Great Outdoor Alliance hosts sustainability event

By Michael Burton, Editor-in-Chief


On April 21 at 9 a.m., at Sugarman’s Corner, the Great Outdoor Alliance hosted Sustainapalooza, an outdoor event focused on bringing attention to sustainability issues, especially water pollution from storm drains.

“We’re really trying to highlight the idea of understanding that trash, and things like oil, that when they run off, they run off into the lake and river,” says Teresa “Bird” Wicks, who organized the event.

The Great Outdoor Alliance ran the event in coordination with Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the Klamath County Library, and the Klamath Sustainable Communities. The Department of Environmental Quality provided the grant to fund the event. This was the second annual event here in Klamath Falls; Mills Edition hosted a much more scaled down Sustainapalooza last year.

There were two parts to the event: a storm drain awareness competition ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event consisted of people drawing chalk artwork of storm drains around Sugarman’s Corner and having the art judged. The art idea came from Bird, who was asked by the Department of Environmental Quality to come up with a fun way to expand awareness of non-point source pollution (pollution whose origin is unknown but its existence is confirmed.) She thought chalk artwork would be a fun idea.

“The students of OIT are even welcome to have their own chalk art entry in the competition!” says Bird. They also supplied chalk to those who wanted to draw outside of the competition. “The event is for everybody, there will be chalk at Sugarman’s Corner. If families just want to draw but don’t want to compete, they can draw on the ground.”

The top three artists received their own sustainable baskets as a prize.

The second part of the event is the garbage-themed scavenger hunt that led participants across town. Those who filled out their lists were put into a drawing for a prize.

The Oregon Tech Sustainability Club was present at the event. They manned a table and discussed egg shell plant starts, which means using an egg shell to grow a seed from. Klamath Falls Subaru was also present and talked about their Subaru Loves the Earth recycling initiative. They also handed out goods that are not typically made of recyclable materials, such as chip bags, coffee cups, and coffee cup lids.

Dr. Glenn Gailis, also known as “Batman,” collected a large number of cigarette butts for the event.

Sustainapalooza was held Saturday, April 21. If you have any questions, you can contact, or look up their Facebook page.

Soda Can Do