11th Annual Earth Week at EvCC


Courtesy Photo from Kimi Crombie.

Christmas Cacti, one of the free plants available during this year’s plant swap.

Earth Week is currently taking place at the school, starting on the 19th and ending on the 22nd. The four day long celebration at EvCC features many free events ranging from informative and interactive zoom meetings to in-person pickups at the north Everett campus where you can receive plants as well as recycled planter kits.

Plant Swap workers
From Left to Right Kimi Crombie, Dennis Ryan, Jill Ryan and Molly Beeman. (Mathew Dollison)

This week marks the 11th anniversary of Earth Week at the college in celebration of the 51st National Earth Day, and the efforts to engage and promote sustainability at the college are in full bloom. Molly Beeman is the head of the environmental interactions in the school as the manager of sustainability. She took the role in 2006 to create the Office of Sustainability at EvCC and to integrate sustainability into the EvCC campus culture. 

“Initially, sustainability efforts were focused on operational sustainability programs, like recycling, energy and water conservation,” says Beeman.  “Once those programs were solidified and made a part of the everyday functioning of the campus, the focus shifted to integrating student participation.” 

Earth Week began in 2009 as a means to spread awareness and to cement sustainability into the Trojan culture. The Celebration of Sustainability includes many events, one of the main features being the plant swap which is returning after being canceled due to the pandemic last year. EvCC students and faculty were able to look through this year’s official plant guide for the plant swap. The guide shows a variety of free plants available for pick up, ranging from small house plants to garden powerhouses that would put Jack’s beanstalk to shame.

DIY recyclable planter kits. (Matthew Dollison)

The celebration also includes the DIY recycled planter kits which include 2-4 flowers, a small bag of dirt, a care guide, a recyclable planter, and a tutorial video for getting started. The kit can be used to set up plants in numerous places in a home. This event is sponsored by the Trojan Activities Board and was limited to the first 30 students who signed up. Along with the in-person event the sustainability team is hosting a number of informational zoom calls regarding various subjects related to sustainability.

Dennis Ryan, a former EvCC Student Life faculty member, has been a driving force in Earth Weeks impact on EvCC for the last 20 years. Beeman, Ryan, and the rest of the sustainability team grew over 1500 plants between various gardens and greenhouses throughout this past year. Ryan created the plant swap along with colleague Shirley Jackson and 2 decades later the event has been a keystone in establishing sustainability within the community. 

Beeman’s goals for the sustainability program include “Increased building and operational efficiencies, increased student/staff involvement in Sustainability programs and projects, and a more robust offering of sustainability curriculum.” With continued involvement from our Trojan community the sustainability team keeps pushing towards making EvCC carbon neutral. 

When asked if she could convey a message to students regarding sustainability and their roles in it, Beeman responded, “Get involved in Student Government! Get involved in the programs, projects and committees that are open to students at EvCC, (Including, of course, the Office of Sustainability).  Become a Student Leader (there are paying jobs open right now in Student Leadership!)” Ways To Get Involved

Sustainability will continue to be a major topic as we head towards the future, and at EvCC the sustainability team and contributors like Dennis Ryan will continue to make that topic a part of our culture. “Environmental issues and climate change affect everyone.  With increased community and campus involvement in  Sustainability  planning and resulting programs and curriculum, Sustainability can become ever more rooted in the EvCC campus culture,” says Beeman. 


Virtual Events

Bird-Friendly Communities: 2-3 p.m. April 19

Tahoma’s Biggest Stories: 3-3:45 p.m. April 19

Virtual Field Trip in the Nisqually River Watershed: 3-3:45 p.m. April 20

Gardening with Ciscoe: 3-4 p.m. April 21 

Register with your EvCC email address to receive the Zoom link.

Special Birds of Mount Rainier: 4-4:45 p.m. April 21

Register with your EvCC email address to receive the Zoom link.

Earth Hacks: 3-4 p.m. April 22

 Register with your EvCC email address to receive the Zoom link.

Elwha River Ecology: 4-4:45 p.m. April 22

Register with your EvCC email address to receive the Zoom link.