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The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Corvallis Sustainability Coalition shapes a healthier future for all

Taylor Cockrell
Members of the Oregon State University Bird Nerds club pose during a weekly bird walk event off of Campus Way on January 22, 2024.

In the heart of Corvallis, a community-driven initiative is actively shaping the landscape of sustainability in the area. 

Annette Mills, the director of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition said, “Our mission is to create an ecologically, socially and economically healthy city and county.” 

Regarding policy influence and urban planning, the coalition takes an educational approach. Mills said, “While direct advocacy for or against specific policies is precluded due to the coalition’s diverse composition, our impact is felt through numerous educational programs and activities.”

Recent highlights from action team meetings showcase the diversity of the coalition’s projects. 

“We focus on small land-based projects, leading by example and demonstrating sustainable practices rather than relying solely on advocacy,” said Dave Eckert, leader of the Water Action Team, a subgroup of the coalition.

Eckert said the regeneration of a headwaters creek at Bald Hill Natural Area and the revitalization of a wetland at Starker Arts Park were particularly successful projects.

Mills wanted to stress the significance of collaborating with local stakeholders and residents. “Our upcoming Sustainability Fair and Town Hall, themed ‘The Arts: Portal to Sustainability,’ aims to draw people into the sustainability conversation through the arts,” she said.

The coalition utilizes various tools to market its needs to public officials and make sure its voice is heard. “We use Google groups, a website, social media platforms, newsletters and traditional advertising,” said Mills.

Andrea Norris, a committee member since 2008, said, “I joined the coalition because I knew how important the work was, and it was a meaningful way I could contribute to increasing sustainable practices in our community.” 

Norris emphasized the coalition’s balanced approach between environmental sustainability and economic considerations, saying that there are many coordinated efforts to examine problems through both an economic and environmental lens.

For individuals looking to actively support the coalition’s initiatives, Norris recommended attending quarterly gatherings or the coalition’s annual town hall. “At coalition gatherings, you get to know other people, learn about great things already happening, and discover places you can plug in.” 

The coalition’s website provides information on programs, volunteer opportunities and upcoming events.

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