Butte Environmental Council Newsletter, September 2020
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.
Your Support is What it Takes to Do What We Do!
There are three ways we are calling on you to support BEC's work right now. Become a BEC Angel by contributing $35 or more, monthly or quarterly. Become a Sustaining Member by contributing between $3 and $30 a month. Or make a One-Time Donation of any amount in the name of the 33rd Annual Cleanup and the largest removal of creek waste in Chico history! BEC is a community powered non-profit dedicated to a healthy environment for us all. We can't do it without YOU!
Have You Seen our Year in Review of 2019-2020 Report?
We shared the good news of last year's efforts with our members during our Annual Member Meeting and now it's time to share it with you! Click the button to see all that we were able to accomplish from July 2019 to June 2020.
Wow, What a Cleanup!
On Saturday and Sunday, nearly 600 volunteers joined BEC and the City of Chico to work together over a common goal of healthy Chico creeks and parks. Volunteers dispersed through 20 miles of local waterways and greenways to remove a record amount of trash and recyclable materials. We look forward to sharing the final results and data when the verdict is in from the Neal Road Landfill, but we can share with you now that this is the largest cleanup effort Butte Environmental Council has hosted in 45 years! We want to give a very heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who attended and worked hard to positively protect our shared environment. We appreciate that all volunteers followed safety guidelines that made this event possible in a challenging year. Click HERE to see photos of this event and the impact we made! Please make sure you are following the BEC Facebook page and Instagram for more frequent news and updates.
Our sincerest gratitude goes to our 2020 Cleanup Sponsors, whom you can find listed at www.becnet.org/bec-cleanup and to all who donated as a Friend of the Cleanup. Please know how instrumental you were in this event!
Our Oak Restoration Program - lend a hand protecting the oaks
Join us to protect young oak trees this Sunday, October 4th from 9 am to 12 pm. In addition to our normal watering of 57 established oak trees, with your help, we will be placing protective metal cages around our most thriving oaks. This will allow them room to grow over the next decade and keep out potential threats like deer browsing. All volunteers will meet at the Chico Equestrian Association Horse Arena at 9 am. The Horse Arena is the first right after turning onto Wildwood Avenue. Please make sure you wear closed-toed shoes and comfortable clothing. Bring water, sunscreen, masks, hand sanitizer, and anything else you might need to ensure this day can be safe and fun for all who attend. Please also bring a sturdy pair of gardening gloves or work gloves to protect your hands. For questions about this event, please email danielle.baxter@becnet.org
Virtual Zero Waste Forum - save the date
Please join our Virtual Zero Waste Forum via Zoom on October 14th from 5 to 7 pm. This community forum aims to educate the public about waste reduction efforts in Butte County and beyond! The discussion will be led by a panel of specialists who are working in various areas of waste reduction and sustainability initiatives, including Andy Keller ChicoBag President and Inventor, Becky Holden Recology Zero Waste Specialist, Valerie Meza Butte County Recycling Coordinator, Beba Greer Sierra Nevada Brewery Sustainability Program Manager and Emily Donaldson BEC Recycling & Rubbish Education Coordinator. Zero Waste is defined as a set of principles in which waste reduction is the focus and system redesign is encouraged. Waste management, especially in regards to plastic, is one of the greatest issues of our time. In order for us to make progress on these issues, governments, businesses, and consumers must work together to reclaim valuable resources from our waste stream, and protect our environment from pollution. Topics that will be discussed in this community forum include waste management in Butte County, composting efforts, the Neal Road Recycling and Waste Facility, community education programs, recent regulatory legislation, corporate responsibility, and more. Use the following information to join the forum on October 14th! Zoom meeting link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82876201220) Meeting ID (828 7620 1220)
Our Urban Forest Program - revitalization with the City of Chico
Our Urban Forest Coordinators Ashleyann Bacay and Gianna Anselmo have been hard at work connecting the dots between climate vulnerability and the need for a healthy urban forest. The Urban Forest Revitalization Project benefits everyone in our Chico community, while acknowledging that everyone in our community will experience the effects of climate change disproportionately. We’re planning to plant trees in your neighborhood! The City of Chico and Butte Environmental Council are collaborating together in the Urban Forest Revitalization Project. As the climate continues to warm, longer heat waves and hot days will become more common--which puts Chico’s population at a higher risk of experiencing more incidences of heat-related illnesses. Our goal is to increase the number of trees around town, which will help keep our Chico community cooler throughout the hot summer season and, as a result, will reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses from occurring! Stay tuned for how to be involved and be sure you are following the BEC Facebook page and Instagram for more frequent updates.
Our RARE Program - waste reduction education in Butte County
FREE Educational Workshops for Kids! The Recycling and Rubbish Education program (RARE) has adapted for the virtual classroom! RARE is a program of the Butte Environmental Council which offers free, educational workshops to students K-12 about the importance of the “Four R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot! Teachers may choose a workshop focused on either recycling or composting. These workshops allow students a closer look at the many ways that they can contribute to a more sustainable future. In the recycling workshop, students will learn which materials can be recycled in Butte County and which cannot, the process of recycling, and creative ways to reuse items. Students will turn trash into treasure together through an interactive crafting activity! In the composting workshop, students will learn all about the components of healthy soil and the ways in which composting benefits our environment. Virtual workshops feature a live demonstration of how to make your own compost bin at home using a storage container, food waste, newspaper, and red wiggler worms!
BEC is a proud sponsor of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival
BEC is a proud sponsor of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Join Friends of Butte Creek on Friday, November 20th, at 6:30 pm, for a virtual Film Festival evening of exciting films about wild places, wildlife, and the amazing people that are helping to keep things wild. All 12 short films are streamed virtually in HD. All ticket sales and donations support FBC’s restoration efforts on Butte Creek, as well as the water rights endowment for the salmon. Get your tickets now at https://qudio.com/event/buttecreek/register
Blazing California - article by Neil Bajaj, local high school student and BEC Member
Wildfires, now megafires, have engulfed our beautiful state yet again this summer. The crisis in the nation's most populous state and once-thriving ecosystems are now struggling to adapt to these adverse conditions. These fires have caused the formation of a cascade effect1. A series of disasters overlap, triggering or amplifying each other, in this case, multiple mega-fires, one of which burning more than three million acres. The fires will also leave California with environmentally and economically costly long-term problems, ranging from the effects of smoke inhalation on young children to a plethora of damaged and polluted drinking water systems. According to Dr. Nadeau2, Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, over 400 toxins are associated with smoke from the wildfires. The wildfires have magnified the many risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic posed. We can all stay safe and healthy, however, by following a few simple steps. We can protect ourselves by wearing masks if outdoors. Cloth masks used for the coronavirus offer limited protection against smoke. Dr. Nadeau found that cloth masks were about 50 percent effective in filtering many of the toxins associated with wildfire smoke inhalation. Ideally, an N95 mask with an exhalation valve will help protect you from the particulate matter stemming from wildfire smoke. Whereas, KN95 & N95 mask helps protect from the virus. I hope you all stay safe and healthy. - Neil
1) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/climate-change-california-wildfires.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
2) https://news.stanford.edu/2020/08/26/wildfires-health-impacts/
Thank you for your continued support of the Butte Environmental Council.
General Manager
Butte Environmental Council
(530) 891-6424