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SPP Bikes to Portland

By Tiffany Webb, SPP Lecture Series Coordinator

An Unexpected Journey

When I signed up to present at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference, I had no idea what was in store. Then October rolled around and I found myself on a 140 mile bike ride from Olympia to Portland, in the name of sustainability.

I wasn’t alone. Along the way, I had encouragement and support from a small group of my fellow environmental studies graduate students, including Lindsey Hamilton, the SPP Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Coordinator. When we signed up to present at the conference and committed ourselves to the bike ride, it was summer and we imagined a lovely jaunt. Unfortunately, October weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t quite as favorable for a long bike trek, and our trip was cut short only 20 miles outside of Portland by 45 mph wind gusts and steady rain. Lindsey made a valiant effort to stick it out to the very end. She laughed as a headwind made even the down hills a struggle and gusted leaves into her face, but finally relented that conditions had become too scary. We made it to Portland feeling exhausted but accomplished, and—most of all—motivated!

Lindsey and Tiffany enthusiastically on their way to Portland. Photo by Nick Wooten.

Spreading the Word

We immediately immersed ourselves in the conference. Lindsey and I participated in the poster session and shared SPP’s model with many interested students, faculty, and staff from international universities and colleges. We presented on our experiences of being both graduate students at Evergreen and program coordinators with SPP. Many people who attended our presentation had never heard of anyone doing work quite like SPP, and they took ideas back to their campuses to share.

Lindsey and Tiffany arrive at the conference, bikes and SPP gear in hand.

The Way Home

I left the conference and Portland with a new state of mind. My own legs and willpower had gotten me so far, further than I ever thought possible, and in the process I had reduced travel emissions in a real way. On the train back to Olympia, I jotted this down in my journal, hoping to always have a reminder of this wonderful trip:

I’ve never felt such an attachment to an inanimate object like I do with my bike now. We’ve seen so much together, struggled together, explored Portland and the WA roads together. It has been an interesting 6 days of traveling without a car, from Olympia to Portland, finding my way around the city and public transit, and now back home. I’ve realized that we are capable of far more than we usually give ourselves credit for, and sometimes it just takes being in a situation where the most convenient option isn’t an option to push our choices in the right direction.

I feel refreshed and somehow stronger in myself and I’m done with those excuses for not living life by example as a true environmentalist. I’m done talking the talk but not pushing myself to lessen my impact on this planet as much as I can. I won’t be perfect, because we all have our vices, and it is a continuous process of learning and growing. But I am definitely approaching things from a different mindset now. Let’s change the world together and live in a way that makes us feel good about our choices and empowers us to recognize how much we can actually change in the world and in ourselves.

Something Annie Leonard said at the conference really hit me. She talked about how we make decisions based on our identities- how we view ourselves and how we want others to see us. We are often trapped in the identity of “powerless consumer” in our current society and that often influences the choices we make and the options we see ourselves as having. Instead, if we switch our identity and work towards recognizing when we are making decisions with that mindset and change it, we feel more empowered and start viewing our actions as self-possessed based on personal identity and not society-pressured identity. Instead of feeling powerless, we can start seeing ourselves as change-makers, movers, and citizens, and that will ultimately change the way we view our options and the way we make decisions. It is never an easy thing to recognize and shift these things in ourselves but I’m so pumped to work on this self-transformation until it becomes so typical that my mindset and actions automatically encompass this.

It is changes in myself like this one that makes me so thankful to work with the Sustainability in Prisons Project. The work I’m involved with as the SPP Lecture Series Coordinator constantly inspires growth and realizations that weren’t present in me before.

I wonder how Annie Leonard’s message relates to the inmates in SPP programs. Does being involved bring about a new identity for incarcerated people? Do they see themselves as stewards, environmentalists, scientists, and students instead of “just prisoners”? I’m excited to bring this new perspective to the SPP Science and Sustainability Lecture Series and hear what it means to the incarcerated students that attend our lectures and workshops!


If you’re interested in learning more about the bike ride, check out this blog from another student who was on the trip and the intentionally dorky picture show of highlights from the trek.


Freedom of the Frogs!

By Sadie Gilliom, SPP Graduate Research Assistant

Frog thinking about taking the leap out of Ms. Sibley’s hand.  Photo by Sadie Gilliom

On a drizzly September morning, a diverse team of professionals gathered at a wetland in Pierce County. Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) representatives were part of the group that also included staff from Northwest Trek Wildlife Park (Northwest Trek), the Center for Natural Lands Management, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The 153 state-endangered and federally-threatened Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) pop-corning in tubs in the middle of the group were the focus of attention, it was release day!

The frogs were released into their natural habitat with the hope of boosting the population of this struggling species. Sixty-four were reared by SPP inmate technicians at Cedar Creek Corrections Center (CCCC) while the remaining frogs were reared by zoo professionals at Northwest Trek. Late winter, biologists from WDFW gathered eggs from the wild and delivered them to the facilities where they were raised with protection from predation, disease, and habitat disturbance. Over the spring and summer the tadpoles hatched and developed into frogs under the care of zoo staff and inmate technicians.

The frogs seemed to anticipate their release. They jumped excitedly in their containers as they were carried down to the site. As the team gathered at the edge of the wetland, the sun broke through the clouds, as though to wish the frogs good luck on their journey into the wild. The frogs were released with time to adapt to their natural environment before the chill of winter sets in.

The release was an opportunity to enjoy the results of everyone’s hard work, coordination, and collaboration over the rearing season. The first frogs were released by SPP Liaison and CCCC Classification Counselor, Ms. Sibley. She popped the lid off the tub and the frogs sprang into the water. Most were gone in a flash, but a few were hesitant, staring at their new world for several minutes before springing into action. Throughout the release there were shouts of glee, handshakes, and smiles as all the frogs eventually hopped to freedom.

Sadie Gilliom encouraging the last few frogs. Photo by Lindsey Hamilton

It is important to acknowledge a few of the people that helped make this season successful. Thank you Fiona Edwards! Fiona completed her term as SPP’s Frog and Turtle Program Coordinator this season and trained me to take on the responsibilities of the position. I also want to acknowledge Classification Counselors Pickard and Sibley for the time and effort they invested to make the program possible at CCCC. As Mr. Pickard recently accepted a new job, Ms. Sibley capably stepped into the DOC Liaison role. We wish Mr. Pickard well in his new position and appreciate his contributions. A huge thank you to Mr. Nuss, the inmate technician working throughout the season to provide the excellent care that resulted in healthy and robust frogs on release day. Finally, thanks to Superintendent Cole for his continued, passionate support for the program.

Fiona Edwards giving a frog a pep talk. Photo by Sadie Gilliom

There are many other partners that help make the SPP frog program possible: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Woodland Park Zoo; Marc Hayes, Tammy Schmidt, and other staff at WDFW; SPP staff and leadership; and the many others who have contributed to the effort to save this valuable indicator species! Good luck Oregon spotted frogs of 2014! We wish you a successful and prolific future!

New to the Frog and Turtle Program!

By Sadie Gilliom, SPP Graduate Research Assistant

Sadie teaching teen summer campers from Thurston County how to identify native trees at Mount Rainier National Park. Photo by Alex Gilliom.

Greetings Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) followers!

My name is Sadie Gilliom. I am the new Oregon Spotted Frog and Western Pond Turtle Program Coordinator as of August 19th.

I am excited to be a part of the SPP team and put my two great passions to work in one job: amphibian and reptile conservation and interpreting our natural world. I have always had a great love of amphibians and reptiles. I spent a great deal of my childhood watching red-legged frogs swimming in my pond, swimming with the rough-skinned newts in Shelton, WA, and watching turtles from my kayak on a lake in Michigan. Almost as much as I loved these adventures, I loved telling people about them. I have always enjoyed telling stories and using mind boggling facts to excite people about nature.

My passion for interpretation led me to become a member of the National Association of Interpretation and be certified as an Interpretive Guide. I hope to use the skills I gained in their programs to inspire stewardship in the inmate technicians at Cedar Creek Corrections Center (CCCC).

As well as my passions, my previous job experience has led me to feel at home in the world of SPP. Through zoo keeping at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, interpreting Pacific Northwest wildlife at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and volunteering for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, I have gained both experience and connections in the field. I am looking forward to continuing to work with these organizations, now as program partners, and I hope to help strengthen SPP’s link to these partners. In addition, I hope to pass my job skills to the technicians at CCCC.

I am excited to start my Master of Environmental Studies at The Evergreen State College and have a head start in becoming part of the Evergreen community by working with SPP. Although it is awhile before I will start to write, I hope to involve SPP in my thesis and, in doing so, strengthen the partnerships between Evergreen, the Department of Corrections, and SPP.

I am thrilled to continue on my new SPP adventure and will keep you all posted on new highlights on our frog and turtle programs at Cedar Creek Corrections Center.

Inmates’ Zeal is the Key to Roots of Success in Ohio

by Christina Stalnaker, SPP Graduate Research Assistant

Women from the Ohio Reformatory for Women and Northeast Reintegration Center graduate from Roots of Success Facilitator Training.  This is the first time ODRC brought Roots to women's prisons.  Photo Credit: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Women from the Ohio Reformatory for Women and Northeast Reintegration Center graduate from Roots of Success Facilitator Training. This is the first time ODRC brought Roots to women’s prisons. Photo by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

“Roots of Success was the core component that tied together our cultural change in environmental awareness. We had begun recycling and composting. We addressed energy and water conservation, but I knew we needed education to really reach the inmates. Roots of Success took our green initiatives to a new level; it led the change that allowed inmates to be part of the environmental awareness at SCC (Southeastern Correctional Complex). The passion I saw from the inmates was amazing.”

-Warden Sheri Duffey, the first Warden to bring Roots to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC)

In prison classrooms throughout Ohio, ODRC provides facilitator training for inmates to deliver Roots of Success, an environmental literacy curriculum. These facilitators will prepare fellow inmates for re-entry into the green economy. ODRC also leverages inmates’ new-found passion and environmental education to implement sustainability initiatives throughout their facilities. ODRC brought Roots of Success to its first institution in 2011. Leah Morgan, ODRC Energy Conservation & Sustainability Administrator, informs us that the program proved to be so successful that it is now implemented in 19 out of 26 institutions, with plans to expand into all facilities within the next year.

Lorain Correctional Institution recently hosted ODRC’s largest Roots of Success train-the-trainer course to date, including both men and women from their facilities. Photo by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Morgan attributes the program’s success to their inmates, “Honestly, though, it wouldn’t have taken off the way it did without the passion of the inmates behind it. They LOVE this program.  We have long-term offenders trained and certified to facilitate the program, so a) it is not incredibly staff intensive, and b) it gives them meaningful work that they don’t normally have an opportunity to have.”

You can see video testimony from two of ODRC’s original trainers here:

Video by Roots of Success.

Video by Roots of Success.

Both Tony Simmons and Willie Lagway are Roots of Success Master Trainers at the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Lancaster.

Graduations and Transitions

By Jaal Mann, SPP Graduate Research Assistant

After over two years working with the Sustainability in Prisons Project, it’s difficult to move on from this highly supportive and tight-knit group who work together to help everyone achieve success.

While I am sad to leave the program, the graduate students who come and go are part of what makes SPP the organization it is. Every year, a new batch of students begins to work with the program, advancing their own research in ways that can improve SPP’s practices, and bringing their fresh perspectives and ideas to the programs.

SPP's second-year conservation nursery graduate students, from left to right: Bri Morningred, Jaal Mann, and Drissia Ras. Jaal and Drissia have finished their Masters studies and will be moving on at the end of the month.

SPP’s second-year conservation nursery graduate students, from left to right: Bri Morningred, Jaal Mann, and Drissia Ras. Jaal and Drissia have finished their Masters studies and will be moving on at the end of the month.

At the same time, major transitions have happened in the Prairie Restoration Crew from Cedar Creek Corrections Center. Several inmates on the crew were released, and others moved on to different jobs. We recently held a graduation ceremony for crew members who had completed a certain number of hours of work, and it was great to be able to show recognition for their efforts.

Inmates on Cedar Creek Corrections Center’s Prairie Restoration Crew, past and present, receive recognition for their efforts over the past year in a graduation ceremony at the corrections center.

Inmates on Cedar Creek Corrections Center’s Prairie Restoration Crew, past and present, received recognition for their efforts over the past year in a graduation ceremony at the corrections center.

Three new graduate students have joined the conservation nursery team. The nursery programs will continue to flourish while providing life-changing experiences for both inmates and students who have the opportunity to work in them.

Clallam Bay Corrections Center Photo Gallery

Photos and text by Joslyn Rose Trivett, SPP Network Manager

On September 3rd, Evergreen’s SPP staff visited Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC). Corrections staff proved gracious and enthusiastic hosts. Hearing about their sustainability programs and plans for the future was well worth the trek from Olympia. Here is a photo gallery of some of the highlights:


We were dazzled by their greenhouse–every food plant inside was the picture of health. We sampled peas, lettuce, and tomatoes, and appreciated what a difference fresh produce must make to a prison menu.



The Food Services Manager and Gardener at CBCC have only worked together a few months, and already have figured out how to make the most of garden yields in the kitchen; a predictable harvest schedule has reduced grocery expenses, and meant that inmates opt to eat more lettuce.



CBCC sits on 92 acres, and there is ample room for expanding the gardening program inside and outside the fence. This photo shows an area outside the the windows of the Intensive Management Units, a site for future garden beds.



The prison already grows squash (shown here), carrots, radishes, spinach and other greens, herbs, and flowers. They have plans to add blueberries, rhubarb, and perhaps even gourmet mushrooms–crops that they know would be productive in their wet, mild climate.



Here bok choy seedlings respond to the benefits of soil improved by compost–these sprouted much more quickly than those in unimproved soil.



Prison staff have heard very positive feedback from inmates on the new garden program. It is incredible what they have accomplished this year, especially when you consider that they didn’t get started until June! Plans are to double their efforts in 2015, including using every inch of the central courtyard for growing food and ornamental plants.



The prison has a vocational baking program that provides inmates with culinary experience and offers staff and the town bakery fresh-baked deliciousness.



The prison has excellent waste sorting practices in place, and they are ready to expand their recycling and composting programs.



They shared a vision of near-zero waste: a single trash can wheeled out to the curb from a facility housing nearly 900 men. We can’t wait!


Our thanks to our hosts Superintendent Obenland, Associate Superintendent Mike Tupper, Facilities Manager Jack Brandt, Gardener Mike Indendi, Food Services Manager Jerry McAffe, and Roots of Success Liaison Mark Black. We look forward to seeing your sustainability programs grow by leaps and bounds!

SPP Says Goodbye and Best Wishes to Dedicated Butterfly Technician

The Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (TCB) rearing program at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women (MCCCW) was initiated in 2011. Inmate technicians first practiced raising painted lady butterflies in a new greenhouse just outside the facility’s gates. In less than a year they proved themselves more-than-capable at this kind of work. In 2012 they started rearing and breeding the endangered TCB.


Carolina Landa was an inmate technician with the program from its inception. She was present for the first delivery of TCB caterpillars. She worked with SPP from 2011 to 2013 as a full-time technician. Then, while completing other programs at MCCCW she volunteered her time to support new technicians. Over the years she helped raise over 6,000 caterpillars and butterflies for release onto South Sound Prairies. She has created new and innovative husbandry practices, participated in butterfly research, and helped to train and mentor other inmate technicians along the way. Her dedication, passion, and commitment to the delicate and detailed work of raising butterflies, is a large part of the reason this new and unique program has proven successful. These early accomplishments ensured that SPP, DOC staff, future inmate technicians, and other SPP partners will have the opportunity to continue work to recover this federally listed species.


Earlier this year Carolina wrote: “I just want to say that through these butterflies I have learned so much, and healed. It is amazing how God places all things in your life for a reason. This program has changed my life forever. I am so grateful for the knowledge, accomplishments and growth it has provided me. It is exciting to care for these beautiful creatures and giving back to the environment gives me a good feeling. ”

Photo by Benj Drummond

In mid-July Carolina transferred from MCCCW into a Community Parenting Alternative (CPA) program. This unique and groundbreaking program allows an inmate to serve up to 12 of the last months of their sentence in Home Detention. The focuses of this 2010 legislation are on the child, family, and the importance of maintaining the family bond for inmates reentering the community. Due to the contributions Carolina made during her incarceration, she was granted this well-deserved opportunity to finish her sentence with her family.

This means that Carolina is no longer a butterfly technician at MCCCW. However, her contributions will stay with the program for years to come. She states that she would like to continue her involvement in the TCB rearing program as a volunteer or student after she is released. She intends to pursue an undergraduate degree at The Evergreen State College in the near future.

SPP would like to thank Carolina for all of her work with the butterflies and welcome her back into her community. We wish her the best of luck in all that she aspires to in the future.

Reaching higher at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

The group tours CRCC's main campus.

The group tours CRCC’s main campus.

SPP Peer to Peer gathering

By Joslyn Rose Trivett, SPP Network Manager
All photos by Kelly Frakes, Capitol Programs

Twenty-two people gathered at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) for a two-day, high-intensity meeting at the end of June. This was a “peer to peer” event, funded in part by the SPP Network Conference Grant from the National Science Foundation. To make plans for CRCC’s sustainability programs, we brought experts (“peers”) in sustainability from Airway Heights Corrections Center and Washington State Penitentiary, WA Department of Ecology, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), and SPP staff from Washington Department of Corrections headquarters and The Evergreen State College. Many of CRCC’s administrative and operations staff joined the meeting, and they proved both gracious hosts and willing subjects.

The state of the art laundry facility at CRCC reclaims heat and water at multiple steps.

The state of the art laundry facility at CRCC reclaims heat and water at multiple steps.

The first order of business for the visitors was learning about CRCC’s campus and existing sustainability programs. CRCC’s main complex is Washington’s newest prison, opened in 2009. It holds the distinction of being the only LEED Gold Certified prison campus in the country. Linda Glasier from WA Ecology related that the extra costs incurred by meeting LEED Gold standards was paid back in about six months (through energy savings), and that CRCC is one of the state’s most resource-efficient complexes. This infrastructure could be the foundation for surpassing sustainable operations programs in a prison.

The central yard at CRCC reflects the need to use no water for irrigation. The prison is located in a desert.

CRCC is located in a desert. The stark central yard reflects the standard of using little-to-no water for irrigation.

One of the challenges faced by CRCC is How to bring nature inside without using more water?

One of the challenges faced by CRCC is How to bring nature inside without using more water?

After an initial welcome and setting the stage, the group toured many areas of the expansive campus: kitchen, warehouse, laundry, textile shop, a living unit, the main yard, and waste collection sites. We also visited the recycling center, housed in the older, minimum security area. All were impressed by the rigorous sorting and the impressive reductions in waste already accomplished. All were also impressed by the extreme heat outside—even though we were not in the heat of summer, many bodies were wilting in the hot, arid environment!

Kelley Thompson who runs the recycling center for CRCC shared the impressive programming already in place.

Shelley Thompson who runs the recycling center for CRCC shared the impressive operations already in place.

Graph showing CRCC's waste reductions over a four year period. Graphic courtesy of Kelley Thompson.

Graph showing CRCC’s waste reductions over a four year period. Graphic courtesy of Shelley Thompson.

Day two of the gathering was devoted to a marathon meeting. The group participated in a “brain dump,” committing to paper their ideas for sustainability programming. We also heard from our visiting experts. Linda Glasier from Ecology encouraged CRCC not to talk about “waste”. The materials called “waste” are actually commodities, and there are better uses and destinations for those resources than the landfill. Along similar lines, Sergeant Resor from the Correctional Facility at JBLM advised the group to “throw nothing away!”

The results of the brain dump were organized into topics, and the group voted to determine three top priorities for action:

  • Elimination of single-use plastics
  • Zero net waste
  • Education and culture change

With determination and focus, the group crafted action plans for the three initiatives. We emphasized immediate next steps and short term goals. We left the meeting with concrete commitments to further building on the already-excellent sustainability programs at CRCC.

"Sustainability guru" for CRCC, Sam Harris, talks with Linda Glasier from WA Dept. of Ecology and JBLM's Solid Waste & Recycling Program Manager Ron Norton.

“Sustainability guru” for CRCC, Sam Harris, talks with Linda Glasier from WA Dept. of Ecology and JBLM’s Solid Waste & Recycling Program Manager Ron Norton.

Cedar Creek Prairie Conservation Crew 2014

Carl Elliott, SPP Conservation Nursery Manager

Photos by Jaal Mann, SPP Conservation Nursery Coordinator

The 2014 prairie restoration crew.

The 2014 prairie restoration crew.

The 200,000 plant pots require a delicate and precise process of weeding.

The 200,000 plant pots require a delicate and precise process of weeding.

This is the second spring for a crew from Cedar Creek Corrections Center dedicated year-round to prairie restoration work. The program links community service to education and training in a range of ecological restoration skills.

The crew participates in every facet of restoration ecology on Puget lowland prairies in Thurston County. Their work is guided by regional land managers from The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and The Center for Natural Lands Management, and by SPP’s Conservation Nursery staff. Their activities are highly varied. Spring work centers on the identification and removal of noxious weeds, reducing brush and tree competition in oak savannahs, and identification of prairie sites with a high amount of native biodiversity. In summer and fall their tasks move to seed collection and cleaning as well as providing support for the prescribed burn crews.

Conservation Nursery Coordinator Drissia Ras demonstrates seed sowing techniques.

Conservation Nursery Coordinator Drissia Ras demonstrates seed sowing techniques.

More formal workshops and classroom education occurs while the crew works at the seed nursery managed by the Center for Natural Lands Management and the plant nursery (Shotwell’s Landing) managed by the Sustainability in Prisons Project. At the three seed farms in Thurston County, nearly fifteen acres are cultivated with more than 100 species of seed plants. The offender technicians receive training in plant identification, soil fertility, integrated pest management and a wide range of practical landscape skills. At the plant nursery, they develop adaptive cultivation skills: cultivation techniques that adapt to changing weather and plant needs throughout the growing season. They hone their abilities to monitor plant growth and manage pests to produce the highest quality plants. Adaptive cultivation management is particularly challenging when working with a group of native plants rarely or never grown before.

Crew members prepare early blue violet for plant out at the seed farms.

Crew members prepare early blue violet for plant out at the seed farms.

The plants produced at the nursery go towards the production of seed and habitat enhancement for the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. Our goal this year for SPP’s three nursery sites (Shotwell’s, Washington Corrections Center for Women, and Stafford Creek Corrections Center) is 400,000 plants. Outplantings will be a substantial contribution toward creating nectar and larval host plants at sites in Thurston County where the butterfly larvae and adults will be released. Other plants will be used for seed production–with increased availability of seed, even more prairie acreage can be restored. The offender technicians participate in all these efforts; as you can see, they are a primary force in the restoration and habitat enhancement for Puget lowland prairie species for future generations to enjoy.

A crew member scarifies (scratches the seed coat of) American vetch seed prior to sowing; this was done as a comparison study with unscarified seed.

A crew member scarifies (scratches the seed coat of) American vetch seed prior to sowing; this was done as a comparison study with unscarified seed.


A crew member covers sown seeds with a gravel cover; a gravel cover reduces moss competition and keeps light seed from floating to the surface.

A crew member covers sown seeds with a gravel cover; a gravel cover reduces moss competition and keeps light seed from floating to the surface.



WCCW Sustainability Workshop

by Tiffany Webb, SPP Lecture Series Coordinator

Inmates discuss sustainability while creating their group diagram. Photo credit: Joslyn Rose Trivett

On July 1, SPP offered a sustainability workshop at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) as part of the Science and Sustainability Lecture Series. The workshop was led by Scott Morgan, the Sustainability Director at The Evergreen State College, with the help of SPP staff Lindsey Hamilton, Tiffany Webb, and Joslyn Trivett.

Regular lecture series attendees add colorful drawings to their diagram. Photo credit: Joslyn Rose Trivett

Scott opened the workshop by asking those in attendance what sustainability meant to them. Then the women split into small groups and he tasked them with creating a systems diagram of human needs, the natural resources necessary for those needs, and the positive and negative human impacts on these resources. While some focused on basic needs like food and water, others included things like “community and belonging” and “interaction with other living things.” The participants’ diagrams were creative, including innovative ideas for managing resources as well as beautiful, colorful drawings.

An inmate adds ideas for how to maintain important natural resources. Photo credit: Joslyn Rose Trivett

One group’s vibrant diagram. Photo credit: Joslyn Rose Trivett

At the end of the workshop, Scott covered a broad range of environmental success stories, offering resources and organizations that are making great strides in sustainability. The activities closed with an open discussion about the various topics that came up during the workshop, offering an outlet for the women to share their knowledge and experiences in sustainability.

A few women who participated in the workshop display their work. Photo credit: Joslyn Rose Trivett

After the workshop, many participants contacted the SPP liaison at WCCW with comments about the activities and lecture series.The image above shows a few of the messages that were received. Source: Paula Andrew, WCCW


Certificates Too!

Before the workshop began, attendees were awarded certificates for on-going participation in the lecture series. This was the first round of certificates to be given out at WCCW, a recent addition to the lecture series. Women were awarded a certificate of science and sustainability education for attending 5, 10, 20 or more lectures throughout their time at the women’s center. Many women are already eligible for the next round of certification and have expressed excitement at receiving awards for their environmental education achievements!

Paula Andrew, the SPP liaison at WCCW, awards a lecture series certificate. The recipient has attended more than 20 lectures in her time at WCCW. Photo credit: Joslyn Rose Trivett