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Event will highlight sustainability efforts, feature two key speakers: Martha Bennett and Lora de la Cruz

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network will have its fifth annual celebration event Jan. 8. Community members can learn about the work different organizations are doing, relating to sustainability.The goal of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network's upcoming event is to highlight how the community is working to become more sustainable and to inspire others to join in that effort.

The fifth annual celebratory event, which runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the Lake Oswego United Methodist Church, will feature two speakers who joined the community in 2019: City Manager Martha Bennett and Lake Oswego School District

Superintendent Lora de la Cruz.

"It will give us a chance to first get their impressions of their organizations with fresh eyes but also provide a vision of where they would like to go with respect to sustainability," said Dorothy Atwood, LOSN board member.

For the last few years, Atwood said the event had about 14-15 speakers who each gave a two-minute speech on what they were doing relating to sustainability.

"At first we thought it wasn't going to work at all but what we found is people loved hearing a little snippet and then we had ample time at the end of our event for people to seek out the speakers," Atwood said. "It was really wonderful to see this cross section of events."

But this year, Atwood said the LOSN decided to switch it up because Bennett and de la Cruz are new to the city and both serve important roles.

The event will begin with a networking session at 5:30 p.m. and the official hour-and-a-half program will begin at 6 p.m., leaving another 30 or so minutes at the end for more networking.

There will be about a dozen different tables with various representatives from community organizations including the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, Backyard Habitat and Hunger Fighters.

Rep. Andrea Salinas will also attend the event and provide the community with an update about what's happening in the Legislature with respect to sustainability.

New this year will be the passport activity, where attendees will receive a stamp for every table they visit. They will then enter a raffle to win prizes like a Luscher Farms Community Supported Agriculture half-share of winter vegetables, books from the library like the chosen LO Reads book, "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore," and more.

"We are going to spend a little time talking about our (LOSN's) accomplishments and one thing that we did this year is we expanded our board," Atwood said. "One reason we expanded the board was we've got a lot of work to do. It's really frightening. Climate's really been in the news (and) we aren't talking about climate change anymore, we are talking about a climate crisis.

"That's depressing, overwhelming, daunting — and so at a celebration event you don't want it to be doom and gloom, but you want to try to light the fire of: we can sit in our homes and be depressed or ignore what we know is there, or we can do what were personally able to do."

Anyone is welcome to attend the event, but those interested must RSVP.

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