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Workshops & Events


RE Sources offers a seasonal series of skill-building workshops, classes, films, seminars, presentations and facilitated discussions to help you build a more sustainable lifestyle. Scroll down to see what's upcoming at RE Sources Sustainable Living Center (above The RE Store).  2309 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA.

Proceeds from all workshops benefit RE Sources' environmental conservation and advocacy. Thank you for supporting our community. 
 















Take a Walk at Cornwall Landfill - soon to be a Park!

Wednesday, April 23rd
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Meet at the corner of Pine Street & Cornwall Avenue 

Why not take a late afternoon tour of Cornwall Beach Park? This is a unique opportunity to experience the site, first-hand, to take in scenic views of Bellingham Bay and downtown Bellingham, and to visualize proposed plans for park development. Because it is currently a controlled clean-up site, access is normally closed. The gates will open and City and Port of Bellingham staff will escort the public into the planned park area, answer questions and record comments made during the event. 

To attend this walking tour, meet at the corner of Pine Street and Cornwall Avenue (PDF) at 5:30 pm on April 23, 2014. The event will end at 6:30 P.M. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes (closed toe) for a walking tour on uneven and unpaved areas. No pets please. Parking is available on Cornwall Avenue. 

For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (360) 778-7000, or parks@cob.org.

Little Squalicum Park Restoration & Earth Day Work Party

Saturday, April 26th
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Little Squalicum Park Wetlands
Meet at the lower parking lot, Bellingham Technical College (map)

Celebrate Earth Day with us, prepare to have fun, and meet new friends.  This effort is a collaboration between RE Sources and City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.  Please join us for our ongoing efforts to maintain the new ecosystem at Little Squalicum Park and wetlands.  This area has been transformed from a toxic cleanup site into a public park.  We'll work to mulch, weed, and remove invasive plants, improving the habitat at this beautiful new park.  Park at the lower parking lot at Bellingham Technical College.  We provide tools, gloves, and snacks!.

For information, email Lee First, or call (360) 733 8307.

Last Chance for Intertidal Trainings Series

Two-Part Series
Part I: Sunday April 27th
12:30 - 5:00 pm
Samish Resort, Anacortes (map)
Part II: Saturday, May 3rd
12:30 - 5:00 pm 
Washington Park, Anacortes (map)

These trainings will increase your understanding of our nearshore marine ecosystem and equip you to collect meaningful survey data of plants and animals in the intertidal area. Trainings and surveys build on the 2013 successful season of nearshore monitoring conducted by volunteers and friends of the Cherry Point and Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committees and the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, with support from RE Sources North Sound Baykeeper. 

Trainers will include professionals in the field, Doug Stark, Michael Kyte, and Wendy Steffensen. Surveys will take place on low-tide days during the summer.   

For more information, contact Wendy Steffensen or (360) 733 8307.

Bay Cleanups: Making Sense of the State Cleanup Process

Tuesday, April 29th
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
RE Sources Sustainable Living Center
2309 Meridian St, Bellingham  (map)

Gain the tools you need to make effective comments, have meaningful involvement in the cleanup process, and to ensure that cleanups are as protective as they can be under the law.  Join Lucy McInerney, Environmental Engineer for Washington Department of Ecology, to learn the law that governs cleanup.

In this presentation, McInnerney will explain the law that governs cleanup in clear and understandable terms.  She will explain the process – from initial site listing to final cleanup – and will help decipher what Ecology can and cannot do under the law.

This presentation will prepare you for upcoming comment periods on decision-making cleanup documents. In 2014 alone, the public will have the opportunity to review the Remedial Investigation/Feasibilty Study for the Central Waterfront, RG Haley, GP West, and Harris Avenue Shipyard and the Cleanup Action Plan for Cornwall Avenue Landfill.

Lucy McInerney has spent the past 25 years working to improve the environmental health of Bellingham Bay.  Early in her career she led efforts to identify and control sources of pollution to the bay, and helped move contaminated sites along the Bellingham waterfront into the state cleanup process.  Lucy has completed cleanup work at two sites, and currently manages cleanup work at the I & J Waterway and Whatcom Waterway sites.  She supports other Ecology project managers at seven additional waterfront cleanup sites.  Lucy co-leads the multi-agency team coordinating cleanup and habitat restoration work in Bellingham Bay and oversees several habitat restoration projects. She cares about the community, bay, and work to restore the area to health. And in her spare time she enjoys helping her 11-year-old son with math and watching him play baseball.

For more information, email Wendy Steffensen or call (360) 733.8307.

WWU Community Divestment Teach-In

Wednesday, April 30th
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
RE Sources Sustainable Living Center
2309 Meridian St, Bellingham (map)

Of every dollar you donate the Western Washington University Foundation, some 5 cents are directed to fund the fossil fuel industry -- which means WWU profits from the harmful effects of coal trains, oil explosions and climate change. A group of WWU students has been pushing their school to be a leader in sustainability by divesting from fossil fuel companies and the harm they do to people, communities, and our planet. On Wednesday, April 30, the students will be organizing an opportunity for community members who care about WWU to learn about what they can do to support this effort.

For more information, email Matt Petryni or call (360) 733.8307.


Coal-Free PSE Activist Meeting

http://www.re-sources.org/ppc/coalfreepse
Wednesday, April 30th
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Fairhaven Library
1117 12th St, Bellingham (map)

Ready to get moving on switching PSE off of coal? Earlier this month, the Sierra Club and RE Sources hosted an event to examine the problems with Whatcom County's continued reliance on coal power and highlight the potential for job-creating solutions. Now is the time to get moving. On Wednesday, April 30, we'll be coming together to identify and get started on avenues for action that will make a difference in the next year. Join us to get plugged in and be a key part of realizing our County's coal-free future. Read more

For more information, email Matt Petryni or call (360) 733.8307.

Build Your Own Vendor Cart: Demonstration Workshop

Two-Part Workshop

Part I: Wednesday, April 30th, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Part II: Saturday, May 3rd, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
$30 (includes a one-time 15% shopping discount for needed materials)
Pre-registration Required by Saturday, April 19th.

Interested in selling produce, honey, flowers or handmade items?  This is the workshop for you! Transition Whatcom is partnering with THE RE Store’s REvision Division to help you gain the skills necessary to craft your own vendor cart!

You will learn:
  • The basic structure for building the frame and platform for making your own unique cart.
  • You will leave this workshop with a ‘roadmap’ of techniques and materials to build your own cart.

Features discussed:
  • Frame o Secure cash boxes
  • Platform o Areas for signage
  • Closeable awning for shade o Wheels and portability

Pre-registration Required by Saturday, April 19th. Email Polly Carpenter, or call (360) 733. 8307 to register.

The workshop will be led by Eberhard Eichner, The RE STore's REvision Division artisan.

Stormwater Tour:  Doing Business and Protecting Water Quality - Stormwater Treatment at the Port of Anacortes Pier 2


Wednesday, April 30th
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Robinson's Cove (Former Wyman's Marina Site) 
202 U Avenue, Anacortes (map)

The public is invited to attend a public tour of stormwater treatment facilities at the Port of Anacortes’ Pier 2, as well as the nearby newly restored habitat at Robinson’s Cove, the former Wyman’s Marina Site.  Pier 2 is an active deep water marine terminal where a wide variety of cargo, including logs, prilled sulfur, and petroleum coke has been handled and shipped for the last 80 years.  The main items currently shipped from Pier 2 are petroleum coke from nearby refineries and prilled sulfur also from a nearby facility.  Pier 2 is operated by the Port of Anacortes with on-pier loading operations coordinated through Metro Ports Stevedoring. The tour is presented by staff from the Port of Anacortes and RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

Without proper pollution prevention procedures, transferring petroleum coke from trucks via a conveyor belt to vessels has the potential to generate pollution into the Guemes Channel.  To prevent pollution, the Port of Anacortes takes extensive pollution prevention steps.  We’ll get to see these steps, including a covered conveyor belt with a misting system, a high pressure truck tire washing system to prevent trucks from tracking out coke dust, and a 3-containment stormwater management system.  

A system of catch basins and trench drains collects stormwater within the site’s 15-acre drainage boundary, and directs it to the multi-cell stormwater treatment pond located at the western end of the site.  All processed water (water collected from pressure washing, misting, and the tire-wash facility) is also routed and collected in the treatment pond.  Once water is in the pond, the particulates settle, and are removed.  Then, the stormwater water is recycled back to the two 15,000-gallon wash water storage tanks for re-use, or discharged for final treatment to the City’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The Port operates Pier 2 facility in compliance with its State Waste Discharge Permit, which is required by the Clean Water Act and the State of Washington Water Pollution Control Law. The Waste Discharge Permit requires regular sampling for water quality parameters.  

Other sources of stormwater pollution that are generated at this site include petroleum products from incidental leaks from tractor haul trucks, routine truck operation such as wear of tires, wheels, and brakes, and building and storage materials, cargo container or equipment, and deposition of atmospheric particulates onto the site.

For more information, email Lee First or call 360 733 8307.


A Tour of Rain Gardens, Low Impact Development, and Stormwater Management in Anacortes

Saturday, May 3rd
10:00 am - noon
Meet at 1211 24th Street, Anacortes (map)

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, the City of Anacortes, and WSU Skagit County Extension are collaborating to offer a tour showcasing rain gardens, low impact development projects, and stormwater facilities in downtown Anacortes.  This tour will showcase a variety of stormwater management methods, and highlight methods that help reduce the impacts and pollution that are contributed by stormwater runoff. 

Stormwater is rain and snow melt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways, and parking lots. As water runs off these surfaces, it can pick up pollution including oil, fertilizers, pesticides, soil, trash, and animal waste. From here, most stormwater flows directly into a local stream, bay, or lake without any treatment.

The tour begins in the south parking lot at Island Hospital, in Anacortes.  Please meet at 1211 24th Street.  Participants will gather here, and view the rain gardens and permeable pavement installations on the hospital grounds.  From here, we’ll drive or carpool to the Depot Arts Center (611 R Avenue), where we’ll walk to a variety of sites to discuss stormwater management and treatment options. 

Rain gardens are engineered gardens filled with plants that allow stormwater to be captured and absorbed.  Rain gardens function like native forests to filter polluted runoff, and help reduce flooding. When planted with the right types of plants, rain gardens also attract birds, butterflies and bees.  We’ll view several rain garden installations along the tour route.

Permeable paving is an alternative to traditional asphalt.  It uses materials that allow stormwater to percolate, rather than runoff the surface.  Encouraging percolation reduces runoff, and allows pollutants and suspended solids to be filtered by the soil, instead of being routed with stormwater to the nearest water body without any treatment.  Permeable paving can be used for sidewalks, bike lanes, and roads that are subject to light vehicle traffic.  We’ll view several permeable pavement installations along our tour route.

We’ll also view a stormwater treatment vault system, and an underground stormwater storage vault.  These systems remove some of the pollutants from stormwater and assist in managing the flow of stormwater from a developed site.

This tour will be co-lead by Lee First, Pollution Prevention Specialist at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Jane Billinghurst, WSU Master Gardener, and Michelle Grace, Anacortes Public Works Department.

For more information, email Lee First or call 360 733 8307.


Coal Activist Monthly Meeting

Monday, May 5th
6:30 - 8:30 pm
RE Sources Sustainable Living Center
2309 Meridian St, Bellingham (
map)

At this month's coal activist meeting, we'll have updates on the EIS process and appearance of fairness concerns, outreach events through the summer, recent mailers from the coal terminal proponents, and hopefully a major announcement on the Oregon coal terminal proposal. Please join us to learn about the latest news on the coal terminal issue and get ideas of how to plug in for the next month or so!

For more information, email Matt Petryni or call 360 733 8307.

The Decline of Bellingham Bay

Wednesday, May 7th
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Bellingham Public Library, Downstairs
210 Central Ave, Bellingham (map)

Valerie Partridge, Department of Ecology, member of the Marine Sediment Monitoring Team, and lead author on the recently released report, “Sediment Quality in Bellingham Bay, 2010”, will give a presentation on the health of Bellingham Bay sediments. Reporting on findings from the 2010 sediment surveys in thirty locations across Bellingham Bay, Ms. Partridge will review the data and possible causes for the decline of marine life health. As the report indicates, Bellingham Bay's sediment quality is lower than trends found in sediment quality in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia. Ecology believes Possible reasons for the decline might be attributed to: 

  • Changes in food resources that sink through the water and reach the sediments.
  • Changes in dissolved oxygen, pH, and levels of ammonia and sulfides in the water above and within the sediments.
  • Natural population cycles of sediment-dwelling organisms that may be influenced by oceanic cycles.
  • Sediment movement and burial.
  • Unmeasured contaminants, including contaminants of emerging concern, contaminant mixtures, and contaminants that may sicken but not kill marine life.

The study is part of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program, a collaboration of state, federal, tribal and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, watershed groups, business, academic researchers, local integrating organizations, and other private and volunteer groups and organizations – all dedicated to monitoring environmental conditions in Puget Sound.  Click here to read the full report.

For more information, email Wendy Steffensen or call (360) 733.8307.


The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir

Sunday, May 11th
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Village Books
1200 11th St, Bellingham (map)

Join Village Books as we welcome author Dee Williams for a tiny house tour and author presentation. At 3pm, Dee, owner of Pad: Portland Alternative Dwellings, will offer tours of her tiny travel house, parked outside of Village Books. Come check out the little house on a trailer, as well as see blueprints and learn more about her company. At 4pm, Dee will do a slideshow and presentation about her book and business in the Readings Gallery.

Dee Williams's life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored--but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this "stuff "for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn't compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury, "time," that would come with downsizing.

Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house on her own, from the ground up, was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It's left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given her freedom to head out for adventure at a moment's notice, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch. The lessons Williams learned from her "aha" moment post-trauma apply to all of us, every day, regardless of whether or not we decide to discard all our worldly belongings. Part how-to, part personal memoir, The Big Tiny is an utterly seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating the truly important things in life.

Dee Williams is a teacher, designer, woodworker, and sustainability advocate. She is the owner of two businesses, Portland Alternative Dwellings and Boxcar Woodcraft, where she designs and builds tiny houses. She conducts green-building workshops across the country with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and is the author of Go House Go, a manual for building small homes. She lives in Olympia, Washington. Read more

Save Birch Bay Coal Activist Meeting

Wednesday, May 14th
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Birch Bay Firehouse
4581 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd (map)

Activists from the Birch Bay, Blaine and Ferndale area will be meeting on May 14 at the Birch Bay Firehouse to work on next steps for stopping the coal terminal proposed for their backyard. This local group has been working for several years to expand awareness of the local impacts of the proposal on North Whatcom County communities, and to engage supporters in speaking out against it. Please come by and learn more about how you can help support their efforts. This meeting will be especially worthwhile for those who reside in North Whatcom County, which is directly impacted by the coal dust emissions, outsize water demand, and coal train traffic of the proposed GPT facility.

For more information, email Matt Petryni or call 360 733 8307.

Rally for Divestment from Coal

Saturday, May 17th
Time TBA
PAC Plaza, WWU
516 High St, Bellingham (map)

Students working against the coal terminal at WWU are hoping to stage an action on Saturday, May 17 to demonstrate broad student and community support making WWU's investments fossil fuel-free. The rally will coincide with a meeting of the WWU Foundation Board of Directors next month, who will be receiving the divestment proposal and considering action. It'll be taking place during Back 2 Bellingham, an annual alumni gathering that weekend that will offer the opportunity to identify and activate supporters among the Foundation's donor base. Join us to say no to making a profit from coal and climate change!

For more information, email Matt Petryni or call 360 733 8307.

Beach Cleanup at Locust Beach

Sunday, May 18th
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Bellingham Community Kiteboarding Center (map)

We face many complex challenges when it comes to a clean and healthy marine waters, but one problem is simple: litter.  Trash in our waters chokes and entangles countless marine species, is destructive, distasteful, and disrespectful.  That’s why we call our community to volunteer their time to clean up our beaches. Last year, volunteers collected nearly 300 lbs of trash from Locust Beach!

We'll provide beach cleanup materials, so all you need to do is show up between 10 am and 1 pm and help us pick it up. We will be meeting at the Bellingham Community Kiteboarding Center located in the parking lot on the right off Locust Ave.  If you arrive after 10:30, come find us on the beach!  Read more

Co hosted by Surfrider, Ikkatsu, and the Marine Resources Committee.


Bringing it Home: documentary screening 

Tuesday, May 27th
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Pickford Film Center, 
1318 Bay St, Bellingham (map)
Purchase Tickets Online

Join RE Sources, Transition Whatcom, the Community Food Co-op, Sustainable Connections, and Terra Organica for a documentary screening about industrial hemp - the benefits and the barriers. Stick around for a panel discussion after the screening on universal uses for industrial hemp, and what can be done locally to take action. Body care and fashion from Naked Clothing, and hemp beer from Aslan Brewinc Company.

Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive plant, grown in 30 other countries, but prohibited in the United States. Legalization advocates say it could help American farmers, create jobs and replace thousands of harmful petrochemical and synthetic products. BRINGING IT HOME explores the question "Why aren't we growing it here?" while discussing hemp's past, present and future with business owners using it for construction, textiles, nutrition, soaps and bio-plastics in America and abroad. 

A father’s search to find the healthiest building materials leads him to the completion of the nation’s first hempcrete house in Asheville, North Carolina. Hemp with lime is a non-toxic, energy efficient, mildew, fire and pest-resistant building material. The drawback — industrial hemp is currently illegal to farm in the U.S.A. where it once was an important crop. The documentary followed the “hemp trail” to the U.K. to interview hemp business owners, researchers, farmers, a CEO with a hemp block distribution center and Kevin McCloud, author and TV host of Grand Designs who chose hempcrete for his housing project. The film includes other international hemp industry leaders, small business entrepreneurs and American CEO’s David and Mike Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and John Roulac of Nutiva. Industrial hemp farming advocates and the opposition weigh in on current legislation and the efforts to change policy at state and federal levels. Read more

Purchase Tickets Online


Green Schools Summit: SAVE THE DATE

Tuesday, June 3rd
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Broadway Hall
1300 Broadway, Bellingham (map)

What if our children had learning environments that that were sustainably restorative and inspired creativity? Join us for an evening for exploring what is possible in the built environment for our children’s’ schools. Discover what is happening regionally for creating the most sustainable schools in the world and the steps being taken locally. If you are a teacher, parent, building industry professionals or an interested community member, this event is certain to educate, inspire and give you the tools to help the sustainable schools movement. Check back soon for more details.



Lummi Nation Stommish Water Festival: SAVE THE DATE

June 12th - 22nd
Lummi Indian Reservation (map)

Every year, the Lummi Nation invites the community to participate in the Stommish Festival on the Lummi Indian Reservation. In it's 68th year, this special event celebrates the rich cultural history of the Lummi people through canoe races, traditional song and dance, and a salmon barbecue. Save the date for June 12 through June 22 and be sure not to miss out on this important series of events!  Read more




Apr 9, 2011


The RE Patch

RE Sources’ and The RE Store’s on-site community garden, used for growing organic fruits and veggies, as well as community demonstrations and educational opportunities. More. Apply for a garden bed.






SLC Workshop Space
The Sustainable Living Center features informative and stimulating presentations and films. RE Sources partners with other community organizations and non-profits, to provide opportunities to present innovative topics to the general public for discussion, exploration, and education.


Teach a Workshop

RE Sources loves to collaborate with businesses, organizations and individuals to bring a well-rounded sustainability curriculum to our community. You can donate your time as a new instructor or charge a registration fee for seasoned skill building courses.
Email HannahC@re-sources.org for more info, or fill out an application form


Host Your Own Event

Please click here for more information on how to rent a room at the Sustainable Living Center. You can also email our office manager, Rebecca, at rebeccaw@re-sources.org for rental information.

Sponsor an Event

If your business would like to gain exposure through sponsoring events at the SLC, please contact Hannah Coughlin at HannahC@re-sources.org or call (360) 733-8307.

Click here to see some of the events we've held at the SLC in the past.


Location & Directions

RE Sources SLC



2309 Meridian Street
(
map)
Bellingham, WA 98225

The Sustainable Living Center is located just above The RE Store, on the NW corner of Broadway and Meridian in the Fountain District.  You'll find a bike rack in the alley off of Broadway and the stairs behind the RE Store.


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Hannah Coughlin,
Jan 31, 2014, 1:08 PM
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Lee First,
Feb 24, 2014, 9:56 AM
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Lee First,
Mar 3, 2014, 9:29 AM
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Matt Petryni,
Aug 23, 2012, 2:57 PM
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Hannah Coughlin,
Feb 24, 2014, 2:24 PM
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Lee First,
Apr 3, 2014, 2:31 PM