Ripples in the Water: The Experience of an Environmental Artist

By Hayley Kirkman, EC Artist & Graphic Designer

Taking on a graphic design internship with the Environmental Center was one of the most important decisions of my college career. Not only am I growing personally and professionally in the design realm, but I am learning how to contribute to society and protect our planet.

When you walk into the EC, you instantly feel a vibrant motility from our atmosphere. That vibrancy is attributed to the plants distributed throughout the office, the chipper-ness of the students and staff, and the sunbeams filtering through the neon cube-people I painted on the windows. The energy is always undeniably positive in this space.

Every person that works or volunteers in the EC is passionate and caring. This is not an overstatement. I have yet to meet anyone here who doesn’t possess a genuine eagerness to help the world. We are a diverse team culminating together to bring social and environmental change. Some of us are gardeners. Some are advocates for real and healthy food. Some are energy-savers. Some are recyclers. And some are artists.

I have recently come to the realization that I want to use art to fight for what’s right. I have the ability to convey important messages through imagery, and with that comes a huge responsibility. Through the EC I am learning what it takes to become a thoughtful, environmentally-conscious citizen, and I am relaying those teachings to others. Although my part as a designer here is small, the action is large in scope.

Last semester, I worked on branding the 15th Annual Reel Film Experience and the EC’s 25th Birthday Celebration. I had never branded an event that huge before – it was attended by hundreds of people. The big, green and black Reel collateral I had fussed with for months were suddenly strewn about all over the town in the forms of posters, advertisements and digital media icons; I was elated.

Towards the end of the semester, I decided to hop off the computer and get my hands on some paint. In response to the situation at Standing Rock, I decided to paint people of all different “colors” uniting together in a body of water on the EC windows. From the outside looking in, you are faced with the question, “What do you stand for?” The EC community doesn’t stand for injustice or the destruction of Earth’s valuable resources, and I’m grateful to have been chosen to reflect that in a public space.

This semester, there are a few upcoming events requiring inspiring posters/promotional materials from me. I am also excited to say that the EC may be in the works of getting a “brand rejuvenation”. I can’t divulge any more information, but I can promise that our organization will only continue to grow stronger and more prevalent in the eyes of our community.

There you have it. I am just an ordinary person trying enrich the community and protect the environment in the ways I am able. And you have this ability, too. As Jane Goodall once said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

A Hidden Gem of Fort Lewis College

By Kelkiyana Yazzie, Real Food Challenge Team

I would probably not have been involved with the Environmental Center if it wasn’t for a friend who told me about it during my first semester at FLC. (Thank you Adam! It amazes me now how many, but not a ton of people, utilize the EC and the amazing opportunities and experiences it offers.

I am a quiet and introverted person, so it was challenging for me to finally walk into the EC and start getting involved.
It turned out to not be as difficult as I thought it would be because Rachel and Alex, a former EC Assistant Coordinator, welcomed me with open arms.

I started out on the Zero Waste Team where I assisted fellow team members with grant writing and educational outreach activities promoting recycling in the residence halls. Our team worked hard to receive grant funding for recycling bins to be placed in every residence hall room on campus.
It was awesome to be part of a team dynamic that worked so well to where we won an award from the FLC Leadership Center for a project that effectively impacted the campus community.

I will never forget my first year at the EC because it positively impacted me so significantly that I started my own projects back home on the Navajo reservation. I helped write a grant to receive funding for a small recycling station at my local chapter house. I also co-founded an annual trash pickup day in my community that will go on its 4th year next summer.

During my third semester with the EC, I decided to try something new and joined the Real Food Challenge Team which I am still a part of today. At the EC, you don’t have to worry about doing something different because there are people there to help you fit in and make you feel comfortable and a valuable asset to a project and team.

The EC and its staff are truly one of the many gems that can be found on campus. I have never felt more welcome anywhere else at FLC due to the strong community based work environment that can be found here.

I have met many wonderful people whether they be student employees/volunteers, FLC faculty and staff, and members of the Durango community. I cherish the friends and connections I have made the past few years working in the EC. It’s nice to know that we are all fighting the same fight.

I always enjoy seeing many new faces at the EC each semester and hope the number of participants in EC projects and events grow. I am sure the EC will change their lives in a good way like it did for me.

I graduate in a few weeks and the EX will be one of the biggest things I will miss about my college experience. However, I am excited to join the EC alumni as an environmental leader in my community and the world.

Thank you for everything Fort Lewis College Environmental Center!

Liberal Arts and Society: Goals, Outcomes, and Obligations

By Mack Carter, EC Energy Impact Team

What is a liberal arts education? Fort Lewis College is one of less than 40 public liberal arts colleges in the United States, but how well do we represent what a liberal arts college is? These are very important questions that need answers in the coming weeks as FLC’s mission and core values are redefined. The proposed mission statement as of 26 October aims for a “liberal education,” as opposed to a “liberal arts education.” The importance of our mission statement and core values may not be apparent at first, but they are the guiding documents for every policy made by the college. They determine what classes are offered or required, how much funding departments get, which student organizations get priority, and so many more things that are integral to the lives of FLC students.

A liberal arts education is loosely defined as a liberal education that grounds itself in the arts and humanities. The goal of this style of education is to contextualize graduates’ knowledge of their specific focus, or major, with a better understanding of the world at large. Specifically, it does this by starting students in subjects like English, history, or philosophy. What purpose does this serve exactly? Apart from providing an excellent proving ground to help college students develop their written communication skills, it educates students about the human experience, about culture, about what our society values, and how we determine what is right and what is wrong. It enables academic success, but more importantly it prepares graduates to think critically about society and about their everyday lives.

The outcome of a liberal arts education is not just a well-rounded, holistically-educated person who can apply their academic knowledge and skills to any situation. That’s the outcome of a liberal education. Graduates from liberal arts colleges, while also having a broad base of knowledge, have been trained in the vague yet absolutely necessary art of examining humanity in terms of the intangibles: our values, our desires, our culture, our ethics. These intangibles are what set humans apart from all other animals on earth. We strive not just for survival and the propagation of our gene pool, but we seek self-actualization, we seek a greater good, we seek something more. Liberal arts graduates know this and are willing to engage with the concept at every level of human life and society. As Plato put it in The Republic, “The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.”

Finally, since this is after all a blog for the Environmental Center, let’s talk about the obligations bestowed upon us by a liberal arts education. Since we have the privilege to learn about society from a new perspective, it is our duty to use that knowledge and skill set to help improve society. (For the inherently self-interested core in every human’s 10-million-year-old lizard brain: a better society for everyone else is a better society for you, too.)

Anyone who even briefly studies environmental science from an objective perspective can tell you that the human race is not in a good position. Most research scientists agree that not only is the planet’s climate moving in a direction not compatible with the world’s current state of affairs, but eventually human life won’t even be viable. And again, the scientific consensus is that climate change is largely caused by humans. Our society is constructed in a way that encourages people to focus solely on human achievement rather than appreciating our achievements in context– that we live on a planet with limited resources that fortunately meets the biological and environmental parameters necessary for human life. We may be achieving more than ever before, but we’re doing so by using our natural resources in an unsustainable manner.

People who ignore those facts don’t change anything. All they’re doing is signaling to others that there’s something they value more than the survival of the human race. FLC students, with the knowledge and skills provided by a liberal arts education, can impact our society in meaningful ways. So shouldn’t we be doing something about it? Shouldn’t you be doing something about it?

My Letter of Hope

On a cold night in late December last year, I was snuggled up on my couch and catching up on the news.  I saw a headline that a freak weather system had caused the North Pole to reach a temperature of 40 degrees, 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

I froze (no pun intended).  It was warmer on the North Pole than even here in Colorado.  Unbelievable … In one article a climate scientist said that if there was ever a call for action to do something about climate change, this was it.

I agreed wholeheartedly.  But what?  I couldn’t sleep that night.  The restlessness came from concern for the future of my 4-year-old son.  I often read him colorful books about animals from around the world – he loves learning about those animals.  Sometimes I read him those stories with a lump in my heart, wondering if many of them would exist very much longer with conditions changing so quickly.

So in the middle of that cold, dark night, I felt the one immediate thing I could do was write to my representatives in Congress.  I had time on my hands, my favorite pen and a yellow legal pad.  I started writing straight from the heart and straight from my fears.  Almost as an after thought I wrote one to President Obama, too.  Why not ‘eh?

I got canned responses via email and snail mail from the representatives.  Months went by.  Then just last Tuesday I was about to walk into my house when I noticed a large envelope at my doorstep.  The return address said “The White House”.  I wondered if it was some kind of joke.

Inside the envelope was a short letter and someone had scribbled a signature at the bottom.  “I can’t even tell who this is from,” I thought!  Then I looked, and stared, and looked again, and stared again, “Holy socks on a rooster! This is a personal letter from the President!”  It was signed in real ink, and he made references to my original letter.

The thought that my chicken scratch on a piece of yellow legal pad paper had made it to the desk of the President brought me to tears.  Somebody was listening … And not just anybody, the President of the United States was listening!  Maybe Democracy works!  Maybe there is some hope for climate change and all the challenges we face.

You can bet I will be framing that letter.  I certainly can’t stop taking action now.

Best,

Deb Moses

(EC Coordinator Note: Deb is an avid Environmental Center Supporter, FLC staff member, musician, mother, and overall exceptional human!)letter of hope

Bananas for Apples

Hello world!

My name is Kaidee Akullo, and I am a freshman and proud member of the Real Food Challenge Team!

In my first few weeks with the Environmental Center family I have been able to connect with and relate to someone in each team. This alone has shown me that being part of the EC will provide me with a community like no other.

I am looking forward to becoming environmentally conscious, knowledgeable and well-rounded through my interactions with individuals, communities and organizations through the EC. I recently had my first outreach experience, and I just finished working on a short film for our Vote Real campaign.

My first experience tabling with the EC has been completed and was a success! This year at the Durango Apple Days festival the EC had a table where the Local Food Security Team paired with Cream Bean Berry to make apple ice cream flavors.

I was able to help serve enough scoops of Almond Milk Apple and Apple Pie flavored ice cream to bring in $500 to the EC. At the festival we educated the public about the events the EC puts on and how we are impacting the Fort Lewis community.

My next tabling event was more specific to my team. The Real Food Challenge team went out chatting with and educating people in preparation for our Vote Real event that opened on October 10.  I will table next at the Wellness Fair on October 12.

Vote Real was a huge success last year as we were able to permanently shift 240 pounds of local pesticide-free potatoes into the Sodexo dining plan. This means that the Real Food Challenge percentage has increased 1.3%, and the potato purchasing is contributing $11,000 to the local economy!

To keep the momentum going we are excited to be implementing new marketing techniques. Coming soon is a Vote Real video and Snapchat updates about who we are and what we do. I am personally super excited about the little movie because it is my first one! Our team will soon be official directors and filmmakers with new videos for each campaign season.

I am super excited for the Wellness Fair as it speaks to my background and curiosity about wellness and food. At the fair I will be able to present and discover how sustainability and real foods are associated with wellness.

This issue is one I feel the constant need to share and discuss becuase it relates to the health of our society. The correlation between wellness and eating right is uncanny. Even on a simple level when one eats in a balanced way they feel well and are able to be productive. This productivity leads to development of the whole community.

Real food guidelines are intertwined with the idea of starting from the bottom in order to benefit societal success because humane, ecologically sound, fair, and organic foods help us scientifically and socially grow.

To be able to incorporate real food with wellness is an awesome way for me to bring existing knowledge forward to shape future learning.

Happy learning and growing!

Kaidee

Kaidee Akullo (Left) and RFC Team member, Louie West (Right) scooping up Cream Bean Berry at Apple Days!

Kaidee Akullo (Left) and RFC Team member, Louie West (Right) scooping up Cream Bean Berry at Apple Days!

Sunnyside Meats: The Sunnier Side of Meat Processing

By Zack Bukovich, Environmental Center Local Food Fellow

Sunnyside meat

Working as a Local Food Fellow for the Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity of getting up close and personal with many of La Plata County’s diverse and successful producers.  This summer alone I have had the pleasure of walking the long rows of Mike Nolan’s Mountain Roots Farm, touring the various garden plots beneath the dueling buttes at Twin Buttes Farm; and I have even been towed around in an old wagon by none other than Dave James himself as I received a detailed, behind the scenes look at the practices that make James Ranch successful and sustainable.

This week however, marked a shift in my escapades into the country.  This time I exchanged the sunshine and cool breeze for fluorescent lights and air conditioning, my ragged work clothes for a long white smock and a hairnet, for this week I visited Sunnyside Meats.  Though it may sound like an unappealing change, my visit to Sunnyside Meats had been long anticipated.  For good reason of course; Sunnyside is an essential piece to the local food puzzle here in La Plata County.  Having a USDA certified meat processing facility has made small-scale meat production affordable and reasonable for ranchers in the area.  Without it, most ranchers and farmers would have to drive the 200 miles to Monticello, Utah to get their livestock processed.  For some farmers who harvest their livestock weekly during the high season, this would severely cut into their profit margin, making it nearly impossible to sustain their farming practices.

This lack of locality was, as owner Holly Zinc relayed to us, severely harming the farmers in the area, and many began to consider dropping the occupation altogether. As a longtime supporter of local agriculture, Holly’s father recognized this problem and began working towards a solution.  Being the engineer and innovator that he was, Holly’s father made the decision to invest his time and effort locally, where he worked to design Sunnyside Meats.  And coincidently enough, as time went on, Holly began to take an interest in the business.  After attending CU Boulder, working in the meat department of a local Boulder grocery store and auditing the meat sciences program at Colorado State, Holly herself had developed an interest, as well as the skills and knowledge to take over and develop Sunnyside.  Eventually, in a mutual agreement between father and daughter, Holly took over the business where she still stands today.

This was the introduction Paula, my fellow Local Food Fellow, and myself were given when we sat down at Holly’s desk to learn the preliminaries before setting out on the tour.  After this debriefing, we were taken out to where it all begins, the ‘drop off’.  Here the livestock are dropped off and shuttled into the corrals that eventually lead to the killing floor.  These corrals, however, are not your average corrals, for they have been specifically engineered and designed by Holly’s father to operate cleanly and efficiently, while also providing comfort and ease of access for the livestock.  The corrals are lined with water that flows out of thick pipes as drinking water for the livestock, and the doors of the corrals are designed to mimic that of a revolving door so that one can control the direction of the livestock by revolving the door instead of using harmful methods of shocking and prodding.  Along with this, there is plenty of room for the livestock to move around, for Sunnyside makes a point of not crowding the corrals.

After moving through the drop off, we were brought to the heart of the action, the ‘killing floor’.  Now, I will say that this room is the most difficult to enter if one is squeamish…There are carcasses being skinned, organ meats being examined and of course this is where the livestock are slaughtered.  However, despite this, the room is exceptionally clean and surprisingly free of unpleasant odors. There are three to four workers in this room, three of whom rotate between slaughtering, skinning and processing the meat, while another, the USDA certified inspector, inspects the meats to ensure that they are free from any abnormalities or diseases.  Coincidently enough, while we watching these workers hurrying this way and that, clad in their long white frock coats, a cow was lead into the room to be slaughtered.

Now, I will admit that upon entering the facility, I was a little wary about seeing a slaughtering.  However, once I was on the killing floor, learning the stages and processes behind harvesting livestock I thought; why should I turn my head from such a crucial step in the process?  If I am going to eat meat and gain a full understanding of our local food system, I might as well face the reality of the process, no matter how gory.  So I did, and to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I had made it out to be.  The actual slaughtering is very quick, and for the most part, painless for the animal.  It all begins with bringing the animal in to a closed coral so the butcher can get close enough to stun the animal accurately and precisely-to ensure that the animal feels no pain.  The stun gun when placed correctly, quickly inserts a rod into the brain of the animal, rendering it in insensible.  When this happens, the animal immediately loses all sense of feeling and cognitive ability, and therefore loses control of its limbs.  It drops down to the ground and the butcher quickly ties up its ankles up to a big chain that hoists the animal off the ground to be weighed and transported.  The animal is then placed over a trash bin where it is quickly cut and bled out.  At this point, the slaughtering of the animal is complete, and it is moved down the line to be further processed.  Like I said, it is a rather quick process, the entirety of it lasting between five and ten minutes.

Following the slaughter, we were led into the ‘aging cooler’.  Which is exactly that, it is a giant refrigerated room, where the processed carcasses are hung to properly age.  This enhances the quality and taste of the meat, and makes for a pretty scary place to play hide and seek!  When in the room, one has to almost shoulder between the rows of carcasses, needless to say, I was very glad that I was wearing my hairnet and long white frock coat.  After the aging cooler, we were taken to the final stages of processing, where the body of the animal is fabricated or cut into primal (major) or subprimal (minor) cuts for variability[1] (think short ribs, rib eye, flank steak, etc.) and then packaged.  In these varying rooms, they have multiple butchers working on the various cuts, distributing them into different bins that eventually work their way into the ‘packaging section’.

We looked only briefly into the packaging section, however we were able to take a good look at Sunnyside’s state of the art packaging machine.  This packaging machine efficiently packages a good portion of Sunnyside’s cuts into air sealed plastic packaging that allows the customer to actually see the product they are buying, instead of it being hidden behind layers of paper wrap.   This viewing of the packaging machine concluded our tour and our in depth view into the processes behind meat processing.

Thinking it over, processing meat is a dirty profession.  But like all professions, someone has to do it.  And as a citizen who values responsible practices that promote the welfare of the environment, the community and sentient beings, I could not choose a better organization than Sunnyside Meats to do the dirty work of feeding our local community.

[1] “meat processing”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 15 Aug. 2016

Spring Break, Grand Canyon Trust Style

by Mike Chizhov, Volunteer Program Associate, Grand Canyon Trust

We pull our convoy of vehicles onto the side of the farm plot, our truck bed full of shovels, gloves, and water. “Today, we dig ditch,” Alicia, one of the Arizona FoodCorps members working in Tuba City, Arizona, explains as she lays out the workday. Classic rock blares from a small portable speaker, and we get to digging.

The sun beats down on us as we slowly but diligently dig three feet deep along the 300 feet of irrigation ditch, moving over 10,000 pounds of sand and soil in the process. Many farmers only irrigate twice per year, so it is essential that these ditches are clear when they do. Last year, this ditch alone took one committed farmer over two months to clear out.

Conserving communities and landscapes

This isn’t your average spring break trip, and these aren’t your average students. This March, volunteers from Fort Lewis College and Western State Colorado University spent their spring break away from beach umbrellas and volleyball games, and instead dedicated their time to restoring springs on the Vermillion Cliffs, supporting sustainable businesses and energy development on tribal lands, and preserving traditional farming methods.


Fort Lewis College Students digging irrigation ditch

Above: Students from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO spent their spring break installing solar panels on a home in Hopi and helped support traditional farming methods around Tuba City, Arizona.

Western State Colorado University students

Above: Students from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO worked on restoring springs, removing invasive species, and transplanting native plants in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.


Each year, young people contribute over 10,000 hours of volunteer work at the Trust on projects that have significant impacts on the social and ecological landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. Students contribute to research, support communities most affected by climate change, and help address the varied legacies of unsustainable development that linger on the plateau.

Learning through service and action

After we finish digging the ditch, we meet up with Leonard Selestewa just downhill of Tuba City, to clear his fields of last year’s corn stalks. Leonard is a traditional Hopi farmer living in Moencopi village, and as we leave his mother’s house, he jokes, “Don’t forget to turn off the light on your way out.” The house has never had electricity. He is doubtful that it ever will.

After we finish helping prepare his plots for planting, Leonard takes us around the property, talking about the variable flows in Moencopi Wash as a result of Peabody Coal drawing down the aquifer to slurry coal–coal that provides electricity to Southwestern cities outside of tribal lands. During one violent flood, the lower half of his mother’s property was covered with silt and water. The pick-up truck sticking out of the ground and the water marks six feet up the shed walls stand as proof of the event.

Peabody Coal has recently declared bankruptcy. So we ask, what will the legacy of coal be on the landscapes and people it has impacted? How can we act now to support those most affected by unsustainable energy production? How can we work towards a future where wildlife can migrate, flourish, and support the vital ecosystems which in turn support us?

If we are to respect the fierce urgency that these issues demand of us, these questions cannot be rhetorical.

One project, huge impact

To the 19 students that joined us on the farms, near the springs, in the washes and mesas of the Colorado Plateau, these questions are founded in real experience and knowledge of consequences.  They have learned how watersheds unite us. They have seen how water pumped to slurry coal through the Navajo Nation may dry up vital springs and severely limit the water supply of dry-land farmers, like Leonard, downstream.

Audre Lorde said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Our amazing volunteers contributed to one project, but their impact reaches much further than a single farmer who can now plant in time for the rains or the antelope that can now continue migrating because of water in the springs. By helping to sustain ecosystems and cultures, these atypical springbreakers participated in a movement that deeply needs and appreciates their contributions.

Join us!

Join us on a volunteer trip and help us protect and restore the Colorado Plateau! We still have space available for trips this summer and fall. If you are interested in organizing a group trip with us, please apply! Applications are being accepted through September 30, 2016 for the 2017 season.

Crickets for Lunch

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cricketThis is my first semester working for the Environmental Center. I always enjoyed volunteering for the EC, so I knew I would like getting more involved. On the Local Food Team our initiative is to enhance La Plata County’s local food system to ensure that everyone has access to local, healthy foods, and one of our missions was to create ways to get other students involved as well. My teammates came up with some really great ideas, and although I had some thoughts, I wasn’t sure if I should go with them. Eventually I presented my ideas. With open arms, my team encouraged me and Crickets for Lunch was born.

I did a ton of research to make sure that feeding my peers crickets was a good thing to do. That’s when I was introduced to the world of entomophagy. I learned the many benefits of eating bugs, and the many wild ways you can enjoy them. Although I became comfortable with including bugs in my diet, I wasn’t sure if everyone else would be as ready to crunch on crickets. All I could do was present my research and hope that my peers were able to see the benefits and look past the stigma.

With butterflies in my stomach, I displayed what I had worked diligently on. In the middle of the Student Union, it didn’t take much time to gather a crowd. People were shocked to see the treats I was offering- chocolate covered crickets and fried garlic chili crickets. In the most normal way I could attempt, I proposed they try one. My fears of rejection and abundance of leftover crickets were squashed! Shock turned into excitement as people were thrilled to try their first cricket. Since the idea of eating a bug when they didn’t have to see its details was easier to swallow, the chocolate covered crickets were a big hit.

I felt revitalized. The encouragement and support from the Environmental Center gave me the spirit to accomplish what I set out to do. It was awesome seeing my ideas flourish in reality. Working at the EC has been amazing, and I love seeing the incredible things that get generated there by determined students and staff. I also loved getting a first-hand look at how accepting and willing to try new things the scholars at Fort Lewis are. A fire has kindled within me, and I’m excited for all of the future opportunities I have to collaborate, create, and get people involved.

The Environmental Center has given me the tools and training to make changes in the community. I’m always excited to learn more and work on projects that better La Plata county and further. It’s because of programs exactly like the Environmental Center that I chose to attend Fort Lewis. The community at the EC reassures me that I’ve made a great decision. I’ve never felt so involved at school and I can’t wait to see what more we can accomplish.

Paula Pletnikoff
Local Food Team

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

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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

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“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.

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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