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Bridget Brooks co-founded the Tualatin Sustainability Network. A similar group exists in Lake Oswego.

COURTESY PHOTO - Bridget BrooksA Tualatin city councilor has launched a nonprofit group to educate community members about climate change and other environmental issues and promote sustainable practices.

Councilor Bridget Brooks says the purpose of the Tualatin Sustainability Network is, according to the group's mission statement: "Creating environmental sustainability through education, service activities and community connections."

"We are excited to contribute in creating a sustainable corridor in our region," Brooks told Pamplin Media Group.

The Tualatin Sustainability Network will hold a virtual kickoff event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21. Jenifer McIntyre, an aquatic toxicologist, will discuss how stormwater runoff affects ecosystems.

McIntyre is an assistant professor at Washington State University. Much of her research focuses on the effect that toxins and chemicals have on Pacific Northwest wildlife when they find their way into waterways.

The Tualatin Sustainability Network says McIntyre will discuss the health of a particularly iconic Pacific Northwest fish genus, the salmon, during next Wednesday's program.

The group is "incredibly excited" to be able to host McIntyre's talk, Brooks added.

Other upcoming events include a trash pickup party from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, to celebrate Earth Day. That event is being organized by Tualatin High School students.

There will also be a "Hug-a-Park" event from 9 a.m. to noon May 22, at which volunteers will work to remove invasive plants and improve trails at Tualatin parks.

The group hopes to put on at least two events or programs twice per month to "inspire neighbors and friends to think globally and act locally toward a sustainable future and a beautiful, healthy and peaceful planet."COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF TUALATIN - Debris was brought to Tualatin High School by residents following the ice and snow storm in February 2021.

According to Brooks, the Tualatin Sustainability Network was born from a work group of about a dozen people, including two Tualatin High School students. The group has also been collaborating informally with counterparts in Tualatin's neighbor Lake Oswego, who met to organize the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network in 2013. The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network has expanded since it was formed, with regular programs and forums and a recurring newsletter.

Brooks says she wants to "become a better environmental steward" and promote sustainability in Tualatin.

"I want to create space for us all to learn from each other and work together for a cleaner, healthier community," Brooks stated.PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Smoke rises from the Chehalem Mountain-Bald Peak Fire, southwest of Tualatin, last September.

By Mark Miller
Editor-in-Chief, Washington and Columbia counties
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