, rain barrels, and residential lighting. Workshops are free, but advance registration is required. (Note: If a workshop is full, please register for the waiting list.)  For more information on workshops, resources, and planning your visit, view this brochure or the EnviroHouse website.

                       Workshop Schedule

October 17 Pruning Landscape Trees & Shrubs

October 18 Rain Barrels: How to Make & Maintain

October 24 Bright Ideas, Smart Lighting: LEDs at Home

November 14 Curious about Electric Vehicles?


Shop Smart & Save Puget Sound

Chinook Book

For a limited time, Tacoma Surface Water Management is sponsoring a free one year subscription to the new Chinook Book phone app in support of Puget Sound. Visit the Tacoma First Office, EnviroHouse, or Center for Urban Waters to fill out a pledge to do your part to protect Puget Sound and pick up your FREE app activation code to access coupons and savings to more than 55 local and 500 regional sustainable businesses. (Limit one per household.  Must live within Tacoma city limits.) To learn more, visit the City’s Prevent Water Pollution page. 


Meet Our Staff: Emily Watts & Phillip Brenfleck

OEPS welcomes two new AmeriCorps members to our staff this fall, Emily Watts and Phillip Brenfleck. Emily is working as the Sustainability and Active Transportation Assistant, while Phillip is coordinating Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods: Hilltop.

americorps logo
Emily W.

Emily comes from McCleary, Washington, by way of The Evergreen State College where she focused on business, economics, and environmental studies. She is interested in natural resource management and city planning. Emily loves sci-fi movies and her family’s annual weeklong backpacking trips in the Olympic Mountains with their llamas.

Phillip B.

Phillip grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and came to Tacoma to study at the University of Puget Sound. His degree is in Chinese language and culture with a minor in environmental policy and decision-making. His interests lie in environmental history and the politics of space, and he is excited to be part of a place-based community initiative like Healthy Homes. His guilty pleasures are Star Wars video games and RuPaul’s Drag Race.