Community Blog

Earth Day is Every Day at PSCAA

April 28, 2023 PXL_20230422_174649296

At the Agency, we believe that every day is Earth Day. This year on April 22, we celebrated Earth Day by participating in different community events throughout the region. We provided information about air quality, environmental justice, health impacts from air pollution, and much more. We were able to learn more about what community members are doing to help reverse the impacts of climate change in the communities that make up the Puget Sound region. 

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The Next Generation of Climate Activists

March 29, 2023 2023Symposium1

Each spring YMCA Earth Service Corps hosts an Environmental Symposium with the goal of educating and empowering high school youth about local environmental issues. The Symposium consists of a series of 50-minute hands-on workshops that inform teens about environmental topics and encourages them to address local environmental issues through meaningful action. The workshop proposals are reviewed and selected by the youth leaders based on their interests and passions.  


Community Wildfire Smoke Resources

September 25, 2022IMG_1475

The Puget Sound region continues to experience wildfire smoke events as we experience the impacts of climate change. Although our region needs to take collective action to reduce the number and size of these wildfires, we also need to find ways to protect public health during these emergency events. One way the Agency works to reduce the health impacts associated with wildfire smoke is by distributing filter fan kits in communities that are most impacted by wildfire smoke and poor air quality.


Growing Urban Farming

June 16, 2022MicrosoftTeams-image (11)

On June 4th, Agency staff were honored to host a table at the Black Farmer’s Collective - Yes Farm’s BIPOC Summer ’22 Cookout. The cookout is part of a summer series highlighting local Black and Indigenous chefs and bringing together vendors, activities, and community. The Black Farmer’s Collective runs Yes Farm, an urban farm along the I-5 corridor that offers educational programing and a space for community members to grow food of their own and connect with each other. It serves as a greenspace, farm co-op, community garden, and community building space. In addition, local Black urban farmers use these gardens to grow produce that is given to “BIPOC-led and owned organizations, businesses, and mutual aid efforts to feed our community and support economic development”. 

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Spring Forward with Community 

May 22, 2022MicrosoftTeams-image (9)

It has been a challenge to be in community over the last two years. With the weather warming up, the Agency has been able to safely participate in more in-person events. The Agency aims to prioritize our community engagement efforts in our four focus communities – Auburn-Algona-Pacific area, Chinatown-International District, Duwamish Valley, and Lakewood. These four communities are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, so we prioritize these areas to provide education, share resources, gather input, and more. The Agency participated in multiple events in partnership with community organizations in late April and early May.


Being in Community

May 19, 2022Lakewood Community Engagement Event

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, community engagement staff at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency were faced with what and how to do meaningful community engagement virtually. That came with its set of challenges but we were able to host virtual workshops and community meetings. Now that we are seemingly coming out of the pandemic, we have been able to do our first in-person events since before the pandemic and we could not be more excited. 


Wood Smoke Pollution

November 3, 2020 Wood burning in fireplace

With cooler months ahead, our Agency is focusing on reducing pollution caused by wood burning for home heat. Smoke from wood burning is a major contributor to increased air pollution in the Puget Sound region and directly impacts neighborhoods and communities since smoke is often trapped close to the ground by cold temperatures. It is also the main reason air quality burn bans are issued. 


Community Helping with Wildfire Smoke

September 30, 2020Wildfire Smoke in Mountains

While much of the west coast was burning and surrounding areas were literally choked with wildfire smoke this summer, communities in the Puget Sound region were preparing to offer aid to their residents. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's (the Agency) community engagement teams worked with community partners in our four focus communities (Chinatown-International District in Seattle, the Duwamish Valley in Seattle, Lakewood in Tacoma, and Auburn-Algona-Pacific) to provide filter-fans to residents. 

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A More Youthful Perspective

August 24, 2020Virtual Event

 “Cow farts? No way! Is that really a problem?” quipped one of the youth with the Service Board (tSB) while playing our Jeopardy-like game in a recent workshop hosted by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's Chinatown - International District engagement team. The youth were surprised to learn how cow farts create methane, and that smoke particle pollution has the biggest impact on their health. Air Quality Scientist Phil Swartzendruber played Alex Trebek for this game and says it was a very rewarding experience to listen to the thought process of each team as they tried to answer questions, and says students seemed to have fun in the process. 


The Meaning of Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month

May 12, 2020keith-fox-lCW0KzLNJBs-unsplash

What does Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month mean to me? To be honest, I didn’t know that there was such a thing until I moved to Seattle. Upon learning about it, I remember feeling a mix of surprise, intrigue, pride, and confusion. In trying to understand how I missed this growing up, I found out that where I grew up in Wisconsin, API populations are less than 4%; in the greater Puget Sound region, that figure is almost triple at 10% in King County and 16% in Pierce County. 


Centering Environmental Justice on this 50th Earth Day

April 22, 2020Earth Day Twitter

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (the Agency) is committed to environmental justice, so no communities within our region face disproportionate environmental impacts. The very first Earth Day had environmental justice at its core. In 1970, when the first Earth Day commenced, millions of people used their voices to demand a healthy, clean environment. 


The Need For Health Equity Has Never Been Greater

April 8, 2020health equity image

On an early Sunday morning in February, Tania Park, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s Equity and Community Engagement Manager, and I volunteered for the Seattle/King County Health Clinic. It’s an annual four-day clinic hosted by the Seattle Center Foundation at Seattle Center to provide essential medical services to those who need it the most. Anyone is eligible to receive medical, dental, or optical assistance free of charge. For many, the clinic is the only time each year they can afford these services.


STEM in Lakewood

March 11, 2020lakewood stem

Last month the Lochburn Middle School in Lakewood organized a Science Fair for their STEM night and some of us from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (Gail Pethe, Madeline Camp, Sarah Waldo and I) hosted an interactive booth at the event. It has been many years since I have been at a science fair, so it was a very nostalgic experience. However, the middle school students exceeded all my expectations of the projects we would see at the science fair.  


Lunar New Year

February 10, 2020DragonDance

The Chinatown-International District in Seattle, WA is a focus community of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. As focus community, the Agency aims to create awareness, provide access,  support community empowerment, invest in action, and ultimately improve the air quality within Chinatown-International District. We do this in a myriad of ways including the most recent Lunar New Year Celebration hosted by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area.  


What Do We Look Like n the Eyes of Injustice

February 7, 2020injustice

At the 17th Annual Lakewood Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Christian Paige asked the crowd “What do you look like in the eyes of your enemy?” Paige is an Emmy-nominated spoken word poet and Lakewood native. He went on to question what he might look like to oppression, poverty, white supremacy, eviction, and homelessness. 


The Kids Are Alright

January 20, 2020 ymca youth summit

Isha Khanna and Christina Bachiller represented the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at the Environmental Leaders Summit hosted by the YMCA Earth Service Corps. There were four sessions, each lasting 25 minutes where they facilitated discussions around the topic “The Air Up There” with students from around Washington. The groups consisted of approximately 5-8 people, mostly high school students.