Women’s Environmental Watch, an organization founded in 1992 to encourage and assist in the drafting of the general plan for the Valley, has decided to change its name to WE Watch. At a recent planning meeting of the Board, chaired by WE Watch president Penny Knowles, it was felt that the organization should be less gender-specific and encourage more men to join, and that concern is behind the name change.
WE Watch is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization whose mission is “to educate its members and the community about environmental issues affecting the quality of life in our Valley. We actively support socially responsible efforts to protect our surroundings for ourselves and future generations while allowing for differences of opinions and approaches.”
WE Watch is offering a free, family friendly education event, “Recycling: What, Why, How,” on Saturday, September 26, 1-4 at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Solvang. Cosponsors - County of Santa Barbara, the cities of Solvang and Buellton, Explore Ecology, Marborg, Waste Management and many other Santa Ynez Valley organizations – will engage attendees with displays, giveaways, interactive games and talks.
WE Watch is perhaps best known for its SOS (Save Our Stars) initiative, which has been instrumental in persuading public agencies and private businesses and individuals to shield exterior lighting so the whole panoply of stars are visible at night. For this effort and its support of Chuck McPartlin’s “Astronomy in the Schools” program, WE Watch was recently honored at a Dark Skies & Bright Stars Celebration at UCSB’s Sedgwick Reserve.
In June WE Watch presented the latest of several free water-wise gardening workshops, designed to assist homeowners who want to convert their water-guzzling lawns to drought resistant plantings. Watch for information about its fall 2015 workshop.
As Ms. Knowles says, “WE Watch continues to be an effective organization in monitoring environmental change in the Valley, educating the public about our choices, and advocating for the common good.”