LOSN celebrates full year of sustainability successes
The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network gathered more than a dozen speakers and a room full of supporters at the Lake Oswego United Methodist Church last week for a celebration of the progress made throughout Lake Oswego in the past year on a variety of sustainability issues.
The Sustainability Network's signature achievement in 2017 was the development of a Climate Action Plan for Lake Oswego. The group's members volunteered to assist in the process; a near-final draft was submitted to city councilors in January, and a study session is tentatively scheduled for later this month.
But the plan was only the first item on a long list of citywide achievements.
"We've got an enormous number of exciting things to share," said LOSN member Lisa Adatto.
Fourteen guest speakers gave a series of quick presentations recapping actions and activities undertaken by the groups they represented. The speeches were delivered to an audience of roughly 80 city residents, including most of Lake Oswego's city councilors.
A number of city staff and officials were among the presenters, including Councilor Jeff Gudman, who discussed the sustainability features of the City's recently-completed Operations and Maintenance Center. The complex on Pilkington Road includes a stormwater detention pond, solar panels, electric car chargers and skylights for better natural lighting, Gudman said.
Sustainability Advisory Board Chair Eliot Metzger discussed some of the group's goals during development of the Climate Action Plan, including a strong focus on actionable items.
"We weren't taking this on to create a plan that would look good on paper but wouldn't do anything for the community," he said. "We did the opposite."
Several local environmental groups and programs were also represented. Stephanie Wagner highlighted the work of the Lake Oswego Watershed Council to help improve stormwater treatment, and Cindy Ellison encouraged residents to get involved in the ever-growing Backyard Habitat certification program.
LOSN member Jan Castle discussed resiliency and work being done to prepare for an eventual Cascadia-type earthquake, and she implored audience members to take advantage of an upcoming program that will help homeowners make sure their houses are bolted to their foundations.
Mark Rosenkranz discussed the work of the Lake Oswego Corporation to try to maintain the water quality of Oswego Lake. He also mentioned the Lake Corp's expanded headquarters currently under construction on McVey Avenue, which will include solar panels and battery backup systems to operate the Oswego Lake dam during power outages and a heating system that draws heat from the lake itself.
"We're not going to be quite net-zero (energy usage), but we're going to be pretty close to it," he said.
Lake Oswego resident Paul Lyons gave a talk about "right-sized" housing options, imploring the City to encourage the development of more living options for seniors looking to downsize. And Linda Mathes discussed Hunger Fighters Oregon, a food pantry program started by Lake Oswego High School sophomore Michael Murray when he was still in middle school.
"The big news for 2018 is that we're going to open a second Hunger Fighters pantry on the Marylhurst campus," Mathes announced.
City staff discussed a variety of programs and projects aimed at sustainability and energy reduction, including a Community Supported Agriculture program at Luscher Farm, seismic resilience and appliance efficiency in future Lake Oswego School District buildings and efficiency upgrades during a recent renovation of the library.
"Everything we put in there had energy reduction in mind," said City Facilities Manager Rachael Petersen.
LOSN member Courtney Clements discussed the work of the group's Education Team, which is focused on implementing solutions from the Climate Action Plan in Lake Oswego's renovated and rebuilt school buildings.
"Now we're really poised, I believe, to be a model of sustainable schools for the United States," she said.