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Sustainability Initiative at Olympic College

The Sustainability Advisory Council is a group of Olympic College faculty, staff, and students dedicated to achieving a sustainable community for current and future generations. We first came together in January of 2007 for the purpose of promoting education about the environment and fostering sustainable operations and behaviors on campus. Supporting the President's Climate Commitment, our role is to develop, initiate, and monitor Olympic College’s plan for becoming a climate neutral campus.

  • The goals of the Sustainability Advisory Council:
  • - Curriculum and Scholarship Goals
  • Build a culture of sustainability at Olympic College
  • Nurture an understanding of sustainability issues among faculty and staff
  • Encourage faculty to apply methods of teaching and learning that foster and understanding and practice of sustainability
  • - Student Engagement Goals
  • Support and promote a variety of strategies to engage students in environmental projects on and off campus through clubs, special activities, and class assignments
  • Serve as a liaison/contact for student-based environmental activities
  • Teach students how to recycle and live more sustainably
  • - Operations Goals
  • Reduce the college's carbon footprint
  • Expand and enhance recycling programs
  • Reduce the use of toxic chemicals on campuses
  • Purchase recycled, recyclable, and/or energy star supplies and equipment
  • Develop environmentally sustainable landscapes for the college's campuses
  • Encourage the use of public transportation, walking and biking to school to reduce carbon emissions generated by student and employee commuting
  • - Communication and Outreach Goals
  • Inform OC students and employees about environmental inititatives on campus
  • Outreach to community in support of environmental awareness and projects
  • Hurray!

    At long last, the electric car charging stations in the new general parking lot are operational! There are now five stations available on a first-come-first-served basis.

    Those of you fortunate enough to be able to use them, will need to register. Registration is free – the power is not.

    To register go to www.blinknetwork.com . On that site, go to the membership tab. Highlight the button next to the level of membership you wish to use and follow the instructions.

    After you register, you will receive a card. The chargers are activated by using the card and a pass code. 

    The card can also be used at other chargers at locations across the U.S. There is a map on the web site that not only shows you where there are charging stations, but which ones are currently being used by someone else. The map does not show our stations yet, but one of our employees is already using one, and will soon be joined by an employee at Bremerton High School.

    General Parking Lot Frequently Asked Questions

    In surveys and information sessions over 10 years, students rated building a new parking lot as one of their top priorities for Olympic College.  Parking has exceeded capacity because of the increase in students attending the College.  Students have had difficulty finding space to park on the campus and on nearby residential streets.  The funding for the new lot was part of the package that came with the new Humanities and Student Services Building.  Funding for additional parking was requested from the state legislature to accommodate the increased capacity that the new building brings to campus.

    The College added a total of 249 parking stalls in the new lot including 14 ADA accessible parking stalls and 12 motorcycle stalls and 10 stalls reserved for electric vehicles.  The electric vehicle stalls serve the rising number of electric cars in use within the area.  A grant funded the installation of electric plug-in stations at Olympic College and at other sites across the Puget Sound region.

    Vegetation is one of the most effective methods to “clean” water polluted with contaminants such as oil, grease and toxic chemicals before it flows into local waterways.  The solid surface of parking lots causes water to run along the top instead of absorbing into the ground.  As it flows across the surface, the water picks up contaminants that spill or drip from cars and other sources.  This polluted mixture flows directly into local waterways and can harm fish and wildlife, taint drinking water and impact recreational areas.  To help limit pollution and reduce cleanup costs of local waters, Olympic College is leading the way to make water cleaner and safer using better designed parking lots and vegetation that filters pollution from water runoff.  This natural system also has the benefit of reducing heat buildup in parking lots during the summer, buffering sound from traffic, reducing storm water over load, and looking more attractive than other pollution removal systems.  In the case of the new parking lot, these systems are utilized to process runoff from a portion of Broadway Avenue and about a quarter of the Bremerton campus as well as the new parking lot itself.

    During coordination efforts with the City of Bremerton and the Washington State Department of Transportation, we learned that there are plans to widen Warren Avenue.  Since we did not want to waste resources constructing parking that would be demolished shortly, we planned for the widening and landscaped the impacted area with low groundcovers.

    The new parking lot was selected as one of a150 pilot projects throughout the United States, Canada, Iceland and Spain to develop new sustainability standards for land development, similar to the LEED system for rating the sustainability of buildings.  It was one of only four parking lots in this pilot program.  Special design principles were applied which include all of the items mentioned above, as well as energy efficient LED lighting, safe pedestrian routes of travel and improved accessibility.

    The electric charging stations and all of the sustainability consulting required for the project were provided to Olympic College free of charge. 

    Additionally, using functional landscaping actually saved the College the money it would have been required to spend on underground water run-off processing system if the parking lot had maximized parking with a solid paved surface.

    The parking lot was paid for out of capital funds that were included with the construction of the Humanities and Student Services building.  The funds were reserved to meet students’ priority of adding new parking spaces to the campus.  Since the beginning of the economic downturn, the parking lot construction has provided support to the local economy by employing community businesses and their employees in the construction. 

    Capital funds are separate and cannot legally be combined with operating funds which pay for the day-to-day functions of the College.  Utilization of capital funds does not impact the money available for instruction, student services, or administrative services at Olympic College.

    The at-grade crosswalk on Broadway Avenue had been identified as a potentially hazardous pedestrian crossing for years due to the high volume of traffic (both people and cars), the speed of vehicles, and the turns within the road design.  The raised crosswalks on Broadway slow traffic down to posted speeds and give drivers better visibility of pedestrians.  In addition, the raised crossings provide a safer and more accessible route to cross Broadway for those with disabilities and/or limited mobility.  Multiple cross walks disperse the number of pedestrians crossing the street and create safer vehicle speeds on the roadway. 

    In addition, the College is working with the City of Bremerton on installing a new traffic signal at 13th Street and Warren Avenue.  The parking lot project included the widening of 13th Street in anticipation of this future traffic signal.  Once operational, this new signal will allow traffic to avoid Broadway Avenue entirely decreasing traffic congestion at the intersection of 16th Street and Warren Avenue.

    The new lot has excellent lighting and there are two emergency call boxes installed in the area.

    We recommend that you continue to take the same precautions that you would use in any parking lot at Olympic College.  To protect your car and property, you should lock your vehicle and secure any valuables out of site.  Walk to and from your car with others whenever possible, and be aware of activities around you.  You can also call Campus Safety at 475-7800, 24 hours a day if you need a safety escort to or from your vehicle.


    OC students compete in RECYCLEMANIA!


    Read about Recyclemania

    Recyclemania is a national recycling competition between two- and four-year colleges and universities. Last year, Olympic College placed 18th in the competition for lowest amount of garbage generated per student! The goal for this year is to be NUMBER 1!  We need your help- we want to recycle more paper, cardboard, bottles and cans per capita than any other college in the country!

    Please support your campus community in recycling.

    Photos of our Recyclemania Corps- OC students who spent time catching students recycling right.

    Greening our Operations




    Focus the Nation

    Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

    Campaign for Environmental LiteracyHannover Principles of Design for Sustainability

    National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology

    American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

    Second Nature Education for Sustainability

    University Leaders for a Sustainable Future

    National Teach-In

    Recyclemania Competition