The halls of Lakeridge Middle School were filled with booths and activities that promoted sustainable living habits and practices on Sunday, April 24.
The first annual Sustainability Resource Fair was put on as a collaboration between the Lake Oswego School District, the city of Lake Oswego's Sustainability Advisory Board, the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network and the Oswego Lake Watershed Council. The four entities joined together to showcase different ways the larger community could make Lake Oswego more sustainable.
The event centered around making the community a more environmentally-friendly place through activities and opportunities. About 20 different organizations and companies from across the Portland metro area were present during the fair, each showcasing new ways community members can improve their sustainability efforts through educational activities, volunteer opportunities and extended resources.
The Lake Oswego High School Green Team advertised the club and some of the efforts it has focused on recently, like trying to provide better composting systems in schools. At its booth, the student-led team invited attendees to play environment-themed bingo and make a name card with pieces of wood slats that were chopped up during a martial arts performance at the Asian Cultural Festival held the week prior.
"We're just trying to make a better effort at getting a system-based sustainable effort," said Daniel Dishner, a member of the green team. "We want to be more than just student volunteers and get more people invested in (our efforts), and we think a great way to do that is by education. By improving the education around subjects like composting, we could definitely improve not only our environment, but also our eco footprint."
Down the hall, Laurel Bates, school sustainability advisor for Clackamas County, taught kids the joy of soil and its ecosystems. Kids used small shovels to dig through a pile of soil that had about 20 worms squirming around it.
"We have the soil for kids to dig around because so much of that comes from just the joy that you can find in small living things. And so when a child is showing appreciation and in awe of a worm, and its tiny ecosystem, I really think that it then applies to other life," Bates said.
The Lake Oswego Public Library showcased some books related to gardening, composting and educational nature-related reads.
"We like to think of the library itself as a sustainable-oriented place, because people don't buy books individually. They can just check them out for a couple of weeks, and share them amongst the community," said librarian assistant Gabrielle Hoffman.
The Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library sat adjacent to the library's booth with activities for community members to learn how to recycle old books.
A group of children gathered around the table, folding pages from a book into a small triangular prism. Leanne Rooney, the friends group manager, said this is a traditional Swedish activity that promotes the reuse of book pages.
After the prisms are complete, they are filled with seeds.. Community members can then place them in their home gardens and watch the pages bloom into another life. The organization also showed different ways book pages can be used, including creating jewelry, journals or miniature sculptures.
Community members could also participate in self-guided tours of the middle school. The campus was revamped as part of the 2017 school bond, and environmentally-friendly design features like LED lighting fixtures were prioritized. Attendees were also able to participate in an electric tool exchange where people could recycle their gas-powered yard tools and purchase an electric model at a discounted rate.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.