Call it the Urban Extension

Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert
Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert is optimistic about the city’s revitalization plans. Photo Matt Hagen

The massive Oso landslide killed 43 people, caused extensive flooding, and destroyed a key highway north of Everett in 2014, pushing the communities of Arlington and Darrington to their breaking point.

For months, grieving residents and community leaders remained so immersed in the search and recovery demands that nearly everything else had to be put on hold. That’s why, when they were invited to participate in a national competition that could funnel up to $3 million or more toward desperately needed economic revitalization efforts, Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert was practically on the verge of tears, again.

“It was this rare opportunity but we had no one left,” Tolbert recalls, explaining economic revitalization has been a top priority for the once-thriving logging communities trying to forge their place in Puget Sound’s ever-expanding urban reach. “It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Our capacity was tapped.”

At Washington State University offices in Seattle, Everett, and Pullman, though, an idea was taking shape. The University already was assisting with various recovery efforts, and it sent a team from WSU Extension to help with the competition as well.

What followed was a joint Arlington and Darrington entry that has survived two elimination rounds, already brought in more than $150,000 in grants, and is among just eight of the more than 350 original entries still in contention for the top prize.

“I never, ever had any inclination of the resources that were available at my fingertips,” says Tolbert.

Continue reading at Washington State Magazine

Originally written by David Wasson

Urban Food-Energy-Water Summit

Urban Food-Energy-Water Summit
Friday November 18, 2016
The Brightwater Convention Center (Link)
Woodinville, Washington


The goal of this summit is to gain a deeper understanding of food, energy, and water interdependence in the greater Seattle area. It will bring policy decision makers, producers, government agency personnel, NGO representatives, industry representatives, researchers and members of the public who are interested in local food policies and programs together for thought provoking discussions. The summit provides an opportunity to learn about research that is underway at Washington State University (WSU) seeking to model complex linkages and feedbacks among natural resource systems. We will present findings from a survey of diverse stakeholders’ perspectives about local food and agriculture in Seattle and surrounding WA State. By the end of this summit, participants will deepen their understanding of food, energy and water interdependence. Panelists will share perspectives from different sectors on food-energy-water interconnections. During afternoon sessions, participants discuss characteristics of a resilient regional food system and help identify future research directions. Stakeholder input will inform future research directions and will support local decision makers when developing policies.

Panel Discussion Session (open to the public)
8:30-11:00 am
A morning session with presentations about current research, discussion of the need for integrated natural resource management approaches, and a panel discussion in which stakeholders will share diverse perspectives on visions of the food system of the future and interconnections among food, energy and water systems. The morning session will include coffee and light refreshments.

Breakout Sessions and Luncheon (invitation only)
A by-invitation afternoon session to cover interconnected food-energy-water issues in greater depth in small group discussion sessions. During the afternoon session a local food buffet will be provided for all participants. If you would like to participate in this session, please contact Brad Gaolach or Liz Allen.

Agenda for Attendees


Print Summit Agenda (PDF)

Keynote Speaker:

steve-moddemeyer-2Steve Moddemeyer CollinsWoerman, Principal

Keynote speaker Steve Moddemeyer, President of Seattle-based architecture and sustainability planning firm CollinsWoerman, will kick of the day with a discussion of the need for integrated natural resource management approaches.

With nearly 25 years of experience, Steve Moddemeyer leads governments, land owners, and project teams towards increased sustainability. With his extensive experience with complex public/private development issues, he specializes in creating tools and policies to develop resilient infrastructure systems for neighborhoods, cities and new town developments. Steve’s additional specialties include creating sustainability strategies for large urban redevelopments; developing resilient urban infrastructure systems for water and energy; suggesting policy for climate change adaptation; and advising cities, utilities, and Tribes on techniques and tools for advanced sustainability strategies.

National Academy of Sciences Resilient America Seattle Pilot
University of Washington College of the Built Environment Masters in Infrastructure Management
Evergreen State College Center for Sustainable Infrastructure
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington


Morning session panelists will discuss their vision for the future of local food systems and perceived barriers to to increasing local food production. Panelists will also reflect on Food-Energy-Water interactions described in the report from stakeholder interviews that they found surprising or intriguing.

Chris Curtis, Director of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets

Carrie Sessions, Policy and Legislative Lead for the Water Resources Program at the Washington Department of Ecology 

Hannah Cavendish Palmer, Manager of the Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Cooperative 

Michael Lufkin, Local Food Economy Manager for King County

Siri Erickson-Brown, Local Roots Farms

More Information

Brightwater Convention Center
22505 State Route 9 SE
Woodinville, WA 98072-6010
206-263-9412 or 206-263-8930
View GoogleMaps

Visit this link for driving directions.

Washington State University Metro Food-Energy-Water Seed Grant Research Team

Liz Allen, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources
Michael Brady, School of Economics & Extension
Doug Collins, Small Farms Program & Crop and Soil Sciences
Bradley Gaolach, Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension
Kevan Moffett, School of the Environment
Julie Padowski, Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach
Kirti Rajagopalan, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources
Sasha Richey, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Us

Brad Gaolach
WSU North Puget Sound at Everett
2000 Tower Street – MS45
Everett, WA 98201 (MAP)