Office of Environmental Policy & Sustainability - Community Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

October 2020

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City Announcements

Read the latest City of Tacoma announcements at

Applicants Sought for the Transportation Commission

City of Tacoma Establishes Revitalization Grant Program

City of Tacoma Announces Plan to Open a Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter (TEMS) Site at 6th and Orchard

Tacoma Arts Month in 2020: Cultivate Wonder and Care in Tacoma this October

2021 Community Arts Projects Funding Now Available (due Nov 9)

City Council Passes Resolution Affirming the City of Tacoma’s Commitment to Anti‐Racist Systems Transformation

Vote by November 3rd at 8pm

Upcoming Events

Orca Recovery Day EcoChallenge | October 5th – November 5th, Online Event | Join Pierce Conservation District in taking action for Orca Recovery Day by signing up for the Orca Recovery Day EcoChallenge, choosing activities to complete, and earning points for your team to protect Orca habitat.

Shop Local Crawl with Tacoma Green Drinks | Thursday, November 5th, 5 pm, 6th Ave | This month Tacoma Green Drinks, a monthly meet up for those working or interested in sustainability, is partnering with the 6th Ave Business District for a safe and social way to support the local businesses we all love so much.

2020 Community Conference | Thursday, October 22 & October 29, 5:30 pm, Online Event | Join Tacoma Tree Foundation, Safe Streets Campaign and other community members for workshop sessions, speakers, and networking that will enhance your ability to improve your neighborhoods and inspire others with their successes.

Ongoing Programs

Sustainable Tacoma Commission | Third Thursday of the Month, 5 pm | Hosted online until further notice

EnviroChallengers | The EnviroChallengers bring free, engaging, and high-quality environmental science lessons to public and private schools all around Tacoma. Need ideas for at-home summer activities? Check out past EnviroChallenges.

Waste Free 253 | Interested in learning more about how to reduce the amount of waste you produce and what ends up in our landfills? Check out resources and information about waste reduction on our Waste Free 253 page.

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While we are not able to gather in-person at the EnviroHouse for the time being, you can now register for virtual EnviroHouse Workshops and access EnviroHouse resources online at

Upcoming Workshops

Pruning Landscape Trees, October 20, 4-5:30 pm

Care & Pruning of Fruit Trees, November 4, 4-5:00 pm

Electric Vehicles: What To Know, Why Invest Now, November 20, 4-5:30 pm

Past Workshops

Garden Herbs - Plant to Use and Preserve, July 1, 2020 from 4-5 PM

Waterwise Natural Yard Care-Thursday, June 25, 2020


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.

EnviroChallengers @ Home Fun and quick environmental lessons and facts for students.

What We're Reading

How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (Check Tacoma Public Library for copies!)

Some Cities are plotting a ‘Green Recovery’ after Covid-19 (Wired)

How to Have a Climate Change Conversation – Talking Climate (Climate Outreach)

‘Nothing Left’: How back-to-back hurricanes gutted a U.S. town (Bloomberg Green)

Investing in habitat restoration to benefit fish, wildlife, and people in Puget Sound (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Confronting Carbon Inequality – putting climate justice at the heart of Covid-19 recovery (Oxfam Media Briefing)

OEPS NewsRecycle Grant

Our Recycle Right team has been working hard to find new ways to connect with residents about their recycling, and to reduce contamination in recycling bins. This is particularly necessary within multi-family residences, where contamination levels are typically higher and fewer people have access to curbside recycling. To help reach our goals of communicating with more Tacomans about recycling and developing meaningful guides and education, the Recycling Partnership has awarded the City of Tacoma a $200,000 grant!

With this funding, the City will:

  • Reduce recycling contamination by providing technical and educational support to 150 multi-family properties.
  • Increase recycling education by engaging and informing 3,000 multi-family residential units on how to Recycle Right (empty, clean, and dry).
  • Promote waste prevention strategies.
  • Transcreate outreach and educational materials into Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Khmer so that our recycling information is accessible to more Tacomans.

If you live in a multi-family home and are interested in learning more about recycling right in Tacoma, please reach out to Resource Conservation Specialist, Sam Lake at or learn more at


Tree Coupon Program

Trees provide our communities with many environmental and social benefits. Thanks to the support of The Puyallup Watershed’s Forests Community of Interest (FCOI) and Tacoma Public Utilities, Pierce County residents can qualify for discount on select trees at participating nurseries throughout the county and help increase our tree canopy!

The 2020-21 tree planting season has begun and now’s the time to get a discount on your trees with the Tree Coupon program! Tree Coupon applications are open from now through March 31st, 2021 and are valid for $30 off each tree purchased and up to three trees per coupon at select local tree retailers. These trees are for residential property and may be planted on your private property or in the right-of-way (such as planting strips) abutting your property.

For more information watch the tree coupon how to video at

To request a coupon or see the program details, visit


Green Tacoma Days

Green Tacoma Day is an annual day of service to recognize the important role our City’s parks and green spaces play in both our lives, as places of recreation and respite, but also community and ecosystem health. Since we couldn’t host the usual large service projects on one day this year, Green Tacoma Days took on a new form!

Using a fun scavenger hunt app, GooseChase©, the Green Tacoma Partnership hosted a collection of online learnings, self-guided tours and activities, and a number of small-group and physically distanced in-person events between October 8-11. We were so happy to see residents still getting out into the parks, learning about local flora and fauna, and keeping Tacoma green this year. Almost 40 individuals and teams signed up to participate, many of whom will receive a Green Tacoma Day face mask for earning points through their activities! A big thanks to everyone who took part, sent in their fantastic responses, and helped us celebrate Green Tacoma Days 2020.

ProgramsClimate Action Planning

In response to Resolution No. 40509 declaring a climate emergency in Tacoma and Resolution No. 40622 committing the City to anti-racist systems transformation, our Environmental Action Plan update is incorporating a new Climate Action Planning process. In partnership with Citizen for a Healthy Bay, we have recruited a team of over 40 Climate Justice Ambassadors and 10 Environmental Justice Leaders to help assess community needs and priorities, and identify action areas for the City to reduce and address the unequal burdens of climate change impacts.

The Climate Justice Ambassador and Environmental Justice Leader applications closed last month. Our Ambassadors are already half-way through training and will soon be planning their own engagement activities to collect meaningful insights from their communities. The Environmental Justice Leaders Workgroup has also met to kick off this year-long process. We are energized and inspired by the input and participation from both groups, and are looking forward to learning more from them in the coming year to help guide this planning process.

Ask the EnviroChallengers

Ask the EnviroChallengers Mini-Series

The EnviroChallengers are finding new and exciting ways to educate and engage with residents from a distance. They’ve launched a new video series to answer your questions about the environment and sustainability in Tacoma! Season One of the "Ask the EnviroChallengers" series has covered many issues including food waste, climate change, urban forestry, waste water, and stormwater pollution prevention. Season Two is launching soon, and new videos will premiere the second Tuesday of every month at 6:00pm on the Environmental Services and Tacoma Sustainability Facebook pages. You can also find all episodes of Ask the EnviroChallengers on the City of Tacoma YouTube channel after they premiere. The EnviroChallengers love receiving questions from Tacoma residents, so please send your questions to and your question just might be featured on the show!