In keeping with our “Cultivate Quality” theme this year, volunteers Shauna Gonzales and Tim Farley have put together a luncheon presentation package that focuses on quality and the environment. As happened last year, the trio will be presenting in separate rooms during the grab-n-go lunch break on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Let’s take a quick look at our presenters:
The presenters: Beekeeper Glen Andresen, co-founder of Bridgetown Bees; Anna Goldrich, executive director, the Sauvie Island Center; and documentary filmmaker and lead poisoning prevention advocate Tamara Rubin.
Andresen and Tim Wessels co-founded and operate Bridgetown Bees. The primary mission, the organization says, “is to selectively breed and raise queen bees in the city of Portland that are suitable for year-round survival here and in other cities in the Pacific Northwest.” Bridgetown Bees is out to do nothing less than join the crusade to reverse the decline of honeybees, here and across the globe.
“Since 2006, honeybees have been dying off at an unsustainable rate with billions of bees disappearing in the U.S. and losses estimated at greater than 30-40 percent per year,” the organization says. “As beekeepers and concerned citizens for the plight of the honeybee, we decided to take a more active role in gaining a better understanding of the issues surrounding this incredible insect. Today, there are half as many beekeepers as there were in the 1980s.”
Through training sessions, managing hives and doing outreach on behalf of the bee population, Andresen and Wessels are raising awareness about the plight of bees, and recruiting new advocates for the cause.
“My presentation will focus on the steps honey bees go through to make honey—from nectar to capped honey cells. I’ll then talk about the steps that I go through to make sure that my bees are treated compassionately and, at the end of the season, how I extract their surplus honey—and how it gets from capped honey cells to bottle,” he said.
While Andresen says he won’t be bringing any bees with him to the lunch meeting, he will be offering honey samples from Bridgetown Bee hives. And, if you’re real sweet, maybe he’ll sell you a jar or two.
The Sauvie Island Center is a beautifully situated and expansive garden–or if you prefer, a small farm–on the island just behind the Bybee-Howell house/park. There, youngsters come from the city to learn gardening techniques and to experience growing and eating their own food. Sauvie Island Center has a variety of programs designed to engage elementary school children in the cultivation of Mother Earth. To check out its curriculum for elementary school students, click here.
Its major event is the annual Family Farm Day, to be held Oct. 14 this year. That day, the Center will host thousands of kids and their family members for a day of hands-on exploration of an organic farm, helping kids make the connection between food, farming, and the land. They harvest and snack their way through the day while rotating through activities designed to reinforce Next Generation Science Standards for their grade levels.
“Our program is about exposing kids to gardening, farming and vegetables,” said Goodrich. “We depend upon adult volunteers to help with our programs, and I’d love it if we could get some volunteers from our PNSQC presentation. We engage dozens of volunteers each year.”
To give her audience members a better sense of what the Center does, Goodrich intends to mix in some interactive activities along the lines of the activities provided for children, “and that could involve some vegetable tastings or other interactive games,” she said.
Tamara Rubin got into fighting lead poisoning when tests showed that her three children had lead poisoning. That story, and a summary of the work she has done to focus attention on lead poisoning, can be found here at her website. Her personal website offers more detail on lead poisoning as well as a trailer for her upcoming documentary, MisLEAD.
The founder and former executive director of Lead Safe America, a national nonprofit, Rubin is writing a book on the subject and is in demand as a speaker. Among her accomplishments:
• She was honored by a consortium of federal agencies (EPA, CDC, USDA, HUD & USDoE) with the first ever National Health Homes Hero award.
• Healthy Child Healthy World chose her as their third Mom On a Mission in October of 2011.
• She was Lifetime Television’s “Woman of the Month” for January 2012
• She was a finalist in the Jewish Community Heroes program of the Jewish Federations of North America.
There you have it: Three exceptional speakers for your lunchtime edification. Enjoy one with your grab-n-go lunch.