FREE Living Green Series on the Eastside

I was contacted through my Green Spaces meetup group by Christina Dyson Farrell, the Assistant Park Ranger at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue with information about the launch of a free Living Green Series that looks to have some exciting topics to be discussed over the course of several weeks this spring.

The Environmental Education Center itself was designed and built to have minimal impact on the environment. Special gutters, porous concrete and catchment ponds slow and filter water runoff at the site. Green roofs reduce impermeable surfaces and warming around buildings. Renewable, recycled, local materials, along with sustainably harvested wood were used in the construction of the buildings.

The city has applied for a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. LEED is a third-party certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council and is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The MSEEC construction page offers details about the construction of the complex and its green features.

I am excited to see the many presenters involved in this green series, since many I have met or taken classes from in the last 8 years myself! This information is taken from their flyer (saving you a click).

At the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center:

Living Green: Green Concepts – Jan 28
The City of Bellevue Utilities Department will present the Carbon Yeti, discuss recycling, local storm water issues, what you can do to help keep your streams clean and interesting wildlife information from a familiar salmon, the Pea-mouth minnow. In addition, Mark Johnson from Jones & Jones Architects & Landscape Architects will discuss the new Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center and various home improvements that you can make!

Powerful Choices – Feb 4 & 11
For two evenings, Puget Sound Energy will present Powerful Choices, inspiring participants to answer the questions, “What are the connections between my choices and the health of the Puget Sound ecosystem?” Through interactive experiences, participants will discover how transportation choices, purchasing choices, water use and electricity use all affect their local ecosystem.

Sustainable Design: Emerging Philosophies – March 4
Mark Johnson from Jones & Jones Architects & Landscape Architects will talk about using sustainable design and emerging philosophies on how buildings can teach. This workshop will look beyond the standard perspective of a building. He will discuss how using sustainable design, you can build the foundation to foster connections with the environment. Sustainable design can echo the connections to the local ecology by embracing energy conservation, materials selection, scale, daylight and more. Join this great discussion and impact the future!

Green Transportation – April 8
The City of Bellevue and partner organizations will present all of the green ways to get around Bellevue and beyond. You will learn about green cars,bicycle travel around town and public transportation as well as how to set up carpools. Discuss how these transportation choices not only reduce traffic congestion, but can save you money as well! Join us and hear about what you can do now to make your commute easier, greener and find
out what is coming up in the future.

EcoCool Remodel Tool – May 20
Looking for a convenient way to learn about how to make your home more green? Working on a green remodel? King County’s new EcoCool Remodel Tool provides a wealth of green remodeling information in one convenient online resource tool. Patti Southard will demonstrate the Remodel Tool, and answer green remodel questions. King County’s EcoConsumor Program educates residents on how to reduce their environmental impact through their purchasing decisions.

Classes being held at the Lake Hills Greenbelt Ranger Station:

Gardening for Wildlife – March 11
Using examples from his Whidbey Island wildlife sanctuary, author and wildlife biologist Russell Link will provide ways to design and maintain wildlife habitat around homes and properties. Topics will include timesaving approaches to landscape design and placement of nesting boxes, bat houses, bird feeders, ponds and specialty gardens.

Growing a Vegetable Garden – May 6
Join Willi Galloway, the creator of and the West Coast Editor or Organic magazine to get simple, step-by-step plans for building a raised bed, learn how to plant vegetables, young plants, sow seeds and care for them organically. Discover true and tried vegetable varieties that thrive in our cool Pacific Northwest summers!

And at the Lewis Creek Visitor Center:

Right Plants, Right Place – April 1
Spending lots of money at the nursery, but not getting the results you want? Prefer to plant it right the first time? Greg Rabourn will help you pick the best plants for your yard and help you avoid the high maintenance landscape trap. Smart design is healthy for your pocketbook and the planet.

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