NEW! Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Quarterly Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

April 2016

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Upcoming Events

Earth Week Calendar  View the many events going on to celebrate Earth Week.

Parks Appreciation Day April 23 - Get involved in this year's event and add your name to the growing list of those who value -and volunteer for- the great parks in our communities.

Tacoma Bike Swap - April 30 - Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or simply looking to find other riders, join us for this exciting community event!

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! 

BPTAG (Bicycle Pedestrian Technical Advisory Group) - 4th Monday of each month, 5:30 PM at Tacoma Municipal Building.

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

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.

Environmental Action Plan Adopted by Tacoma City Council

EAP logo

In a fitting move in line with Earth Week, the Tacoma City Council adopted Council Resolution #39427 endorsing a comprehensive Environmental Action Plan. This Plan includes specific, prioritized actions needed to implement the City of Tacoma's existing environmental policies and goals as well as five-year measurable targets to track progress. This Plan was the result of collaborative planning across city departments, a steering committee and input from the general public.

Mayor Strickland supports the plan, writing the Plan “outlines the actions that our City government and local community will take over the next five years to become more environmentally sustainable. This means creating greater efficiency in our City operations, reducing air and water pollution in the community, and responding to the challenges of climate change.” 

You can view the full report and the infographic here

Bike month

Celebrate May, National Bike Month

Bike Month is celebrating its 9th year in Tacoma-Pierce County, and the City of Tacoma and its partners have a month full of events planned for people who live, work and play in the area. The Blessing of the Bikes on April 29th and Tacoma Bike Swap on April 30th kick things off, and there are several rides, meet-ups, and other fun events to come. 

People of all ages and abilities won’t want to miss the Steel Wheel Alley Cat / Poker Run happening at 2nd Cycle on May 13. Be sure to check out the 1950s Ride on May 28 which leaves from War Memorial Park and takes riders through the Proctor Farmers Market and to Wright Park for a few rounds of lawn bowling, all in fashionable 1950s garb. Other events include a mountain bike trail work party, a Kidical Mass ride, and a Bike Month proclamation with City Council. Check out and visit for a full listing of events.

Sustainability Expo Recap


The 9th annual Sustainability Expo held on March 5th was a great success, bringing an estimated 1,200 attendees with 68% participating for the first time. These first time attendee numbers were encouraging, as the Expo continues to educate new audiences.  

Nearly 100% reported an increased knowledge of sustainability issues. One attendee shared their experience. “I really enjoyed the class on canning and preserving food [as well as learning about] volunteer opportunities in my community.” 


The City of Tacoma continues to consider certain shopping bag restrictions to reduce the amount of litter and waste that pollute our landscapes and aquatic environments. These restrictions would ban single-use plastic carryout bags and charge a minimum of five cents per paper and/or reusable bags. On April 27th at 4:30 pm, staff will be presenting a draft Bring Your Own Bag ordinance to the Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee at the Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16. The public is welcome.

Preventing Wasted Food

Packaged Food

There is food waste and then there is wasted food. Food waste is unavoidable. Examples include banana peels, egg shells and carrot tops.. Wasted food is preventable because it is edible food that went bad before it was eaten. It can be raw food or cooked food that goes rotten or looks unappealing (including uneaten “leftovers”.. Many of us have wasted food in our homes and would like to change that fact. 

The Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge was developed to help families and individuals learn ways to waste less food. Challenge participants receive a food storage guide, a container to collect and measure how many cups of food go wasted in a week, and an EAT FIRST bin to encourage eating perishable foods before they spoil. To learn more go to:

HHHN logo

On March 12th, the Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods hosted the Hilltop Community Breakfast. The event focused on Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhods mission of connecting residents to available community resources. 

Around 100 people attended the event and learned about resources available from City groups like Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water, and Solid Waste, as well as local Hilltop resources like the new Feast Arts Center. 

envirohouse logo

Spring workshops will begin soon at the EnviroHouse (located at the Transfer and Recovery Center, 3510 S. Mullen St.). 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. Here is the current spring schedule, which is subject to change:

April 23, 1:30 PM - Backyard Chickens: Getting Started

April 30, 10:30 AM - Native Plants to Enhance your Habitat         

May 7, 10:30 AM  - Go Green for Spring Cleaning

May 14, 10:30 AM - Yard Waste & Worm Bin Composting

May 21, 10:30 AM - Food: Too Good to Waste; Join the Challenge

May 22, 1:30 PM - Rain Barrels: How to Make & Maintain        

June 4, 10:30 AM - Natural and Water Smart Yard Care

t-town expo flyer
T-Town Expo Firefighter

Bring the whole family to the T-Town Expo, an event that is part of an ongoing effort to raise community awareness about the services delivered by the various departments at the City, educate the community about how city government works, and offer an opportunity for community members to share ideas and feedback about how the City should utilize its resources.

The 'T-Town: Play, Explore, Learn' City Services Expo is a free, fun, interactive community event hosted by the City of Tacoma featuring demonstrations, activities, games and prizes for the entire family. If you’ve been wanting an opportunity to see a fire truck up close, talk to a police officer about making your neighborhood more secure, or learn more about street operations through hands-on activities, this is the event for you!

Fare Thee Well, Diane


For the past ten years, Diane Wiatr has worked on Active Transportation for the City of Tacoma. She was been instrumental in creating the Mobility Master Plan and helped many of its action items blossom into successful programs. These ranged from large annual events like Downtown to Defiance to implementing the City’s first Safe Routes to School program at Sheridan Elementary. She is optimistic for active transportation in Tacoma moving forward, saying “the community is engaged and committed to elevating Tacoma’s sustainable transportation system and quality of life.”  

Diane will transition to the state level as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Washington State Department of Transportation. We wish her the best as she continues to use her extraordinary talents to make active transportation more safe, affordable, and equitable for residents all over Washington. 

Meet Mike, our new Urban Forester


Mike Carey has been working with the City for five years and brings a unique skill set to the position. Trained in landscape architecture, arboriculture and restoration ecology, he is uniquely positioned to improve partnerships with agencies and large landowners, develop vegetation standards, and provide incentive programs to the public.

He looks forward to the challenge of facilitating a transition from seeing trees as a liability to seeing them as an asset to a healthy, livable community. Working with Tacoma’s extraordinary ecological diversity is one of the greatest parts of his job. “In just under 50 square miles we host a wide range of ecological systems, from the threatened Garry Oak woodlands in South Tacoma to the old growth upland forest remnants in Point Defiance Park. From the dense urban core that is our downtown, to the great gem that is the Puget Sound.”

Well said, Mike.