Butte Environmental Council Newsletter, March 2021
BEC's Mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education. Our monthly newsletter is designed to keep our community informed about local issues that impact our region's environmental quality and bring you opportunities to become involved.
In this Month's Issue:
  • We're Hiring a Grant Writer!
  • Spring Fling in the Gardens - April 17
  • Community Forum: Transportation & Climate Change - April 22
  • Endangered Species Faire - May 1 (puppet videos due April 19)
  • Valley's Edge Workshop - May 8
  • Updates to BEC 2021 Calendar of Events
  • Other Community Events we hope to see you at
  • Opportunities to work with us: Board of Directors and Working Committees
  • Urban Forest Revitalization Project Updates
  • RARE - Recycling and Rubbish Education Program Updates
  • Advocacy and Calls to Action
  • Soil Health and Climate Change - Article by Neil Bajaj, Student Ambassador
YOU are the reason BEC thrives!
BEC is a grassroots non-profit dedicated to a healthy environment for us all. Our work is made possible by people like you! Our newsletter is sent to thousands of folks each month, however, we currently have just over 300 active members. Being a BEC member means sustaining the work we do for the environment of Butte County and the surrounding area.

There are two levels of recurring membership:
Angel Members contribute $35 or more each month, or $420 annually.
Sustaining Members contribute between $4 and $34 a month, or $48 annually.
Unsure about your membership status?
*Contact our office to make sure you are a current BEC member!*

You can support BEC by making a One-Time Donation of any amount and/or volunteer. We have many events planned for 2021 and we can't do it without YOU
Become a NEW MEMBER in the month of April -Earth Month!- and receive this awesome local Spring Cleaning MAGNET!
We are Hiring!
BEC is seeking an experienced grant writer to join our team and help us continue to fulfill our mission! If you are someone who is passionate about working for a Non-Profit, have an eye for identifying fundraising opportunities, along with a joy of writing, then this is the job for you. We are looking for an experienced Grant Writer to tackle some funding opportunities that we have identified and who can research and identify additional funding for our organization. Our grant writer will have excellent writing, grammar, and communication skills. For more information on the job and details on how to apply, please click the button below.
April 17 - Spring Fling in the Gardens
On Saturday, April 17, many local community gardens will be hosting a "Spring Fling" garden gathering and workday! Oak Way Community Garden, the 1/2 acre site managed by BEC serving more than 20 families, is celebrating our Spring Fling from 11 am to 2 pm. We are inviting our gardeners and friends to enjoy a few hours of camaraderie and teamwork, put on your gloves, and "chip" in on some garden improvement projects. We anticipate cleaning up our pathways, covering paths with wood chips, getting garden beds prepped, working on the composting piles, and more! We will have music and may have some refreshments, but suggest packing your own picnic. We will maintain COVID-safe practices and be sure to keep an appropriate distance from each other. We look forward to you and a few friends joining us for a productive day! For more information about Oak Way Community Garden, including how to become a sponsor, visit www.becnet.org/community-garden.

This event is being done in collaboration with the Butte County Community Garden Network, part of a regional effort to get our community members active in our local community gardens. Below is the list of gardens participating in the Spring Fling. If you would like to volunteer in a garden, please see their contact information below to get more details. Our community gardens are always seeking volunteers and donations, so please consider helping in any way you can!
๐’๐ž๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐š๐ซ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง ๐€๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ•, ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ค ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ!
African American Family and Cultural Center Garden
3300 Spencer Avenue
Kentfield Garden
1125 Kentfield Ave
Veterans Garden Project
Seeds Of Love
6626 Skyway
Vecino Victory Garden
1535 Laburnum Ave
Green Paradise Garden
6201 Skyway
Sol Sanctuary
4791 Round Valley Ranch Rd. Paradise CA
April 22 - Transportation & Climate Change Community Forum
Butte Environmental Councilโ€™s Community Forums series continues in 2021 with a focus on community resilience and climate change. Our 2021 Community Resilience Forums focus on transportation, urban development, shelter, wildfire, and food systems. Our forums aim to open conversations, provide information, and empower our community.

BEC is hosting the Transportation & Climate Change forum on Earth Day, April 22nd! Join us from 6:00 - 7:30 PM to learn about local and regional transportation issues that affect climate change, and the steps we can take toward a more sustainable transportation network. Panelists will discuss efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Chico, Butte County, and Statewide through increased access to public transit, walking, biking, remote work, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to voice their ideas and shape BECโ€™s involvement in transportation advocacy. Registration for this Community Forum opens on Friday, April 2nd. To register, visit www.becnet.org/community-forum-series
  • Cheri Chastain: Director of Sustainability and Energy, Chico State University
  • Jon Clark: Executive Director, Butte County Association of Governments
  • Bryce Goldstein: BEC Board Member, Transportation Planner, Planning Commissioner
Forum Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Poll: gauging knowledge and areas of interest
  • Panelists speak on transportation GHG emissions, COVID-19, equity issues, local issues. The second panelist round will focus on solutions.
  • Q&A session and poll
  • Social โ€œhourโ€ where participants interact and discuss their priority issues and solutions that BEC and the community can work towards
  • Share out session of small-group discussions about solutions and next steps
  • Closing

Save the dates for the rest of the Community Resilience and Climate Change Series:
  • 6/24: Shelter
  • 8/26: Wildfire
  • 11/17: Food Systems
May 1 - Endangered Species Faire
๐‚๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ญ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ!
Join us in the virtual Procession of Species parade this year!
๐’ฎ๐’ถ๐“‰๐“Š๐“‡๐’น๐’ถ๐“Ž ๐‘€๐’ถ๐“Ž ๐Ÿฃ๐“ˆ๐“‰, ๐Ÿค๐Ÿข๐Ÿค๐Ÿฃ
This sure-to-be memorable event is VIRTUAL this year! We have memorialized Puppet-maker instructors Susan Tchudi and Emma Beesley in 3 informational videos on how to make the classic paper mache endangered species puppet. There are more ways than one to make a puppet! See our instructional flier linked for the videos and all the other information you need to participate in this year's parade:

The annual Endangered Species Faire is fun for all ages! Anyone is welcome to join us in the puppet-making extravaganza and participate in the Procession of Species! To be a part of the virtual endangered species parade, we invite you to create a short video presenting your puppet which will be combined for a long video "parade" of endangered species created by enthusiasts near and far. Video submissions are due by midnight Monday, April 19!

Join us on May 1st, 2021 from 10am to 1pm (times subject to change) for our interactive virtual event for workshops, presentations, and of course the crowning jewel: The Procession of Species virtual parade will be live-streamed at NOON!

Registration for the Faire opens on Friday, April 2nd. For registration and to learn more about the Faire go to our website at www.becnet.org/endangered-species-faire
May 8 - Valley's Edge Workshop
Valleys Edge is a proposed development near Skyway and East 20th, that has the potential to significantly impact the environment, including but not limited to: air quality, threatened, sensitive species and species of concern, increases wildfire risk for the City of Chico, increased greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts, increased depletion of groundwater resources and wetlands, and added strain on the Neal Road Landfill. The proposed development is going through the California Environmental Quality Act Environmental Impact Review (CEQA EIR) analysis, and the next public comment period is approaching. Join BEC at this upcoming workshop to learn how the EIR process works, the timeline for the review process, how to get the community and press involved and how to write effective CEQA public comments.

Details on how to join the workshop will be posted to our website and social media, so please stay tuned! 
Save the Dates! See BEC's full schedule of events and mark your calendar!
2021 BEC Calendar of Events
Other Related Upcoming Community Events
April 4 - Wildflower and Nature Festival 10am-4pm

๐—™๐˜‚๐—ป ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€! BEC will be at this event in Riverbend Park, Oroville from 10AM-4PM
Come visit us for great conversations about what BEC is doing with the community for our environment.
๐—›๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—จ๐—ฟ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—™๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜€, ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜†:
  • Test your recycling and composting knowledge for a chance to win BEC swag
  • Composting demos and workshop at 1pm
  • Enter our raffle for a chance to win BEC swag or a tree!
  • Purchase BEC swag, sign up to volunteer, donate, and/or become a member
  • And more!!
We are so excited to get out in the sunshine this weekend (masked) and visit with folks about topics that matter. Hope to see you there!
Click HERE for more information
April 24 - Chico Spring Clean Day
Community-wide cleanup day hosted by the City of Chico

Join BEC from 9am-12pm in this community-wide cleanup day organized by the City of Chico. BEC is participating as a Community Team Cleanup LEAD, encouraging our traditional clean-up volunteers to participate in the South Campus and Teichert Ponds areas on April 24. We will have a volunteer station set up in front of our office, 313 Walnut Street #140, where you can pick up supplies to help us clean up in the South Campus area (#27) or the Teichert Ponds Area (#28) of the planned cleanup zones.

๏ปฟRegister for the "#27 South Campus" or "#28 Teichert Ponds" area HERE
More information about the overall event can be found HERE
See the Cleanup Map HERE
Let's show Chico how BEC does cleanups!
April 26 to May 9 - Chico Velo Wildflower Century

Donโ€™t miss the 40th anniversary of the Chico Velo Wildflower Century. The Wildflower 2021 is a two-week-long extravaganza with 3 options to participate! From April 24th to May 9th you can choose the option that makes sense for you, and get moving. Learn more at www.wildflowercentury.org

Due to COVID-19, Chico VELO wonโ€™t be able to host the traditional century ride with over 4,000 regional riders. But the organization still plans to get people outdoors in the safest way possible and encourage the community to reduce vehicle miles traveled in our region.
Spring just wouldn't be the same without Chico Velo's Wildflower - so register today!
Join Us! Seeking motivated community members to join our
Board of Directors or one of our Working Committees
Butte Environmental Council invites members of the community to join one or more of our working committees or our Board of Directors. Each committee, described in the form linked in the button below, generally meets once per month to plan events, fundraisers, and promote awareness as well as encourage membership participation. Please read the descriptions of BEC's working committees and express interest you have in joining as many as you would like. By expressing community interest, you will be added to our committee email list and can expect communication about the next committee meeting very soon. All Committee meetings are currently being held virtually. Thank you for your continued support!

Click the button below to learn about our committees and submit your interest in joining any number of BEC's working committees: 1. Outreach, 2. Advocacy, 2. Garden, and 4. Fundraising and Membership.

This is also an opportunity to express your interest in joining the Board of Directors. Join our team and help us do amazing things with our community! To learn more, go to https://www.becnet.org/BOD
Our Urban Forest Program - revitalization with the City of Chico
March 13โ€™s city-wide tree planting event introduced 30 new trees into residentsโ€™ yards! This large event was made possible by our 10 volunteer groups, 5 tree delivery volunteers, and behind-the-scenes help from our staff. We had news coverage from the City of Chico and ChicoER, and even had Mayor Coolidge help plant our first tree of the day! Happy volunteers, happy tree recipients, and beautiful weather made for an overall successful Saturday event. Thank you so much to everyone who participated!! 

The tree planting momentum will not stop here. We have an awesome group of volunteers who plants trees on Wednesdays, and we are anticipating planting trees in select schools to celebrate National Arbor Day and Earth Day! 

Our Fall for a FREE Tree planting event already has a date set: Saturday, November 13. For this event, weโ€™ll be planting at least 50 trees!! If you missed out on volunteering or having a tree planted in your front yard this round, make your reservations for the next tree planting event. Tree planting spots are already filling up!

The Urban Forest Revitalization Program, a partnership between BEC and the City of Chico, is funded by a grant from Cal Fire. One goal of the project is to plant over 700 residential trees in disadvantaged communities in Chico by Spring 2021. If you or someone you know might be interested in a free tree or to volunteer for the program, please visit www.becnet.org/urbanforest, call 530-891-6424, or email urbanforest@becnet.org.
RARE webpage gets an update ! Plus: What to do with Plastic Film?
The RARE Webpage is getting a makeover! Check out the latest updates where you can find workshop videos, recycling and composting information, lesson plans and educational resources, all in one convenient place! Under the โ€œTeacher Resourcesโ€ tab, you can also find a wide range of activities and crafts to do with your students which help to cultivate an understanding about our relationship with the environment in fun and creative ways. The RARE program aims to educate not only Butte County students, but Butte Countyโ€™s community-at-large about solutions to waste issues. This is why we continue to use our social media and website platforms to distribute the most up-to-date information about recycling, composting, proper disposal of hazardous waste, environmental impacts, and more.

Celebrate Earth Month - Recycle Your Plastic Film!
Despite our best efforts to avoid plastic film, we may have a sizable collection of it tucked away in our kitchen cabinets or drawers! Remember, you can bring plastic film to participating stores to be recycled but it cannot go in your curbside recycling bin! All films must be clean. Use the link below, enter your zip-code, and find the drop-off location nearest you!
Advocacy and Calls to Action
Facing the Shelter Crisis

Butte Environmental Council (BEC) recognizes that Chico, Butte County, and the State of California are experiencing a shelter crisis. BEC also recognizes the complex relationships of housing, homelessness, and the environment, and we support efforts to address our housing crisis and provide shelter outside of sensitive habitats.

Rising housing costs, in addition to trauma-induced mental health decline, leads to homelessness, keeps people unhoused, and have been exacerbated by the 2018 Camp Fire and the detrimental economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the ecological impacts of people living unsheltered in parks and waterways and the resulting encampment sweeps, BEC supports programs that help people find and retain shelter and permanent housing. Programs include immediate, short-term, and long-term solutions such as temporary shelters and affordable housing. Additionally, we must plan for longer-term smart growth solutions including increasing the availability of affordable housing by changing County and City building codes to allow for higher density in smaller formats.

While housing solutions are still being developed, harm to the environment must be reduced. BEC supports providing short-term sanitation and waste disposal facilities for the existing unhoused communities. Additionally, local cleanup efforts must be compassionate toward unhoused people and avoid environmental harm. BEC urges our local government to ensure that possessions are stored rather than sent to the landfill, and to avoid using heavy equipment to sweep encampments in ecologically sensitive areas. Please join us in calling on our local, regional, and state officials to have compassion, empathy, and thoughtful strategy that protects both our sensitive environments and the dignity of our unhoused neighbors.
Update on the Town of Paradise Sewer Pipeline

The City of Chico and the Town of Paradise voted to explore and prepare the environmental review of an 18-mile-long pipeline taking the Town of Paradiseโ€™s sewer to the City of Chicoโ€™s Water Pollution Control Plant. 

This project option is more expensive in terms of pumping and infrastructure costs than other options not being considered. This pipeline will cost $180 million, while in the study prepared for the Town of Paradise, the localized treatment option was $64 million. In the study they stated, โ€œthe burden of the project on small business owners and residential customers is significantโ€. This sewer project only meets the needs of ~13% of Paradise residents. The project will serve 1469 parcels, while there are 11,000 parcels in Paradise

This pipeline could induce urban sprawl in the area. Increasing sewage capacity that can be treated in the outskirts of Chico and Paradise can induce development growth along Skyway. The Town of Paradise has not developed a plan on what to do with an increase in population, nor has the City of Chico. BEC does not support urban sprawl, as it would increase greenhouse gas emissions due to increased car transportation. We support projects and developments that ensure growth and development occurs near city centers, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect sensitive habitats in Butte County. 

Soil Health and Climate Change
article by Neil Bajaj, local high school student & BEC Member
Earth Day is coming up on April 22, and while air and water quality remain big topics of conversation, we must remember the foundation of ecosystem health and resilience is literally under our feet.

Soil health, or soil quality, is defined as the soil's capability to function as an important living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans(1). Soil consists of living organisms that depend on soil for food, water, and shelter, which enables food and fiber production. When we think of climate change and restoring our earth, we do not turn our attention to declining soil health; albeit soil showcases less immediate signs of pollution, but today's damage will have consequences that affect food supply in the foreseeable future. The toll of erosion, pollution, losses in organic matter, and other soil impacts caused by the climate crisis imperil a fundamental human need โ€“ to eat. According to soil scientist and Chico State Professor Dr. Garrett Liles, โ€œthe concept of โ€˜soil healthโ€™ is the fundamental construct needed to sustain society and ensure humanity persistsโ€(2). Soil health ultimately promotes healthy natural systems and their functions so that food production can continue sustainably. "Economics, the environment, and people all need to work together," Liles states, "to work with the biggest challenges of this centuryโ€”climate change and food securityโ€”and the key to that is how we work with the soil"(2). Indeed, healthy soil serves beyond food production, and it has and will continue to play a part in climate change. They are the largest repository of terrestrial carbon on Earth. Let's celebrate 2021 Earth Day on April 22 by celebrating and honoring Butte County's rich and fertile soil. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Butte Environmental Council.๏ปฟ
Caitlin Dalby
General Manager
Butte Environmental Council
(530) 891-6424