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Eco Centro Winter 2019 Newsletter
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Winter 2019 Newsletter

Season's Greetings

Meredith Miller - Director, William R. Sinkin Eco Centro

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s been quite a year and we couldn’t have done it without every single one of you. We accomplished so much and 2020 is shaping up to be our busiest year. We’ll keep you updated about all our efforts to Grow Community. Our gardens are expanding and getting a facelift. We’ve piloted our sustainability consulting services, ramped up our youth nature-based education programs, traveled to half a dozen countries to talk about sustainable water resources management and broken ground at the new farm on the East side. Eco Centro will be heading out into the community with our Sustainability Roadshow and hosting dozens of classes and workshops at home. Read below to learn about our regular monthly events. We’ll be working on our website over the holidays and can’t wait to share everything we learned in 2019 and our 2020 resolutions. 

Here are some ideas for Green New Year’s Resolutions that we love:

Our new hours for the remainder of the winter (through the end of February) are 12pm-6pm Tuesday through Thursday, but we have several evening and Saturday events planned, so please visit our calendar. Speaking of events, was there a class or workshop this year that you just loved? Is there a class you are dying to take? Nature journaling? Container gardening? Permaculture? Goat yoga? Citizen science? Please email us your ideas at sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu.

In case you missed our last newsletter, you can find it here.

Best wishes for a wonderful new year,
The staff at Eco Centro

Holiday Gift Giving Guide

If you are still searching for last minute gifts, consider sustainable gift-giving and ways to reduce waste, create local wealth and spread joy.

Every Day is Earth Day!

Celebrate sustainability with these holidays: 

January: Radon Action Month: What is Radon?

January 1 - New Year's Day: Start 2020 with these New Year's Resolutions
January 6 - National Bean Day: Appreciate Beans
January 10 - Cut Your Energy Costs Day: Know Your House
January 13 - National Gluten-Free Day: Understand Gluten 
We have a variety of herb, flower, and veggie seeds available. 

Beginning again in 2020, you can pick up free seeds by appointment, during special events at the center, and Tuesday through Thursday from 12pm-6pm. Eco Centro is closed for the Alamo Colleges Winter Break and will reopen on January 2, 2020.

Keeping up with Conservation

This fall was an exciting time for Eco Centro and the Conservation Crew. We launched our Eco Centro Services pilot and interesting projects keep rolling in. We consulted/designed a large rainwater harvesting system for the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue Center, created an initial site plan for the Hope House Ministries new garden/education center expansion, and are working with Chateau Dijon on many efficiency upgrades, including irrigation, rain garden(s), and possibly a fruit and vegetable garden. We consulted on the first home in Texas built with an innovative new ground screw foundation technology – just down the street in Mahncke Park! We’ll be sharing information in the spring and hosting a workshop. We are also working with ATOMKA’s Francisco Tavira to conceptualize and design sustainable infrastructure add-ons to affordable tiny homes (814 S Nueces St). We’ll let you know where you can tour the prototype in the Spring.

We are working with artist Luis Lopez from La Casa Rosa to explore, conceptualize, and design inspirational "environmental" art for the SAC Campus and San Antonio. The Conservation Crew also started conversations with the founders of Earthtile (Australia) to explore a partnership as they develop a decentralized platform to incentivize ecosystem services using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Stay tuned for more updates about Jess’ conservation and restoration efforts in Mexico and Latin America and Jason’s new Low Impact Design and Native Plant Landscaping courses.

Second Nature Award

San Antonio College was recognized as a Climate Champion with Marks of Distinction by Second Nature, a nonprofit focused on accelerating climate action in and through the higher education sector. Alamo Colleges was recognized as part of a select group of higher education institutions that set high-performance sustainability goals and demonstrate and report progress towards those goals. Institutions with Marks of Distinction act on bold climate commitments, to scale campus climate initiatives, and to create innovative climate solutions.

Eco Centro has been working with San Antonio College and Alamo Colleges District to develop aggressive sustainability plans and policies in line with the city's newly adopted Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.

Climate Mayor's Network

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, a network of 438 mayors across the United States committed to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. The launch of this new initiative will spotlight climate leadership in cities throughout the United States and our very own Ron Nirenberg joins a handful of Mayor’s from across the nation on the Network’s Steering Committee.

Visit the Climate Mayors press release to read more and view a list of participating mayors/cities. Find out how citizens can get involved. Visit SA Climate Ready and Climate Action SA to learn about our local climate resilience efforts.

Green Event Planning


A community member is looking for a local eco-friendly event planner. If you know anyone, please email us at sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu with your recommendation.  
Monthly Meetings at Eco Centro
Please consider participating and become involved in sustainability efforts in our city!
 
Live with Nature Nutrition Support/Discussion Group
First Thursdays, 10am-11:30am
 
Get Healthy San Antonio - Whole Food Plant-Based Potluck
Second Tuesdays, 6:00pm-8:00pm

Sierra Club
Third Tuesdays, 6:00pm-8:00pm

Food Policy Council of San Antonio
Third Wednesdays, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Meditation in San Antonio
Third Wednesdays, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Bexar Audubon Society
Third Wednesdays, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Eco Centro Upgrades

Please forgive our mess! We have several construction projects in progress. Our parking lot renovation is almost completed and we’re excited to track how much stormwater we divert to our gardens and the aquifer. The electric vehicle charging stations will be open again in January. We will let everyone know as soon as possible. In the meantime, visit ChargePoint to find an alternate EV charging station. There are a few new garden spaces to install and we are completing a low impact design stormwater feature that will capture the runoff from our parking lot. We’ll be hosting volunteer planting events soon, so get ready to roll up your sleeves and join us.

Our meeting room kitchen is getting a facelift too! The new kitchen area will include more functional food service and cooking areas. The goal has been to reuse or recycle 90% of the remodeling materials and we’re still on the hunt for microwave pots, pans, coffeemaker, and various other supplies. Huge thank you to Jan and Ron Graves for donating several kitchen items and a grill! Once fully stocked, the kitchen will be open and we hope to host more cooking classes in the new year. Please let us know if you’d like to teach a class or workshop. 

Eco Centro is expanding! We have two new adjacent lots and are dreaming big. Farmer Cecile and the Farm and Garden team are designing an expanded children’s garden, medicinal garden, food and flower production areas and more. Our new garden space will include innovative play features and natural materials playscape. First priorities include amending the soil and creating an outdoor kitchen with an earthen oven. Please consider being a sponsor. There are so many ways to contribute!

As long as we are dreaming big…Eco Centro is working with a fabulous team of architects, including four SAC architecture students to imagine a new green, sustainable building. Imagine earthen construction, rooftop growing spaces, natural ventilation, community creative labs and a place to buy fresh veggies. We’re working on ways to involve the community and will host a series of design charrettes and brainstorming events in the spring.

Cat Condos for the Winter

Sign up if you're interested in helping us build cat condos.

Next time you go shopping, would you consider donating a bag to Eco Centro? We are in desperate need of wet and dry food for cats. Eco Centro traps, sterilizes and releases feral and abandoned cats. We often have kittens for adoption, but many of the older kitties have made the garden their home. We're open Tuesdays through Thursdays 10am-6pm (or call ahead on Mondays and Fridays) to drop off cat food.
Like what we're doing?

Consider supporting Eco Centro's educational programs and activities through a tax-deductible donation. For questions, please contact us at sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu or call 210.486.0417. We also accept cash and check donations (checks made out to Alamo Colleges - Eco Centro). 
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Copyright © 2019 William R. Sinkin Eco Centro, All rights reserved.

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sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu

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William R. Sinkin Eco Centro · 1802 N Main Ave · San Antonio, TX 78212 · USA

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