The Environmental Center Updates


(Photo | Courtesy of The Environmental Center)

Celebrate Farm to School Month

Farm to School Month is a 31-day celebration of farm-to-school efforts that are being made nationwide. We invite you to celebrate with us!

WHAT: Pick up a free school lunch, homemade chicken noodle soup featuring local carrots.

WHERE: Your neighborhood school. Find the nearest Bend-La Pine School serving Grab & Go meals here.

While Oregon ingredients are often found on school menus in Bend-La Pine Schools, here’s a special treat in celebration of National Farm to School Month! On October 26, all Bend-La Pine schools will be serving chicken noodle soup — but this is not just any chicken noodle soup. It will contain carrots from a Central Oregon farm, Sakari Farms. These carrots were planted and harvested with help from The Environmental Center team.

Get more information here:

Sakari Farms is a Native American tribal farm located in Tumalo. Spring Alaska Schreiner, the owner and operator, comes from Inupiaq lineage, bringing a unique perspective and knowledge on food systems. Meet Spring as she gives a tour of Sakari Farm during our virtual farm field trip last spring. 

In the Garden with Nora: How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds

Our little garden educator returns to answer your question of how to harvest sunflower seeds to plant next year!  View the YouTube video here:

Outdoor Kitchen/Garden Wash Station

Mt. Bachelor has supported many aspects of our Garden for Every School program over the years, and we’re excited to show off the project they supported last year. This summer, we completed the outdoor kitchen/garden wash station — and then we put it to use with kids from the Boys & Girls Club.

The backside of the cabinet serves as storage for our harvesting and cooking supplies, as well as reusables and wash bins. The front of the cabinet is an informational kiosk. The workbench area is where we wash dishes, and our drying rack folds out over a succulent shelf where water is used by the plants. Turns out, kids can enjoy washing their dishes! 

Donations Requested

Our goal is to enroll 50 supporters in our monthly donation program. Right now, we have 25 folks on board. Will you join us? 

If you’re in a place of stability this fall, will you consider supporting our work with a $5 or $10 monthly donation? Your ongoing contribution will give us the foundation we need to grow our education programs and advocacy work across Central Oregon.

Become a monthly donor here:

Grants Available for Community Waste Reduction 

Do you have a great idea to help the community reduce waste, especially right now during the pandemic? The Environmental Center’s Rethink Waste Project is awarding $500-$2,000 grants to individuals, businesses and organizations in Deschutes County who are committed to making a change!

Applications are due November 13. Learn more and apply today!

Apply for a grant here:

Tips for a Low Waste Halloween

The scariest thing about this holiday may just be the incredible amount of plastic waste generated. Some waste will be avoided this year due to COVID-19, because trick-or-treating won’t be allowed in many places. Nevertheless, here are three easy things to do to reduce waste on October 31.

Vote Yes on Bend’s Transportation Bond

If approved by votes, Measure 9-135 will invest over $60 million in improving safety, walking, biking and transit over the next ten years. 

It will improve over 20 intersection bottlenecks that are currently unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. It will build new sidewalks and safe road crossings near schools and bus stops. It will complete 12 north-south and east-west walking and biking routes, including new crossings over the parkway and railroad tracks in Bend’s core. And it will provide $8 million for the Neighborhood Safety Program.

Equally important, all of these investments will help reduce climate pollution. Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in Oregon. When people feel safe they are more likely to start walking and biking and reduce how much they drive. And improved traffic flow means we’ll spend less time in our cars when we do drive. Together, that means less miles driven and less fossil fuels burned.

Learn more about the bond here:

Get out the vote! See What’s on Your Ballot, Watch Candidate Forums & more

Click here to view Election Information.

Gravel Biking in Skyline Forest

October 27, 7pm

The Deschutes Land Trust is partnering with Dirty Freehub to host a virtual webinar and Q&A session on gravel riding in Skyline Forest. Tune in!

View more upcoming events on our community calendar here:


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