The Sammamish Valley Grange continues its commitment to community environmental and agricultural education, even if it’s virtually.
This February, the Grange’s monthly program will focus on the five R’s of recycling: refuse, reduce, re-use, recycle and rot. LEED green associate and 21 Acres facility manager Kelly Rankich will discuss over Zoom the changing guidelines and how and why recycling is important.
This will be fourth virtual program led by the grange since the pandemic began.
“I think people are just looking for interesting ways to connect with the community,” said Brenda Vanderloop, Grange communications manager.
The Grange’s leadership had to cancel its spring programs last year at the onset of the pandemic, but decided to try virtual programming, Vanderloop said. She had no idea how it would go or if there would be any interest in the Zoom classes but has been pleasantly surprised by the growing attendance of each session.
“I think the community has really embraced the format,” she said.
However, the shift in programming method has had a negative impact on the Grange’s financials. During in-person workshops, donations are accepted at the door, Vanderloop said.
There hasn’t been a similar way to fundraise for future workshop or event costs, but this hasn’t been a deterrent.
“Our goal is continue this connection with community, be there for the community,” she said.
In the upcoming workshop taking place at 7 p.m. Feb 3, Rankich will discuss misunderstandings about recycling guidelines and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. She is a long-time Woodinville resident who helps operate and maintain the 21 Acres facilities using green techniques, according to a press release. Rankich is also a Washington State University Snohomish County Extension sustainable community steward.
“Moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle is a process and everyone is at a different stage,” she said in the release.
Although the Grange’s recent web offerings have been successful, Vanderloop said, it’s important to the organization’s tradition that people get together again when it's safe. Although, she said it may consider a hybrid model in the future to increase accessibility once the Grange opens its doors again.
“I think once the hall is open our membership is going to be pretty in-tune together to get back to in-person programs,” she said.
An Introduction to the 5 R's of Recycling will take place over Zoom at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3. More information may be found at sammamishvalleygrange.org.