Opinion

Cascadia is a happening spot

Cascadia Community College received a grant recently that is designed to promote and expand “service learning” on campus. Cascadia could certainly do well to look to the service-learning model of professor Martha Groom next door at the co-located University of Washington, Bothell.

Martha’s class in sustainable development, with an emphasis on Africa, inspired students to collaborate with Village Volunteers in support of a project to provide clean water filter systems in the village of Kiminini, Kenya.

There’s more good news coming from Cascadia with the announcement that the school will begin offering a new degree program in sustainable practices and environmental technologies. This has a strong possibility of becoming a centerpiece of working partnerships with 21 Acres and the Friends of Hidden River.

Cascadia’s new program is designed to prepare students to enter the rapidly expanding fields of sustainability and renewable energy technology. Courses will emphasize hands-on training and internships with local companies. Working with solar panels on campus is but one example of real life experiences open to those in the program.

Sustainability is the virtual watchword at Woodinville-based 21 Acres where more than 13 Sammamish Valley acres are presently under the stewardship of “Growing Washington” farmer Vincent Felice. Vincent and his associates have underscored the value of locally grown produce for the growing demand of those “locavores” frequenting farmer’s markets in our urban centers.

The 21 Acres Center is an innovative, community-driven project that serves as an agricultural and environmental learning center for people of all ages. It is an “agri-urban park” that is accessible to the whole community. 21 Acres includes a bio-diverse farmstead with trails for physical activity, community gardens, interpretive educational signage and cultivated farm plots used to demonstrate sustainable and organic farming practices.

Friends of Hidden River are those dedicated public school science teachers in our area who are movers and shakers behind programs at the Brightwater Environmental Education community center on Highway 9 north of Woodinville. They are working diligently for funds to provide science labs and other facilities that could be used by high-school and college classes (Cascadia and University of Washington, Bothell have extremely limited space and lab facilities for their science courses).

An intriguing development being studied by the “Friends” groups is the conversion of methane gases, soon to be released at the Brightwater Treatment plant, which could be captured to become a source of energy to power the plant. Imagine study grants for the budding scientists working to become key players in these rapidly emerging fields focusing on sustainability.

Sub Blurb

• Criteria for the first scholarships to be awarded next spring in memory of the late Karen Forys have been finalized by her husband Ed Forys of Woodinville. The grants will recognize Northshore School District’s longtime superintendent, who died a year ago after her courageous battle with cancer. One $2,000 scholarship will go to a graduating Northshore high-school senior who plans to pursue studies in education or the performing arts. “Financial need will be a primary consideration with a demonstrated willingness on the part of the candidate to earn a portion of the remaining school expenses that will be incurred obtaining their degree.”

A second grant is targeted for a teacher or teacher within the Northshore district. “The candidate must be pursuing a master’s degree in a field of study which will benefit the teaching and/or administrative excellence of the Northshore School District.”

The annual scholarships will be funded through an endowment established by Ed and by numerous memorial contributions to the Northshore Scholarship Foundation.

John Hughes was owner-publisher of the Northshore Citizen from 1961 to 1988 and is active in local nonprofit organizations.

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