Sustainable Thurston invite ideas about growth
Sustainable Thurston is a group sponsored by a federal grant for county-level planning. Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) received $1.5 million from HUD to conduct regional planning for housing and economic development to accommodate the projected growth in our region.
According to Veena Tabbut, Senior Planner for data management for Sustainable Thurston, our region is expected to grow by 67% in the next 30 years “or 170,000 people, another Tacoma”. This organization has already drawn in interested public for a scoping exercise that occurred over the winter. Now they are planning a series of events that will occur in seven locations all over Thurston County.
The Olympia event will be held at the Olympia Center on April 19 from 6-8 PM. The public is invited and postcards are going out to residents. The plan is to have a brief introduction then to involve the participants in a series of four exercises. The people will brainstorm how they imagine our neighborhoods will accommodate the expected growth, and what it will mean for housing, schools and needed services. The results from these events will be collated and used to build an implementation strategy, which is part of the requirement for the federal funding.
Sustainability Summit on April 14
The Sustainability Summit, planned for April 14 from 9-5, is the result of a grassroots, volunteer effort to provide local solutions to problems. According to organizers Barb Scavezze and Laura Schleyer, they will explore how to cope with the likelihood that we won’t be importing food from long distances once oil prices skyrocket, so how will we feed ourselves and our community?
The keynote speaker is David Korten, a Bainbridge resident and author of books about the new economy and the post-corporate world, talking about “Lessons from the Biosphere: Creating connected, Resilient Communities.” There will be a panel of local experts and topics will include water, energy use, transportation and land use. Check the website for information how to register and for all the partners, at www.TransitionOlympia.org.
Bicycle Commuter Contest gets rolling!
This spring, the month-long, nationally recognized Bicycle Commuter Contest hits its 25th year encouraging Thurston County residents and commuters to use bicycles for transportation. Residents and commuters are invited to register in April and cycle to work, school, and on errands during May. With gas prices high and increased concern about household budgets, climate change, and energy conservation, event organizers expect a good turnout this year.
“Owning and operating a car is expensive; traveling by bike is virtually free,” says Intercity Transit Authority Chair Martin Thies. “It’s good for the planet, reduces traffic congestion, and it’s an easy, practical way to reduce expenses while improving personal fitness.”
Bicycle Commuter Contest participation has more than doubled in the past several years. Since Intercity Transit began hosting the event six years ago, participants have logged more than ½ million miles on 70,000 trips and prevented the release of more than 270 tons of CO2.
For information about the Bicycle Commuter Contest, contact Duncan Green at 360-705-5874 or visit thurstonbcc.blogspot.com. Also look for information at local bicycle shops and in a special pullout-section in the next issue of OP&L. (Wheee!) ◙