Evergreen's Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Receives $85,000 in Grants from Seattle, Tacoma Foundations

The Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) at Evergreen has received three prestigious grants in the last month. Located on the Evergreen State College campus in Olympia, CSI was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Seattle based Bullitt Foundation as well as a $10,000 Founders’ Grant from Seattle’s Sustainable Path as part of a new grant program and a $35,000 award from a regional foundation. 

“We are very grateful and proud that these prestigious foundations found merit in our work and our delivery. This is a vote of confidence for sustainable infrastructure throughout our region,” said CSI Director, Rhys Roth. 

According to Roth, the awards were made for general support, which is, in his words, “a good thing.” A matching gift challenge allowed CSI to raise $30,000 from private donations. The CSI’s goal is to raise $250,000 in 2015, so “We’re nearly halfway there,” said Roth. 

Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions: Rethinking Our Infrastructure Investment S​t​r​a​t​e​g​i​e​s​

Bullitt Foundation CEO Denis Hayes had high praise for the report, which he said, “imbues infrastructure with a bold, new, powerful meaning, and offers an exciting vision of how to build a resilient, sustainable future.". 

The CSI report was well-received and, in this month alone, Roth is speaking in forums, conferences and planning sessions with key Northwest organizations, including the Biocycle West Coast C​o​n​f​e​r​e​n​c​e​ in Portland, Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts Spring Conference, the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference C​o​m​m​i​t​t​e​e​ and the Protect our Waters f​o​r​u​m​ organized by Seattle Public Utilities.

Roth is currently finishing a project with the Washington chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), a new publication called Sustainable Infrastructure: A Toolkit for P​l​a​n​n​e​r​s​. The Toolkit, scheduled for release April 17, for the national APA conference in Seattle was produced by a team of volunteers working under the auspices of APA-WA’s ‘Ten Big Ideas Initiative’. ‘Big Ideas’ is designed to bring about fundamental changes to the critical social and economic challenges faced by Washington communities, though use of the Toolkit is not limited to Washington state or the Northwest.

The Toolkit draws heavily from CSI’s November, 2014 report. Said Roth of the project, “We see the urgent need for infrastructure innovation not only in the Northwest,” said Roth, “but across the country and around the world.”