Celebrating Tết with stormwater outreach

By Kevin Duong, Multicultural Outreach Associate

Tết is the Vietnamese celebration of the Lunar New Year. This year, ECOSS and I celebrated Tết with the Hoi Thanh Tin Lanh Hy Vong church. Kids were up and singing and the Pastor and members provided words of wisdom. After the service celebration was Tết dinner, featuring traditional food like bitter melon soup, braised pork and Banh Trung (glutinous rice wrapped with mung beans and banana leaves). True to ECOSS’ spirit, dishes were served with compostable dinnerware, helping the church reduce garbage waste.

After dinner, we offered an education session with members and kids who came up to learn about stormwater pollution, the benefits of cisterns and rain gardens and the RainWise program.

For this event and others, I had the pleasure of working with Cindy Nguyen, who was an awesome intern with a bubbly personality. Cindy is a student at Colby College with an interest in environmental law.

ECOSS intern Cindy Nguyen speaking to a church member about rain gardens and cisterns. Photo Credit: Sam Le.

And over the last month, she helped deliver ECOSS and RainWise messages and resources to the Vietnamese community. Despite the short time frame, her hard work to perfect her Vietnamese and her commitment to community outreach was outstanding. Thank you Cindy for working with us and being part of the ECOSS family.

Check out other multicultural outreach work here

Chinese American diner is the first business to become RainWise

Stormwater pollution is Puget Sound’s #1 source of pollution. One restaurant, however, is on the forefront of reducing this pollution.

During heavy rains, stormwater surges through city pipes. These surges can cause overflows that dump untreated sewage into Puget Sound, degrading the health of aquatic life as well as the people that swim in Puget Sound waters. King County was recently fined over $100,000 for such pollution. Because of historical wastewater management decisions, mitigating stormwater pollution is one of the region’s most critical priorities today.

Young’s Restaurant is a Chinese-owned establishment that serves up American diner classes alongside traditional Chinese cuisine. Photo Credit: Ned Ahrens.

With ECOSS’ help, Young’s Restaurant is the first business to utilize the RainWise program to install cisterns on their property to reduce Seattle’s stormwater pollution. Cisterns capture water that runs off roofs, reducing the volume of stormwater entering our sewer system during large storms and saving that water for drier days.

“Last year, I had blueberries and lots of herbs that used a lot of water, and I really loved that I can collect the rain and use it for my herb garden and plants.” – Janice, owner of Young’s Restaurant. Photo Credit: Ned Ahrens.

Ultimately, cisterns reduce our water use, reduce Puget Sound pollution and beautify our surroundings. A dual-win for nature and communities.

RainWise helps offset the cost of cisterns and rain gardens by providing up to a 100% rebate on installation costs. ECOSS provides access by guiding businesses and residents through the program, utilizing our capacity of over a dozen languages.

Young’s Restaurant installed three cisterns, which altoghter can hold over 1500 square feet of water. Photo Credit: Ned Ahrens.

Read the NW Asian Weekly article!

Check out Seattle Channel’s video covering the ribbon-cutting celebration!

Congratulations to Young’s for your Green Globe Award from King County!

Check out more RainWise stories!

City Habitats features our stormwater solutions outreach!

 

Ruben Chi Bertoni oversees outreach efforts on RainWise cisterns and rain gardens. Photo Credit: Marcela Gara, Resource Media.

“Being true to myself and being true to the community that I serve is so important for programs to be an actual benefit to the community.” – Ruben Chi Bertoni

The Nature Conservancy’s City Habitats program recently featured Ruben Chi Bertoni! Ruben talks about doing multicultural outreach for the RainWise program, which offers up to 100 percent rebates for installing rain gardens and cisterns at home. We can all help reduce stormwater pollution and ECOSS works to make sure underserved communities such as immigrants, refugees and other diverse communities are included.

Learn more about our RainWise work