Make a big ripple in Tacoma's clean water by joining us as a volunteer. As an individual or as part of community groups you are part of the solution to Tacoma's clean water.
We work with various community organizations to put on events and activities throughout the year. Read about what these organizations are doing to improve the waters around Tacoma and learn how you can get involved.
EnviroChallenger and EnviroKids
The City of Tacoma EnviroChallenger program has two awesome educators who tour the schools and teach students about taking care of our environment. Learn more. .
EnviroKids is a website for kids who care about the environment. Make projects from recycled materials, test your "EQ" with an EnviroQuiz and much more . .
Water that goes down our storm drains flows directly into Tacoma's waterways – carrying with it all the pollutants it picks up along the way. The City's stenciling and curb marking programs marks our storm drains as a friendly reminder that our stormwater goes directly to the nearest creek, stream or Commencement Bay.
Volunteers can check out a kit that contain supplies and instructions for applying special markers to the curb.
The curb markers are made of durable, non-fade plastic and is glued to the curb near a storm drain as a reminder that there is “No Dumping, Drains to Puget Sound.”
Through an ongoing partnership between the City, the Pierce Conservation District Stream Team and Citizens for a Healthy Bay, the goal to mark every storm drain in Tacoma is becoming a reality.
Do you have a group that would like to volunteer to stencil storm drains and mark curbs? All materials are provided and you’ll be helping keep our water clean!
For more information or to schedule an event, contact Jacqueline Fuller or John Inch, Tacoma's EnviroChallenger educators, at email@example.com or (253) 591-5061.
Clean Bay Car Wash Kits
Good. Clean. Fun. -- If you are planning a charity car wash in Tacoma, consider raising environmental awareness while you raise money. Borrow one of our free and easy-to-use Clean Bay Car Wash Kits.
Without the Clean Bay Car Wash Kits, all the dirty, soapy water from your charity car wash will go directly to our streams, lakes and Commencement Bay, harming the environment.
With the kit, your wash water is pumped to the City’s wastewater system and is treated before it heads into our local water. Each kit is easy to use and contains plugs for the storm drain, a pump, hoses, extension cords, instructions, two signs to promote the car wash and informational materials to hand out to customers.
The City lends the kits free of charge to any community group holding a car wash in Tacoma.
To reserve a kit, contact EnviroChallenger educators Jacqueline Fuller or John Inch at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 502-2220. Make sure to include your name, contact information, desired date and proposed car wash location in your message.
Also, your group can host car washes at approved sites in Tacoma. Schedule car washes directly with the service station owner.
- 76 Station, 5015 Center St.
Contact: (253) 565-1243
- Kmart, 5132 Sixth Ave.
Contact: (253) 752-3584
- 7-Eleven, 1901 S. Trafton St.
Tours & Presentations
We’re proud of our work and we’d like to tell you about it. Whether it’s a tour of one of our wastewater treatment plants, an environmental lesson in your classroom or an up-close demonstration showing the benefits of our fish-friendly TAGRO soil products, we’d like you to know us better.
- Wastewater treatment plant tours - Every year, we lead hundreds of students (middle school through college) and community group members through our wastewater treatment plants so they can see just how they play a part in recycling our resources and keeping our water clean. To set up a group tour, call the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant at (253) 502-2163.
- Classroom lessons -- Our EnviroChallenger program lets kids get their hands dirty while learning to keep our earth clean and green. The EnviroChallenger is a free service, courtesy of Environmental Services and is available to visit Tacoma Public Schools second through eighth-grade classes. For high school level environmental lessons, contact Citizens for a Healthy Bay or the Stream Team. Learn more about the EnviroChallenger program.
- TAGRO presentations - Team TAGRO gives dozens of presentations every year at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, civic and community groups, business groups, garden clubs, Boy and Girl Scout clubs, community street fairs and home shows. Learn how we turn biosolids into mulch, mix and potting soil. Get your hands a little dirty and try your own recipes for soil products. To set up a TAGRO presentation, e-mail us or call TAGRO at (253) 502-2150.
Restore our Environment
Population growth, recreational use and heavy industrial pollution have taken their toll on the beauty of our shoreline areas. The City of Tacoma is restoring these areas to a natural state, and we invite you to help. We need volunteers to help with planting grasses and other plant life – creating a habitat that is fish-friendly and clean. The City partners with Citizens for a Healthy Bay and other groups on restorations projects. For more information and to volunteer please contact Citizens for a Healthy Bay at (253) 383-2429 or e-mail.
Environmental Services Sponsorship program
Is your organization holding an event or activity that protects, enhances or restores Tacoma's environment? The City of Tacoma may be able to help with sponsorship of cash or supplies. City of Tacoma Environmental Services supports community activities that protect, enhance or restore Tacoma's environment. Sponsorship may be monetary, material goods or in-kind services. There is no set limit on the amount you can apply for. In the past, funded projects have ranged from less than $100 for a small, one-time activity to more than $25,000 for a major program enhancement. Learn more about the application process.
Make a Splash grants
City of Tacoma Environmental Services awards up to $50,000 a year in environmental grants to help educate residents and protect and restore our surface water resources. Grants may be up to $4,000 and are open to anyone considering a project within Tacoma city limits. Projects may be educational and should focus on preventing pollution and protecting or restoring clean water. Check out the projects supported by 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 Make a Splash grants.
The 2013 Make a Splash grant application period begins April 1, 2013. The application deadline is May 20, 2013. Only applications submitted beginning April 1 and postmarked by May 20 will be considered.
Send applications to:
Attn: Desiree Pooley
Make a Splash Grant Program
Center for Urban Waters
326 East D Street
Taocma, WA 98421
Learn more about Make a Splash grants.
Environmental Services Commission
We work to meet the needs of our environment and our customers. The Environmental Services Commission provides valuable feedback to the City Council and staff members on utility policies and procedures from our customer’s perspective. Representatives from industrial and commercial businesses, multi- and single-family residences and other groups meet monthly to discuss such topics as rate structures, billing procedures, utility policies and operational improvements. For more information about the Environmental Services Commission duties and meetings, e-mail us.
Have you seen pollution in our storm drains or someone illegally dumping? The City partners with Citizens for a Healthy Bay and has a 24-hour confidential Pollution Hotline. Call (253) 383-2429 if you see anything that looks like it might damage the bay’s water quality. We appreciate your help to keep our water clean.
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