Who We Are

Sustainable Klamath is a dedicated group of local volunteers focused on the health and harmony of our community. We understand that sustainability supports collaboration and a holistic approach to community development. Citizen involvement at the grass-roots level is a powerful and effective way to enact positive change that is socially equitable. It’s also important to be ecologically and economically sustainable. We strive to provide resources that support, engage, and elevate our community.

History and Accomplishments

Sustainable Klamath (SK) started as Klamath Sustainable Communities (KSC) in 1995. As an off-shoot of a League of Women Voters population study, KSC worked with LWV Klamath County and the Klamath Basin Audubon until incorporation as a 501(c)(3) in 2003.

Early on, KSC worked with Waste Management, the City of Klamath Falls, and Klamath County to create and enact a variable rate structure for recycling and waste pick-up to support recycling and waste reduction. KSC branched out into other areas of sustainability, establishing the Mills Community Garden in 2010. In 2018, the Klamath Tool Library and the Solid Waste Action Committee (SWAC) were created. You can learn more about these projects here.

In 2019, KSC changed its name to Sustainable Klamath (SK). We also revamped our content to reach more volunteers, inspire the community, and find new ways to advance sustainability in the Klamath Basin. The work continues, and as of 2021, Sustainable Klamath is recognized as a participating organization in Blue Zones and Healthy Klamath.

Monthly Meetings

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our meetings are being hosted in a virtual setting. If you are interested in attending a virtual meeting, contact chair@sustainableklamath.org for details.

Board Members

Sarah Silverman: Sustainable Klamath Chair

Sarah Silverman has been a dedicated proponent of recycling and sustainability for decades, having lived in progressive communities in the San Francisco Bay area and along the California coast. She has participated in social and environmental justice initiatives such as Aftershock, a coalition of experts assisting displaced business owners after the 1997 Loma Prieta earthquake, which she helped launch and lead. After a 27-year career in the wine industry, which taught her valuable lessons on sustainability, soil and plant management, packaging, distribution and more, Sarah and her husband moved to Klamath Falls where she puts those lessons to good use as Chair of Sustainable Klamath and enjoys all the beauty the Basin has to offer.

Isabel Rodriguez: Sustainable Klamath Vice Chair

Isabel Rodriguez was born and raised in Klamath Falls and she is very proud of this community. She joined Sustainable Klamath in 2017 after participating in a neighborhood clean-up and realizing there is much to be done in the Basin regarding recycling and sustainability. In addition to serving as Vice Chair for Sustainable Klamath, Isabel also serves as President of the Mills Neighborhood Association – a group of property/business owners and tenants working to provide information and assistance to improve the neighborhood. Isabel believes it is up to each one of us to do our part to make our community a safe, healthy, and sustainable place to live, and she is excited to see the bright future of the Klamath Basin.

Alissa Oliverson: SWAC Committee Chair

Alissa Oliverson received her Master Recycler certification from Rogue Disposal & Recycling in the fall of 2019 and began working with Sustainable Klamath in the spring of 2020. She focuses on research, education, and activism relating to plastic pollution, waste management, recycling, and consumption. Alissa writes SWAC’s Trash Talk column that appears in the Herald & News, and she was instrumental in designing the new Sustainable Klamath logo and website. She is currently learning how to compost at home, and in her spare time Alissa enjoys writing and performing poetry that often contains the themes of her environmental research.

Dwight Long: Secretary

A founder of Sustainable Klamath, Dwight Long has been a waste reduction activist since 1968. As a managing partner of Sunflower Recycling in Portland, Dwight played a key role in the group’s evolution after their creation of the world’s first curbside recycling program in 1972. He organized the effort to create a recycling program in San Juan County, New Mexico in 1990, resulting in the dedication of a new recycling facility two years later, and after moving to Klamath Falls, Dwight helped to create the Library Tax District. At the time of the 1999 vote, he chaired the PAC and Library Advisory Board.

Matthew Negherbon: Treasurer

bio

Michael Fitzgerald: Chair – Tool Library (TL)

Michael Fitzgerald has been a student and proponent of sustainable living practices since the 1960’s. After moving to the Klamath Basin in 1981, he became a member of Sustainable Klamath and after many years of service he became a member of the Board. Michael has held his position as Chair of the Klamath Tool Library for three years, in addition to acting as the Circulation Manager since the Tool Library’s opening on July 1, 2017.

Yvonne Canton: Garden Steward

bio