Dear Members of the Campus Community,

We have many reasons to be thankful, as we have enjoyed the past week of unusually warm and sunny weather here in Tacoma. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to express our gratitude as we celebrate Earth Day. 

It is both a privilege and a responsibility to live, work and learn on our beautiful campus and care for the environment that supports everything we do.

Earth Day Celebration. Sustainability Advisory Committee representatives created an Earth Day celebration web page, including an invitation to participate in tomorrow’s virtual tree planting on Facebook at 11:00 a.m.

Tree Campus. Last year Puget Sound participated in the 50th Earth Day anniversary by joining community partners to celebrate, plant, and care for trees throughout our region. At that time, I shared a South Sound Earth Day challenge involving ongoing tree-planting commitments and photos of community members hugging trees wherever they were. This year, we continue our long-standing commitment to healthy and plentiful trees by engaging with the Tree Campus Higher Education program and the many trees we plant and care for here on campus. If you have not already, I invite you to review the Earth Day website to see the electronic tree canopy map and inventory of all campus trees developed by Facilities Services to help maintain our beautiful trees, protect campus biodiversity, and calculate campus tree carbon dioxide offsets.

Sustainable Practices. Of course, sustainability is about much more than trees. It involves engagement by the entire campus community in all aspects of campus life:  the curriculum, campus operations, faculty and student research, and community collaborations. COVID-19 has adversely affected our ability to effect change in some ways. As just one example, we’ve had to temporarily use many more paper products instead of reusable dishware and drink containers. We look forward to recommitting to our zero-waste and other sustainability efforts as the year progresses.

Environmental Justice. The past year has also called upon us to pay close attention to environmental justice issues, which is a key area of focus in our Leadership for a Changing World strategic plan. Yet, with all that is going on globally, we must not lose sight of the close relationship between caring for our environment and caring for our planet’s people in fair, sustainable, and equitable ways.

Thank you for joining our virtual Earth Day celebration tomorrow and for your good work throughout the year to care for our campus and our planet.

Loggers Live Green!

Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President.