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Kim Smith's avatar

Kim Smith

PCC Eco-Panthers


  • 0 TODAY
  • 848 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • UP TO
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
  • UP TO
    spent learning

Kim's actions

Action Track: Community

Raise Awareness for the Conservation of Freshwater and Oceans

I will spend 90 minutes learning more about the importance of freshwater + ocean conservation, and how I can reduce my water use. I will share what I learn with people in person, on social media, and on the feed.


Biodiversity + Wildlife

Save the Bees

Bees are vital to ecosystems. To help save the bees, I will learn which local flowers provide nectar and plant them in my backyard or in a pot on my balcony.


Land + Forests

Explore My Area

When we explore natural spaces around us, our connections with them change. I will spend 120 minutes exploring a new area around my neighborhood, office, or campus (e.g., park, water body, nearby trail, community garden, green space, etc.).


Land + Forests

Keep My Community Clean

At times it may not feel like it's up to us to keep our community clean and healthy, but we all have a role to play. Each day I am outside, I will pick up any litter I see.


Land + Forests

Plant Trees

Trees capture carbon and produce oxygen that is essential to life on earth. I will support this important piece of nature by organizing or joining a community group to plant 10 native trees in my community, public parks, office location, campus or backyard.


Freshwater + Oceans

Smart Seafood Choices

We need to support healthy seafood populations. I will spend 60 minutes learning about sustainable seafood choices, commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean, and share what I learned on the feed.


Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?

  • Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/28/2024 10:40 PM
    Eek! I have been focusing on trying to learn about the health of our local rivers and the well-being of our oceans. Alas, I received a post from Willamette Week that:

    "The cumulative effect of trash washing into the Willamette River has earned the state’s signature waterway an ignominious distinction: It could become just the third body of water in the nation regulated under the federal Clean Water Act because of trash."

    Check out the Oregon details here.

    Action Track: Community Raise Awareness for the Conservation of Freshwater and Oceans
    What did you learn about freshwater and oceans you did not already know? In sharing this information with people in your life, which conversation was impactful to you?

    Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/25/2024 3:39 PM
    I did not know all of the risks to eating fish caught in our different waterways in Oregon. I have avoided bottom-feeders, like catfish, but now will be even more careful. For example, I hadn't considered how much dangerous toxins can accumulate in crayfish!

    During Earth Week, I have posted a daily lesson for my friends on social media. Many folks were grateful to receive the details on how plastics can get into the food chain and links to sustainable fish consumption. We'll see how they respond to today's lessons on safe fishing practices.

    My husband and I had a really good discussion about this and will be much more mindful in the future.
    Freshwater + Oceans Smart Seafood Choices
    Many states and countries have advisories on eating fish. Find out what is advised for your region. Do you think your diet choices fall within these guidelines? What steps do you need to take to make sure that they do?

    Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/25/2024 3:01 PM
    One of the biggest warnings in the Portland region is for the Columbia Slough. Based on the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services website:

    "Eating fish is good for you and is an excellent source of protein. However, fish in the Columbia Slough may contain contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and pesticides that are harmful to eat. Contaminated fish do not look or act sick.

    The Oregon Health Authority recommends limiting how much you eat in order to protect yours and your family's health.

    For nearly all resident fish, the health authority recommends eating only one fillet meal each month for all fish caught in the slough.

    The health authority revised this advisory in 2022 for resident fish from the Columbia Slough (from Kelley Point Park to Blue and Fairview lakes). Resident fish are those fish that live their whole lives in the slough and are exposed to contaminants in the sediments throughout their lifetime. As a result, they have higher amounts of contaminants in them."

    The Oregon Health Authority also has a Fish Advisory for the Lower Willamette. This link offers more details on resident fish, as well as shellfish.
    Land + Forests Explore My Area
    Where did you go for your walk or hike in nature? What were the benefits of doing so?

    Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/24/2024 12:35 AM
    We have been learning about the beauty of Sauvie Island and Scappoose. How lucky we are in the Portland region to have these lovely natural areas! It was incredibly inspiring to see and hear the many migrating birds, including countless flocks of geese. It was magical to hear the call of ospreys as well.

    • Nicole Crandall's avatar
      Nicole Crandall 4/25/2024 12:29 AM
      I agree Kim that it is nice to visit beautiful places like Suave Island and Scappoose natural areas because we get experiences to breath in good energy to help us regain perspective. Which helps us feel rejuvenated and in my opinion makes us more productive in society.
    Biodiversity + Wildlife Save the Bees
    What did you plant for bees in your area? Please consider uploading a photo!

    Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/15/2024 11:37 PM
    It was so fun to go to the local nursery and buy some native plants that will make bees and butterflies happy. I have never been a fan of yarrow, but I found some beautiful yellow ones, which will look lovely on our front wall. We also needed a low ground cover, so got some "Golden Nugget Sun Rose", plus a "White Rockrose" bush that will fill a big gap in the yard. Grateful that the A-Boy on SW Barbur has some neonicotinoid-free plants. The folks at Fred Meyer didn't even know that that meant!!!! Will avoid them going forward.

    • Kim Smith's avatar
      Kim Smith 4/25/2024 2:44 PM
      That is fascinating! I appreciate all of the people who support pollinators and have the courage the have their own hives. PCC is designated as a "Bee Campus USA" college, as we have a lot of hives out at the Rock Creek Learning Garden. They even harvest some of the honey.

    • Nicole Crandall's avatar
      Nicole Crandall 4/25/2024 12:30 AM
      I have a fiend that loves bees and has her own hive its is very intresting as I am allergic to them.

  • Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/10/2024 4:52 PM
    I am so excited to continue to learn about pollinators! It doesn't matter that we have a certified Backyard Habitat with lots of permaculture features and native plants, there is always more to learn and different ways to support our beloved bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

    Last week, my husband and I participated in Aldo Leopold Week to learn more about "the land ethic" and phenology. "Phenology is the study of the timing and cyclical patterns of events in the natural world, particularly those related to the annual life cycles of plants, animals, and other living things." We bought their phenology calendar and have been tracking different natural events each day for over a month, including various bird migrations (I have to keep looking at our bird book to identify them!) and the emergence and flowering of plants. So very happy that the mason bees have hatched in time for our apple trees! The red currents are also making our hummingbirds very happy. I hope that the hummingbirds will discover our new feeders.

    Will plant more pollinator plants this weekend. Here are a few additional websites that we are exploring to help our journey:

    • Kim Smith's avatar
      Kim Smith 4/11/2024 1:58 PM
      That's awesome, Kerry! I appreciate you sharing those additional resources. We're all in this together!

    • Kerry Keck's avatar
      Kerry Keck 4/10/2024 5:50 PM
      I love your posting - I am also working to provide a yard that provides habitat for pollinators and birds. I also have several habitat certifications, but — like you - continue to learn.

      One thing I discovered to help me identify birds is the eBird smart phone app created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It allows the user to report sightings, and contributes to a worldwide database used to assess bird populations and predict migration.

      Another tool from Cornell is the smart phone app called Merlin. It provides opportunities to identify birds both visually (size, colors, behaviors, etc.) and audio (it identifies calls/songs).

      Happy birding!
    Land + Forests Plant Trees
    How is planting trees good for your mental, physical, and spiritual health?

    Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/07/2024 1:18 PM
    Planting trees is regenerative. It has hurt my heart since I was little when I saw clearcuts across the mountains and hills of California and Oregon. I even wrote poems inspired by the pain from all the cut trees.

    Thankfully, there are many opportunities to plant trees. In addition to volunteering with local non-profits, my uncle has encouraged me to plant trees to replace my carbon footprint when I travel.

    Yesterday, I took advantage of a new opportunity. From last month's big storms, there still are lots of trees down in the neighborhood. One tree that got hit hard is a willow next to the big bioswale down the street. There were lots of small branches blooming yesterday, so I took all of them and stuck them along the edge of the pond. I really hope that they will take root and help add to the ecosystem.

    • Nicole Crandall's avatar
      Nicole Crandall 4/10/2024 4:08 PM
      I agree that it makes me very sadness my hart to see the forest that use to be old growth forests have slowly demolished. But I am grateful that there are organizations that are willing to help in communities re-grow.

      I go out every day to walk my dog and friends dogs that I get to see the beauty that still exists in nature. I get to see new north of plants that have beautiful colors due to it almost being spring time.
    Land + Forests Keep My Community Clean
    How does the act of picking up litter connect you more to your community?

    Kim Smith's avatar
    Kim Smith 4/05/2024 1:59 PM
    Picking up litter has been a regular action most of my life. My grandparents, parents, and uncles all taught me that this was my responsibility and is a responsibility for all of us. Beyond them all being involved in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, including as professional leaders, they also were/are frequent participants in park and beach clean-ups. I can never walk down the beach and not pick up particles of trash, if possible.

    In addition, I actually was an Earth Guardian at the Burning Man Festival for many years, as one of the core educators and researchers on their Leave No Trace (LNT) practices. Litter is known as MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) on the playa, which is within the Black Rock Desert and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. That was a powerful era in my life and LNT is still a daily mantra for me.