Office of Environmental Policy & Sustainability - Community Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

July 2019

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Upcoming Events

Habitat Restoration Events | July – October, Conservation Northwest is hosting summer volunteer habitat restoration events. Activities range from planting native trees and vegetation, to removing invasive plants and garbage clean-up.

Downtown: On the Go! Bike to a Business | July – August, Various Locations | Downtown: On the Go! Has partnered with 7 local businesses to offer discounts each time you ride your bike to their business during their featured month! All businesses are equipped with a bike rack and a bike pump, as well as an extra lock to borrow in case you forgot yours.

Tacoma Green Drinks | Thursday, August 1, 6-9pm, The Swiss Restaurant & Pub | Join this fun and casual networking event where you can catch a different eco-friendly topic at a different bar in Tacoma every month. The May host is Washington Green Schools.

Ongoing Programs

Sustainable Tacoma Commission | Meets every 4th Thursday, 4:30PM to 6:30PM, at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. Room 243 | Free and open to the public.

EnviroChallengers | The EnviroChallengers bring free, engaging, and high-quality environmental science lessons to public and private schools all around Tacoma. Available for second through eighth grade classrooms.

Sustainability Speaker Series | Schedule a member of the OEPS team to present on a variety of sustainability topics for your organization or group. Call (253) 591-5172 to book.

Tacoma Green Living Guide | This interactive map features many of Tacoma’s resources and efforts toward more sustainable living. Find information about how to get around, where to find locally grown food, places to enjoy nature in the city, and more.

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The City of Tacoma EnviroHouse is a permanent model home showcasing green building and natural landscape ideas, materials and techniques to create a healthy home and planet.

Upcoming Workshops

Solar Power: How it Can Work for You  
Saturday, July 27, 10:30 AM

Electric Vehicles: Why Now; What to Know
Saturday, August 10, 10:30 AM

Fall Workshop lineup coming soon!


EnviroShorts Learn about the City of Tacoma’s waste management resources.

Urban Green City of Tacoma’s sustainable highlights, from businesses to parks.

Tacoma Report Eco Archive of videos featuring the City of Tacoma’s green livability.

EnviroHouse How-To's Get the step by step on DIY sustainable projects you can do around the house.


OEPS NewsGrit City Trees

Want free trees? Want to strengthen your community? You’re in luck! Look no further than the Grit City Trees Program. This program offers free street trees to Tacoma residents to plant adjacent to their property.

Applicants can select from 22 unique tree species to plant in their neighborhood right-of-way. When neighborhoods come together and apply as a group, free delivery and resources are also available. Neighborhood groups must be at least three neighbors applying together for at least ten trees to be planted on their street. If you’d like help starting this conversation with your neighbors, reach out to Tacoma Tree Foundation at

Apply and learn more about the benefits of trees at Or, contact us at (253) 502-2138 and we’ll work with you to make sure you select the right tree for the right fit.

ES Certification Graduates

The Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability is proud to announce the graduation of the first class of our Environmental Services Certification Program! This pilot program is a partnership between our EnviroChallengers and the Tacoma School District and is designed to prepare youth for entry level positions in Green Jobs. Recruitment for the program is focused on inclusion and diversity. Students are learning about Green Job opportunities, meeting ES staff, and gaining hands on experience while earning industry recognized certificates. Students earn their CPR/First Aid, CESCL, HAZWOPER, Flagger, and OSHS cards and learn Chain of Custody and Sampling techniques. Students also earn an Occupational Education .5 credit towards graduation.

Please join us in congratulating these students on their accomplishments!

Meet the Team

Since its creation in 2008, the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability has grown from a small program housed in the City Manager’s office, to a unique Environmental Services division of its own. Tasked with developing, promoting, and implementing sustainable practices in Tacoma, our office is made up of a dedicated team of staff members committed to making Tacoma a more environmentally sustainable place for all.

Get to know the OEPS staff by visiting our recently launched “Meet the Team” web page! Learn a bit more about who we are and what we do, and how you can contact any member of the Sustainability team. Or, call (253) 591-5172 for more information, to ask a question, or just say hello! We’d love to hear from you.

ProgramsSmall Grants

Earlier this year, a student from IDEA High School wanted to build a new set of bike lockers for his school. He applied for a Sustainability Small Grant, and was awarded $2000 to see his idea come to life. OEPS is proud to support this, and other local projects aimed at increasing environmental sustainability for the Tacoma community.

If you or your organization has an idea to help educate residents and/or businesses on the environment and sustainable practices, we encourage you to apply. A reimbursable maximum award up to $5,000 is open to anyone considering a project within Tacoma city limits that represents a benefit to one of more of the three Environmental Services utilities (surface water, waste water, or solid waste services).

The next round of grant applications is due September 30. Learn more and apply at


It’s been a busy summer at the EnviroHouse! From workshops on backyard chickens to home cooling solutions, the EnviroHouse has been hosting free workshops almost every weekend of the summer. The EnviroHouse is a permanent model home showcasing green building and natural landscape ideas, materials and techniques. All EnviroHouse workshops are free and open to Pierce County residents, but advance registration is required.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the EnviroHouse, sign up for an upcoming workshop, or stop by anytime Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’ll be announcing the schedule of Fall workshops later this summer, so stay tuned!

Green Events

Summertime in Tacoma means there are plenty of exciting events for the community to enjoy! OEPS wants to make sure that these events take extra care to have a more sustainable impact on the environment. Our Green Events Program encourages many events to incorporate actions like donating excess food, using recycled materials, and promoting active transportation to and from events.

Events that achieve Green Excellence certification may be eligible for Environmental Services Event Support. ES Event Support can include free or discount in-kind services such as garbage, recycling, food waste bins, and/or portable toilets.

Is your upcoming event eligible? Learn more and apply by visiting our Green Events website. Please note that applications for Green Event certification must be received no less than 60 days prior to your event, and ES Event Support requests must be received no less than 30 days prior to your event.