Green Business Roundtable – Are we safe from another Gold King spill?


Being in my third year here at Fort Lewis, I am becoming more aware and involved with things that are happening in our local community. This last week, I attended the Green Business Roundtable meeting for the first time. The main topic of discussion was an update on the status of the Animas River, six months after this Gold King spill in August of 2015. Living and working here in Durango when the spill happened, I observed how huge of an impact it had on our community and the attention it drew to the river. It seemed at the time that this would be the way things would remain; but as the speaker, Dan Olsen, pointed out, “attention on our town faded at the same rate of the river turning back to blue.”

Being an Environmental Studies student at the Fort, this is a concept that I have seen a lot in my studies. Being a resident in this community, I have also known that our river has always been plagued with various levels of metals, but it was only after a larger outbreak, that the issue became an addressable problem. The meeting showed ways that our community would be able to begin cleanup of the mines up river and also presented the possibility of all the open mines throughout the west being cleaned up too.

The limitation that would be faced would be the financial component needed to fund the operations. Though the number proposed is large and potentially not feasible for our area to take on alone, it is exciting to know that efforts are at least being made to have a positive outcome from all that has happened. It was inspiring attending the meeting and finding out how many green businesses are invested in our community for more than just making a profit, and they are a great example to keep in mind once I am done with my degree. Always remember the importance and power the community has; and if we all come together to address a problem, it has the chance to be solved.

Dylan Malewska
Campus Sustainability Team

EC Library Update

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”
– Richard Feynman

One of the most important things I’ve learned working on the Campus Sustainability Team at the Environmental Center over the past three years is that consistency in small, thoughtful actions makes enormous changes. Often times, this goes deeper than what others see.

Over the past six months, I have been giving the EC library an extreme make-over. Through a series of tiny steps and long hours, I have reached a new level of organization, coordination, and persistence. At the beginning of the Fall semester 2015, the EC partnered with the on-campus Reed Library to make our resources more accessible to students. Now, when you search for a book located at the EC on the Reed database, you will be directed to us! This is important, because it brings community members and students from all corners of campus to our warm haven. Did you know that we have the largest environmental library in the four corners? Our library is made up of over 1,800 books and subscriptions to 6 periodicals (and growing). As a die-hard bibliophile in a digital world, I know the irreplaceable feeling of opening a book and slipping into another world for a while. This is why I find fulfillment in making the EC library an organized, clean, and easily accessible resource for others.


Over past three years, my drive to educate myself as a devoted environmentalist has profoundly impacted the way I think and act. Today, I choose to act in a way that inspires others. Spending more time in the library has strengthened my passion, which I will take with me through life. I hope that a beautiful library will inspire others in the same way it has for me.


Fallon Kelley

Campus Sustainability Team