The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition was launched in 2007 by local coordinators of The Natural Step who brought together representatives of various organizations in our community that were working on different aspects of sustainability.
The Coalition has built on the efforts of many organizations and individuals. One of our key partner organizations has been the City of Corvallis, with which the Coalition has a formal partnership agreement.
Over the course of many years, the City of Corvallis had laid the foundation for creating a sustainable community, including the adoption of the Corvallis 2020 Vision Statement (1998), and a sustainability policy (2003), as well as creation of a sustainability staff position (2006).
Concurrently, local residents increased their knowledge of the relationship between our environment, society, and economy—and increased their concern regarding the long-term impacts of our decisions. This led to the awareness of the need for coordinated, community-based actions to address the issues of environmental protection, social equity, and economic stability.
2007: Immediately following its formation, the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition asked the 2007-08 Corvallis City Council to adopt a goal related to community sustainability. The Council responded by adopting a goal to “enhance organizational sustainability efforts and begin to develop a community-wide sustainability initiative.” The Coalition was identified as the group to partner with the City of Corvallis on implementation of this Council goal.
The initial partner agreement between the City of Corvallis and the Coalition stipulated that, “To best position Corvallis to begin implementing Vision 2020, the partners will work together to develop a Sustainability Action Plan targeted for completion by December 2008.”
2008: The fledgling Sustainability Coalition, with the assistance of consultants from Cogan Owens Cogan, led an extensive community-wide action planning process to establish a comprehensive action strategy that is integrated across environmental, social, and economic spheres of our community. The resulting Community Sustainability Action Plan, presented to City Council in December 2008, was intended to serve as a framework for action throughout the community.
2009: Following the completion of the Action Plan, the Coalition established 12 action teams – one for each of the 12 topic areas outlined in the Plan. It is the role of the action teams to develop projects that address “gaps” in the implementation of the Action Plan, i.e., to be aware of what other organizations in the community are doing and to fill in where unmet needs may be occurring.
2010 – Present: The Coalition holds an annual Sustainability Fair at the CH2MHill Alumni Center on the OSU campus, providing our partner organizations and action teams an opportunity to promote their sustainability efforts. In addition to featuring more than 50 booths, the Fair includes a buffet of locally-sourced food and music by local musicians.
The annual Town Hall meeting is held at the same venue immediately following the Fair. The Town Hall is designed to meet the following goals:
- To assess how we’re doing as a community by sharing a “Community Scrapbook” slide presentation featuring the accomplishments of our partner organizations and action teams
- To inspire attendees to explore new ideas through presentations
- To engage attendees in discussion about sustainability ideas and solicit their commitment to action. Participants are seated at tables of 8, and trained discussion leaders guide them through a series of questions posed after each presentation.
NOTE: The annual Sustainability Fair and Town Hall have been on hiatus since March 12, 2020 (the date that those events were to take place), due to the COVID-19 pandemic.