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Eco Centro May/June 2018 Newsletter
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A community center addressing environmental challenges through practical education.

May/June 2018 Newsletter
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It's Summer at Eco Centro!


Happy Summer everyone! We actually got a little taste of Spring but the cool weather has flown the coop and we’re officially in Summer mode now. We’ll try to keep this newsletter short, but we have so much to share with you! As usual, we have been busy and things aren’t slowing down much.

As I’m writing this, our garden is FULL of kids. We are hosting our first EcoKids Camp! Campers are gardening, preparing fresh and healthy meals, composting, monitoring local water quality and learning about the environment. We'd like to give a huge thank you to Barbara Lamar of Lamar and Associates, Credit Human and Wittig's Office Interiors for funding camper scholarships. We are also grateful for Brian Gordon at Roots of Change and Habitable Space's Allison Ward Heinemeier (and Beatrice the Goat) for teaching us about farming, healthy soil and how amazing goats are. We learned about kitchen safety and made delicious avocado salads and home-made dressing with Destiny of It's Destiny Catering. Friday, the fabulous Taylor Phelps from the San Antonio Botanical Garden is going to teach us about healthy eating and then we’ll learn how to make fruit ceviche. We’re already looking forward to next summer’s camp and we’re exploring the idea of weekend and Spring Break Camps – let us know if you would be interested.

We’ve had several great events and workshops over the last couple months. If you missed Eco Fest at the Pearl, don't worry! We’ll be hosting another Eco Fest at Eco Centro on July 28th. In collaboration with the US Green Building Council, we had breakfast (if you haven’t tried Boss Bagels, you are missing out!) and toured the new Will Smith Zoo School – the nation’s largest nature-based preschool. The local USGBC has monthly luncheons and several interesting tours planned. Both are a great way to learn more about sustainability in our city.

Our Mighty Beans chocolate making and tasting workshop was a hit. We'll be hosting our very own Nathan King again in a couple weeks, so get your taste buds ready. We like to keep our programming new and exciting, but we've also been asked to repeat our Composting workshop and Intro to Food Forests workshop and potluck. We might wait until it cools off a little. We've been meditating with Gen Gordon and we are so thrilled that she'll be back every month for the rest of the year! Learn more about Gen Norden, a Buddhist nun and Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Center Austin. Classes have been filling up, so mark your calendars for August 29th.

Also this summer, we will have another herbal tinctures workshop – Natural Pain Healing on July 15th and the Federation for the Blind is having a voter registration event on July 18th – we will let you know more about this amazing opportunity to help our neighbors, especially those with disABILTIES register to vote. We’ve also got rainwater harvesting courses, home efficiency seminars, a bath bomb making brunch with Organically Bath and Beauty, a wine and garden pot painting happy hour, several terrific films and some intro to gardening courses on the docket. Who knows what else we will come up with?! If you have any ideas, let us know.

If you haven’t been by to see the changes we’re making in the garden and on campus, please come visit us (we know it’s hot!). We’re expanding the children’s garden and working on the urban farm and community garden. Big thanks to Work Out Help Out for getting our sunflowers under control and helping in the food forest and veggie gardens. We have volunteer work days every 1st Saturday and one Wednesday a month. Please check Facebook and our calendar for more details.

Do you know about one of our favorite partners, Compost Queens? They are a local business dedicated to reducing food waste in our community! We are now an official drop-off site and we are also selling their supplies and merchandise. The produce bags are great! In July, we will work with CC to install a large onsite composting area that will build healthy soil to support several community gardens and local residents. Below, we've compiled a few articles and tips that we hope will be useful to you. Also, we found this story interesting – it's about repurposing commercial food waste and by-products. Let us know if you have any articles, tips, photos or stories you’d like to share. Finally, please remember that we are in Stage II watering restrictions. Using water wisely is paramount. If you need any help brainstorming about rainwater harvesting, water conservation, irrigation or just about anything else water related, please don't hesitate to contact us. Talk soon!

Best Wishes,
Meredith

Observed Days in June


National Trails Day (June 2) #NationalTrailsDay
Celebrated every first Saturday in June, National Trails Day promotes awareness of the many benefits that trails provide and give thanks to volunteers and park employees that maintain trails. Trails are for more than hiking - take a friend and go biking, bird watching, or geocaching. Join a local hiking meetup group and explore San Antonio's trails.

World Environment Day (June 5) #WorldEnvironmentDay
Every day is World Environment Day at Eco Centro, but United Nations designates June 5th as a special day to celebrate our planet. This year's theme is #BeatPlasticPollution. There are several ways you can do your part to help stomp out plastic in our landfills and oceans. This includes learning what you can and can't recycle and reducing plastic straw waste by using reusable straws.

World Oceans Day (June 8) #WorldOceansDay
World Oceans Day celebrates our invaluable oceans and fosters collaboration between aquaria, zoos, and environmental organizations around the world. This year's focus is also about preventing plastic pollution. This year, we're challenging ourselves to give up single-use plastic bottles and straws. There are many other great ways to celebrate and keep our oceans healthy - visit the World Oceans Day website.

International Yoga Day (June 21)
Get your yoga on! June 21 is the day to celebrate global health, harmony and peace. Here's a list of free yoga classes throughout the city.

National Pollinator Week (June 18th-24th) #PollinatorWeek
National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate birds, bats, bees and other insects. Here are seven things you can do to protect our pollinators. Here's a guide on how to plan a successful butterfly and pollinator garden from the Texas Butterfly Ranch.


Observed Days in July


Clean Beaches Week (July 1-7)
The Fourth of July is one of the most popular beach days of the year. Take only pictures and leave only footprints at our Texas coast and waterways this summer. Check out this cool video about Clean Beaches Week

Latino Conservation Week (July 14-22) #LCW2018
Latino Conservation week was created to support Latino access to the outdoors and participating in activities to protect our natural resources. LCW is also a time to recognize the achievements in conservation and outdoor education by the Latino community. 
Calendar of Events at Eco Centro

Natural Pain Healing
Sunday, July 15 | 2pm-4pm | Eco Centro

Join us for this herbal tea making class. $3 per participant (children 6 and younger are free). Online registration coming soon.
 
Mighty Beans: Conversation and Cacao
Monday, July 16 | 6pm-8pm | Eco Centro

Participants are invited to fully experience cacao's health and environmental benefits in this free class on chocolate origins. Chocolate lovers will emerge with knowledge about cacao farming, bean to bar manufacturing, and chocolate's diverse flavor profiles. Antioxidant-rich cacao tea is included free along with locally roasted cocoa nibs for purchase. Mighty Beans is a multi-part series about the health benefits of cacao and the conservation practices for sustainable tropical agroforestry. Texas native and cacao fermentation scientist Nathan King will lead this class. Suggested donation of $10. View on Facebook.
 
Voter Registration Drive
Wednesday, July 18 | Eco Centro

Stay tuned for more information - we are excited about this amazing opportunity to help our neighbors, especially those with disABILTIES register to vote. 
 
Home Efficiency Workshop
Wednesday, July 25 | 6pm-8pm | Eco Centro

This workshop will help homeowners identify and address the factors that contribute to home efficiency. Bring your questions about energy efficiency, indoor/outdoor water systems, HVAC, etc. Learn about rebates for your home upgrades! View on Facebook.
 
EcoFest at Eco Centro
Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29 | Eco Centro

Join Green Village Events, Eco Centro and other community partners for this Green Building and Sustainability Expo. EcoFest includes prizes, a silent auction, tons of food, a kid’s zone, vendors, demonstrations and community exhibits. Admission and parking are FREE!! Roll up your sleeves and kick off your shoes at this free, grassroots, family-friendly, hands-on, ‘do-fest’ and celebrate sustainability! 
 
Eco Centro Events on Facebook
Eco Centro Online Calendar
Our EcoKids Summer Camp is in full swing! We have many activities going on and our campers are learning about ecology concepts, gardening, food forests, farm-to-table, and becoming environmental stewards. We have many community experts joining us throughout the week to work with our campers on food production and preparation. 
Learn More About EcoKids Summer Camp
Our June EcoFest was a success! We learned about everything from sustainable cocoa production to the city's climate action plan. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors and vendors. We are already planning summer and fall events. The next two EcoFests will be block parties at San Antonio College and will include prizes, a silent auction, tons of food, a kid’s zone, vendors, artisan market, demonstrations and community exhibits. Workshops will include introduction to rainwater harvesting, the benefits of solar, indoor water and energy conservation, xeriscaping and native landscaping. Sustainable landscaping, gardening and cooking demonstrations will be held throughout the day. Admission and parking are FREE!! Stay tuned for more information. 

The next EcoFest is July 28 and 29 at Eco Centro. If you are interested in showcasing your business or project, sign up now! View the event website and Facebook page. Contact Green Village Events at info@greenvillageevents.com or call 210-707-1122 for more information.
Compost Queens

Eco Centro is an official Compost Queens drop-off site. We also have their reusable produce bags available for purchase. Compost Queens is a family owned and operated business in San Antonio that offers composting solutions for families and businesses. Visit the Compost Queens website.
Gardening During Drought

The heat of summer is already upon us and much of Texas is experiencing drought conditions. San Antonio Water Systems has implemented Stage 2 drought restrictions. Check here for conservation tips and the current watering schedule. We'd love to hear your water conservation tips!

How do you keep your garden growing? Better Homes and Gardens has some advice for us. Here's another article about conserving water in your vegetable garden. 
SA Climate Action Plan

SA Climate Ready is an effort to prepare the city and its residents for a changing climate. SA Climate Ready is developing a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan for the City of San Antonio which will include strategies to reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases. Partners include the City of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability, CPS Energy, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Throughout the planning process, the community will be involved in determining climate mitigation and adaptation goals, targets and strategies, as well as implementation measures. The effort includes a wide range of engagement activities with broad stakeholder participation.

Learn more on the SA Climate Action Plan website.

Monthly Group Meetings
The following meetings are held on a monthly basis at Eco Centro. Please consider attending a meeting and become involved in sustainability efforts in our city!
  • Sierra Club monthly general meeting
    Third Tuesdays, 6-7pm
  • Sierra Club Conservation Committee meeting
    Second Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm
  • Sierra Club Executive Committee meeting
    Second Thursdays, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Food Policy Council monthly meeting
    Third Wednesdays, 11 am-1pm
  • Live with Nature Nutrition Support/Discussion Group
    First Thursdays, 10am-11:30am
Focus Group Announcement

Eco Centro is looking for San Antonio residents who are interested in sustainability education to join a Focus Group to help us determine the efficacy and value of our programs. This will require a small time commitment (1 meeting and a few emails). To help with feedback and/or suggestions for future programs, please email us at sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu. Preferred qualifications: Previous or current experience with community organizations, environmental systems, policy, education, or sustainability.

Sustainability Resources
 
We're continuing our New Years Resolution to learn more about sustainability each month by recommending environmental books and movies. 
Contact Us
Address:
1802 N. Main (@ Locust)
San Antonio, TX 78212
[Bus Routes 4, 20, & 90]

Phone:
(210) 486-0417

Want to Volunteer?
Submit an inquiry via VolunteerMatch or
email us at sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu
Hours:
Monday and Friday: By Appointment
Tuesday - Thursday: 10am-6pm
First Saturday of the Month: 9am-2pm
Other Saturdays: For Events Only
Sunday: Closed

Tours available by appointment.
Please share our newsletter with your friends, family and co-workers!
Like what we're doing?

Consider supporting Eco Centro's educational programs and activities through a tax-deductible donation. Simply click on the "Donate" button below to access "Alamo Colleges Charitable Giving" secure site. After entering your gift amount, please select "No" for option 1 and enter "Eco Centro Fund" for option 2.

If you have questions, would like additional information or wish to inquire about matching gifts, please contact sac-ecocentro@alamo.edu or call 210.486.0417.
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Copyright © 2018 William R. Sinkin Eco Centro, All rights reserved.


Mailing Address:
William R. Sinkin Eco Centro
1819 N. Main Ave.  Box 635
San Antonio, TX 78212






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

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