Cascadia first in nation for sustainable grounds

Cascadia’s campus grounds received the nation’s highest recognition in sustainability for the second year in a row.

Cascadia College was awarded the top spot in the nation among colleges and universities for the second year running for sustainable grounds and landscape.

The Association for Advancement of Sustainability at Higher Education (AASHE) rates universities and colleges across the nation on a variety of sustainability topics, including curriculum, energy, research, purchasing, among many others.

“For Cascadia to be rated so highly when compared against universities like Columbia or Stanford really is an honor, and the Bothell campus is something special,” Stephan Classen, assistant director of sustainable practices for Cascadia, said in a press release. “We’re lucky to have such an amazing green space right in our town.”

According to the release, many Bothell residents know about the Burke-Gilman Trail and how it meanders around the 58-acre restored wetland on the Cascadia College and University of Washington Bothell campus. In addition to the wetlands, the Bothell campus has a campus farm, Cascadia’s Food Forest, and the permaculture landscape, the release states. Students in Cascadia’s sustainability program worked with the campus grounds team to plant multiple food foraging areas and natural landscapes with native plants. Visitors are welcome to wander the campus and discover food growing ideas, as well as see examples of how land can be managed to accommodate local and native plants and animals into the landscape.

“We’ve had student projects build rain gardens to help clean water from campus roofs, several farm projects to create more growing space, and a food security project over the years,” Classen said in the release. “Our students want to see how to design and install things to help the campus grow, and also how to teach the community that growing local food is possible, all on our sustainable campus.”