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Engaging Places Tours

The Engaging Places tours will highlight various ways we can explore, acknowledge, and honor the stories of place and community. Sign up to receive notifications as new tours are added and to learn about other social learning opportunities.

Are you interested in hosting an Engaging Places Tour? We would love to hear from you.

Please email Laurel Hammond at laurel.hammond@wwu.edu.

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 'HowItWorks': Wastewater Treatment Tour

The WWU Sustainability Engagement Institute offers tours around Whatcom County exploring local processes and exploring global impact. Join us as we discover what happens when water and waste flows down the drain. Join us on this very unique tour that answers the question, 'How does this work?' 

The tour is open for all community members to enjoy. 

When:  

Friday, February 17, 2023

3:30pm to 5:30pm
 

​Where: 

Bellingham Water Treatment Plant

200 McKenzie Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225

How to get there from WWU:

Bus Routes

Walking Routes

 

 

 

Please contact Cole Burk, Student Ambassador within the Sustainability Engagement Institute, with any questions at Sustain.Student.Ambassador@wwu.edu.

 

Covid notes and requirements:
Participants will be required to comply with current community organization masking requirements. At this time masks are encouraged, but not required in buildings if you are fully vaccinated. On this particular tour, masks may be a good idea to reduce odors. 

Accessibility Notice: This facility is not set up for ADA access. This is about a 1.5-hour walking tour. Late arrivals are not able to participate since this is a closed facility and we will be touring as a group.   

This series is hosted by the Sustainability Engagement Institute and the City of Bellingham Public Works. 

 

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Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund: Western Washington University Campus Sustainability Tour

To celebrate Earth Week, the Sustainability Engagement Institute (SEI) will lead a tour highlighting recent sustainability initiatives on Western Washington University's campus. Come along as we explore how students, through a sustainability-focused grant program, installed solar arrays on top of two buildings and built a completely electric utility vehicle. Learn about three buildings that have earned a gold certification in LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Find out about the history of our College of the Environment, as well as how our academic programs have recently shifted their focus towards sustainability and a Curriculum for the Bioregion.  

 

The tour is open for all community members to enjoy. Register to receive a calendar invite and reminders.  

When:  

TBD
 

​Where: 

Western Washington University; Bellingham, WA 

The tour will begin at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) Plaza (between the Viking Union & Performing Arts Center), on the north side of campus.

Parking information  
Lot 6V is the closest lot to the starting location of this tour. Please contact Zinta Lucans, Grant Program Coordinator within the Sustainability Engagement Institute, with any questions at lucansz@wwu.edu.

 

Covid notes and requirements:
Participants will be required to comply with current WWU masking requirements. At this time masks are encouraged, but not required in buildings. 

Accessibility notice: This tour spans about a mile of campus, part of which includes dirt paths and staircases. For accessibility accommodations, please contact sejf@wwu.edu

 

This series is hosted by the Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund at Western Washington University and the Center for Community Learning at Western Washington University. 

PAST ENGAGING PLACES TOURS

June 2022

WHATCOM MUSEUM TOUR OF THE MANY WESTS :ARTISTS SHAPE AN AMERICAN IDEA

Co-hosted by the Whatcom Museum and led by Curator of Art and CE Fellow Amy Chaloupka. Participants examine ideas about the American West, both in popular culture and in commonly accepted historical narratives, are often based on a past that never was, and fail to take into account important events that actually occurred. The exhibition Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea examines the perspectives of 48 modern and contemporary artists who offer a broader and more inclusive view of this region, which too often has been dominated by romanticized myths and Euro-American historical accounts.

"An especially valuable part of the experience was... hearing Amy's personal reflections on the curating process." - Monique Kerman, Associate Professor, Art and Art History

May 2022

WHATCOM MUSEUM TOUR OF THE MANY WESTS :ARTISTS SHAPE AN AMERICAN IDEA

Co-hosted by the Whatcom Museum and led by Curator of Art and CE Fellow Amy Chaloupka. Participants examine ideas about the American West, both in popular culture and in commonly accepted historical narratives, are often based on a past that never was, and fail to take into account important events that actually occurred. The exhibition Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea examines the perspectives of 48 modern and contemporary artists who offer a broader and more inclusive view of this region, which too often has been dominated by romanticized myths and Euro-American historical accounts.

"An especially valuable part of the experience was... Amy's description of how the collection was put together and the museum's connection to the Smithsonian."

April 2022

" SUSTAINABILITY, EQUITY, AND JUSTICE FUND: WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY  CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY TOUR

Co-hosted by Sustainability Engagement Institute (SEI). Participants learn about recent sustainability initiatives on Western Washington University's campus and explored how students, through a sustainability-focused grant program, installed solar arrays on top of two buildings and built a completely electric utility vehicle. Learn about three buildings that have earned a gold certification in LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

"An especially valuable part of the experience was...understanding the possibility of the Sustainability Equity and Justice Fund."

" A CHANGING WATERFRONT - THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE BELLINGHAM WATERFRONT" BIKING TOUR 

Co-hosted by RE Sources, Kirsten McDade. Participants discussed the pre-colonial and industrial history of Bellingham Bay and the cleanup process for restoring the 12 legacy contaminated sites on our waterfront. They explored what our City might shape up to look like in the future as we reimagine a new waterfront for our community and how you can influence this transformation.

"An especially valuable part of the experience was...the attention given to each environmental cleanup spot, its history and challenges."

WILD WHATCOM: FAMILY-FRIENDLY "BEAVER PROWL"

Co-hosted by the Wild Whatcom and open to nature lovers of all ages, Wild Whatcom prioritizes outdoor education, long-term mentorship, and service. Participants took part in an interactive exploration of beaver ecology and perhaps a personal view of these busy rodents of unusual size.  

 

"An especially valuable part of the experience was... the offering of an educational outing for all ages."

 

December 2021

WHATCOM MUSEUM: UPCLOSE AND PERSONAL EXHIBIT

Co-hosted by the Whatcom Museum and led by Curator of Art and CE Fellow Amy Chaloupka. Participants viewed and reflected on the human body through the expressive lens of 60 artists. The Up Close & Personal Exhibit was generously presented from the renowned collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky.  Amy Chaloupka, gave a guided tour highlighting several works within the exhibition and shared her thoughts on developing the project for audiences in Bellingham. 

"An especially valuable part of the experience was... the guided tour by the curator, Amy! Amy is knowledgeable and had a story for every piece of art. It was magical! "

 

ALLIED ARTS OF WHATCOM COUNTY: TOUR OF THE 42nd ANNUAL HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

Co-Hosted by Allied Arts Executive Director, Kelly Hart. Participants heard from local venders and learned about the history of the event. This annual festival featured over 100 artisans from our region.

"An especially valuable part of the experience was... hearing directly the from the artists. Very fun!"

Jessie Bloss, Spring Chruch

SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE WALKING TOUR

Co-Hosted by the Sustainability Engagement Institute, Community Food Co-op Downtown, Alsan, Brandywine, City Sprouts, Sustainable Connections. Participants learned from local leaders about the processes that bring your food from field to fork. 

"An especially valuable part of the experience was...hearing about creative ways that organizations are encouraging healthy food options, as well as ways to provide these to a variety of people." 

-James Loucky community activist; WWU prof emeritus

November 2021

FOOTHILLS FOOD BANK ANNUAL THANKSGIVING BOX PREPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION

Co-hosted by Foothills Foodbank Executive Director, Sam Norris. Their mission is to distribute quality, nutritious food to community members in need, and deliver services with respect and dignity. Volunteers packed and distributed over Thanksgiving boxes for over 300 families. 

"An especially valuable part of the experience was...helping out where it seemed needed."

- Katherine Freimund, Whatcom Literacy Council

October 2021

" A CHANGING WATERFRONT - THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE BELLINGHAM WATERFRONT" WALKING TOUR 

Co-hosted by RE Sources, Kirsten McDade and Eleanor Hines. Participants discussed the pre-colonial and industrial history of Bellingham Bay and the cleanup process for restoring the 12 legacy contaminated sites on our waterfront. They explored what our City might shape up to look like in the future as we reimagine a new waterfront for our community and how you can influence this transformation.

 

"An especially valuable part of the experience was...the show and tell aspects of the tour with historic photos."

- Howard Sharfstein, Kulshan Carbon Trust

"BELLINGHAM HISTORY FROM BELOW" 

Co-hosted by historian and WWU associate professor, Dr. Josh Cerretti. Focusing on the evolution of Bellingham’s waterfront and industries from the 1850s to the present, and on the ways that racism and white supremacy have shaped the community and region. 

"An especially valuable part of the experience was...learning about the true history of Whatcom County and learning about the multiple events that were orchestrated to push people of color out of the area and harm them. Also, Josh was a fun host and really passionate about his work making it all the more engaging!"

-Sarah Simpson- Whatcom Community College

"Josh gave an excellent narrative of this history of colonization local to what is now called Bellingham. Having grown up in the Skagit/Whatcom area, I had never been told this history, nor would have even been aware of the meaning of these sites absent attending. In general, I find the opportunity to grapple with local history, especially by navigating physical sites, is few & far between, so I am grateful to those who make it happen."

-Susanna Williams - WWU Woodring

September 2021

WHATCOM MUSEUM: FLUID FORMATIONS EXHIBIT

Co-hosted by the Whatcom Museum and led by Curator of Art and CE Fellow Amy Chaloupka.  

Celebrating a rich legacy unique to our region, Fluid Formations features the art of fifty-seven contemporary artists working in glass. The tour will be centered around the importance of place for this particular exhibition.

"An especially valuable part of the experience was the amazing expertise of Amy and the community experience”

-Emily Flarry - Western Washington University