By Stephan Classsen, Cascadia College Assistant Director of Sustainability Practices.
Bothell's 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 rates universities and colleges across the nation on a variety of sustainability topics, including curriculum, energy, research, purchasing, among many others. The 2019 Sustainable Campus Index was released on August 26th.
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. We’re lucky to have such an amazing green space right in our town.
Many Bothell residents know about the Burke-Gilman trail, and how it meanders around the 58-acre restored wetland on the Cascadia College and UW Bothell campus.
In addition to the wetlands, the Bothell campus has a campus farm, Cascadia’s Food Forest, and the permaculture landscape. 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.
Part of the success of the campus is having the commitment from Cascadia for the teaching of sustainability that translates to the actions taken on campus grounds – which ties again into integrated education.
Cascadia actually walks the walk of sustainability, and it makes a huge difference. For example, one part of the planning is managing campus grounds completely 100% pesticide free.
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. 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.
The campus is open for the public to visit, with sustainable features throughout.