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Environmental Stewardship Committee

The mission of the Environmental Stewardship Committee is to responsibly enhance and improve livability through care for the natural environment focusing on education, advocacy, and community involvement.

Meetings are *usually* the third Tuesday of each month

Where: Hideaway Bakery, 3377 E. Amazon Drive

When: 10am

Focus topics at current & past have included:

  • Amazon Creek restoration
  • City-wide composition options
  • Single-hauler waste removal options
  • Negative effects of two-cycle motor landscaping equipment
  • Recycling options
  • Native landscape preservation
  • Maintaining/creating a fire-safer landscape
  • Climate associated livability issues

All ideas are welcome and the ESC is open to all that are interested. If you would like to join or have questions, please email Devon Mann at

Volunteer Opportunity

The newly formed, Quiet Clean Eugene, is looking for volunteers to address the environmental and health effects of gas-powered leaf blowers. 

For more information, please email: 

Environmental Stewardship Committee – February 2023 Report

The Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10am Hideaway Bakery. The meeting was held on February 21st and 5 people were in attendance.

Several topics were discussed:

  • Amazon Creek tree planting project
  • The tree planting event was rescheduled to Saturday, March 11th (originally Saturday, February 25th) due to the weather being too cold to plant bareroot trees per the City of Eugene’s Parks & Open Space guidance.
  • The results from the Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (GPLB) survey
  • Thirty-two people responded to the survey as of the meeting date. The survey results were shared with QuietClean Eugene.
  • The results can also be viewed at the end of this report.
  • EWEB’s water storage tanks at 40th and Patterson and future of College Hill Reservoir and Amazon Emergency Water Station
  • Two ESC members recently got a tour of the tank construction progress. At that tour, it was noted that although the tank roofs were designed to support “green roofs”, EWEB’s Board had decided to not move forward with installation. The ESC is looking into why this decision was made.
  • Information about the benefits of green roofs can be found here:
  • Additional questions for EWEB include (a) the future of the College Hill Reservoir and (b) whether the future Amazon emergency water station will be supplied by well or by the newly constructed tanks.
  • Plastics Reduction, locally and state-wide
  • The Eugene Sustainability Commission (of which Devon Mann is a member) attended a recent presentation regarding a mixed waste processing facility named the Integrated Material & Energy Recovery Facility (IMERF), located at Short Mountain Landfill in the Goshen area. It is a public/private partnership between Lane County and Bulk Handling Systems, who was awarded the contract. It will not take tax dollars to fund the project; rather, funding will come from an increase of site fees.
    • IMERF uses Anaerobic Digestion (AD) to divert roughly 72% of Lane County mixed waste (garbage) from the landfill. AD & subsequent methane collection occurs prior to wood/food waste entering the landfill and will decrease CO2 emissions by 100,000 tons/year.
    • Sorting occurs via AI-driven robotics on site, not at curb. Mixed waste (garbage) arrives at facility, bags opened and waste is sorted by size and density, and 2-dimensional from 3-dimensional. All organic material enters the AD process. After methane collection, the remaining material is dehydrated (Bio-Dried) and used for landfill cover as well as soil amendment. Collected methane is sold to NW Natural (and as fuel for NG vehicles).
    • Can sort co-mingled waste (recycling) as well
    • Food & wood debris are largest waste streams in Lane County, and 85% of greenhouse emissions in Lane County comes from landfills. Currently Short Hill has a waste recover rate in the low 50s%; IMERF would increase to greater than 63%.
  • State Senate plastic reduction bills’ current status: There are 3 bills in committee at the state level regarding plastic reduction – SB 543,SB 544 and SB 545. Here are some details regarding each bill.


Bill Title:  “Relating to prohibitions for certain products.”

Bill Summary:  “Prohibits food vendor from using polystyrene container in sales of prepared food.”



Bill Title:  “Relating to prohibiting certain consumer products.”

Bill Summary:  “Directs Environmental Quality Commission to establish program for source reduction of single-use plastic food ware and single-use packaging and achieve 25 percent source reductions compared to 2023 levels by 2030.”



Bill Title:  “Relating to reuse of containers; declaring an emergency.”

Bill Summary:  “Directs State Department of Agriculture and Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules allowing consumers to use own containers for refilling with food at food establishment.”


The Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) Report

January, 2023

The ESC meets on the third Tuesday of each month at Hideaway Bakery. This month, the meeting was held on January 17th and included 10 attendees (a great turnout!).

Two major items were discussed:

  1. How to approach reducing the use of gas-powered leaf blowers by the City of Eugene, residents, and businesses. Metro Portland and other cities in the US have been actively working on and passing laws limiting and phasing out the use of these machines. Recently, a new group called Quiet Clean Eugene has been formed, a spin off from Quiet Clean PDX ( Two members of this new group eagerly joined our meeting to discuss where they were at in the nascent phase of their work and were looking for input and ideas as to how get the word out. They do not yet have a website but are actively working to get it up and running with links to articles, ways to contribute and be active, and current legislation in the works. This group is small at this point but hopes to meet with other neighborhood associations to garner support for bringing this up to the City of Eugene. We expect to continue to hear more about their progress in the near future.
  2. We went over the upcoming Amazon Creek tree planting logistics, which happened on Saturday, January 21st.

Amazon Creek Tree Planting Project:

– The actual tree planting day was cold and a bit breezy, but despite the weather we had a HUGE turnout of over 40 neighbors. On that morning, the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space personnel introduced the project, explained how to properly plant the approximately 150 bareroot trees (Cascara, Bitter Cherry, Chokecherry, and White Alder) we were tasked with planting. The group quickly got to work and we all took turns removing grass, digging holes, properly placing the trees in the holes and backfilling with dirt, and then following up with mulch and water. This phase of the planting took place between Fox Hollow and 33rd Avenue along West Amazon Drive. While we didn’t quite get all the trees planted in the time scheduled, the City followed up on Monday with a youth corps volunteer group who completed the project. The next planting, which will cover West Amazon from Fox Hollow to Snell, is scheduled for Saturday, February 25th.

It was great to see such support from neighbors!

It’s a New Year

January’s a beginning
Some say a clean slate
That a new year is here
Is not up for debate.

Winter is different
Life’s a little bit slow
But off in the distance
Leaf blowers blow.

We cannot escape
These gas-powered tools
From ten blocks away
Their awful buzz rules.

But worse than the buzz,
Monoxide and benzene
Is tornadoes of toxins
Driveways scoured too clean.

These tools spew dust clouds
That clog up the air
They’re so bad for the worker
We really should care.

A leaf blown today
Will be back tomorrow
Try a rake or a broom
From a neighbor you borrow.

Modern tools, time savers
We can’t live without, but
Drought, flood, and fire
Have brought not a doubt

That it’s time to rethink
What we do to the earth
Not to mention the neighbors
And all things of worth.

Brenda Johnson Kame’enui

Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) Report

November, 2022 

Amazon Creek Tree Planting Event Update

In response to the post card, thus far I have received 13 individual responses!

  • When: January 21st & February 25th 2023 (weather dependent)
  • What: 200 bare root trees provided by the city include: alder, choke cherry, bitter cherry, and cascara. All of these are suited to that part of Amazon Creek, and all are shorter stature so would be less likely to impact nearby powerlines in the future.
  • Where: The 200 trees will be spread out throughout the reach from Snell to 30th, with approximately 65 between Snell and Fox Hollow, 125 or so between Fox Hollow and 30th. Another 10-20 will be planted on the East side. They will be planted linearly but there will be gaps where there are already mature trees.
  • We are looking for about 20 volunteers for each event; if you are interested please send an email to Devon Mann

Leaf Blowers Take Two

The committee decided to revisit the topic of gas powered two-cycle motor leaf blower use within the City of Eugene UGB (Urban Growth Boundary). Committee members are reviewing current state legislation and general information.


The committee is researching information regarding the current yard and kitchen waste pick-up options and would like to see weekly (rather than biweekly) pick-up available from haulers. Not only would this increase composting, it would also reduce vermin and odors. The committee is researching the type and magnitude of kitchen waste composting sites receiving compostable wastes from the City of Eugene to best understand what is required for intentionally compostable materials such as kitchen waste bags, single use utensils & containers, and pizza boxes to be accepted into commercially collected yard waste bins.

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