Center for Sustainable Communities
June 23, 2014
Luther receives $1,000 grant to improve recycling in Brandt Hall

  The Center for Sustainable Communities
has received a $1,000 grant from the Winneshiek County Area Solid Waste Agency. This money will be used, in combination with funds from the Luther College Sustainability Grant Fund, to purchase personal recycling bins for all rooms in Brandt Hall next fall. 
The Brandt recycling project stemmed from a student project started in an Environmental Studies Senior Seminar last year. Over a period of ten months, the program is estimated to divert approximately 3,722 pounds of materials from the landfill. If successful, the program will likely be implemented in other Residence Halls on campus.
To find out more, visit our What's Currently Happening blog.
Luther hosts public Renewable Energy Tour
On June 21, Luther hosted a public tour of its renewable energy facilities as part of the 'Solar Works for Iowa' campaign. A group of 43 interested people met at the Farmer's market mid-Saturday morning, and were able to visit Luther's 280-kilowatt solar array off of Pole Line Road and the 1,600-kilowatt wind turbine. 
The tour was led by Religion Professor and Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities Jim Martin-Schramm and Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities Stratis Giannakouros. Both spoke on Luther's greenhouse gas reduction goals and plans, and the importance of using renewable energy on a personal scale. 
Look below for more of Martin-Schramm's thoughts on solar energy in Iowa. 
Pictured: Giannakourous (left) at the solar array. 
Op-Ed: Martin-Schramm on Solar Energy Systems
In his recent op-ed piece, published in both Decorah Newspapers and the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities Jim Martin-Schramm outlines the 'Great reasons to invest in solar' in Iowa.
The state of Iowa has already proved to be a leader in wind energy, and Martin-Schramm believes that the next several years will provide a rare opportunity for Iowans to harness solar power at an affordable price. Recent changes in Iowa's Solar Energy System Tax Credit program make solar energy systems more affordable for home and business owners: "The Iowa Solar Energy System Tax Credit program is linked to two federal tax credit programs. When used together, these tax credits can almost cut in half the cost of a solar hot-water heating or solar photovoltaic-electric system," Martin-Schramm said.

Read Martin-Schramm's full op-ed piece here.
Squash Planting at the Solar Field
Photo courtesy of Maria de Silva
Tessa Kraus ('16), George Mapaya ('16), and Halefom Gebremedhin ('16) (L-R) plant Red October squash in the Solar Field. 
In early June, the Luther Gardens Crew planted nine mounds of Red October squash in the Solar Field along Pole Line Road. This is in addition to the many mounds of Blue Ballet, Blue Hubbard, Red Kuri, Delicata, and Butternut squash that were planted on the farm earlier in the season. 
Planting in the Solar Field is a trial, and if it goes well, the Gardens Crew might expand the plot in the coming years. Facilities helped to till the small section used this year. 
To see more photos, you can visit the Photo Bureau's Flickr site. 
Feature: Summer Sustainability Interns, part one of three
Every summer, several Sustainability interns work hard on campus and in the Decorah community. Here, in their own words, is what they're up to: 

Chrisann Zuerner, Greening Churches:
"We're working with the food pantry and harvesting vegetables for them, and assisting with the Caf to Community program. We will also be working with Decorah area churches to help them understand and reduce their impact on the environment." 
Sarah Forsythe, Urban Agriculture:
"This summer I am working with Jeff Scott who runs Driftless Gardens. My job entails teaching 7-10 year olds at the Community Gardens, working with professors who signed up for installing an edible garden at their homes, learning more about landscaping in a city setting, and working the Farmer's Market on Saturdays selling plants. During this internship I am learning more about the difficulties and rewards of implementing edible landscaping in cities while also learning more about perennial beds and their upkeep."
Kaitlin Lower, Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative:
"Some of the things that I will be doing within my internship position are: attending Iowa County Fairs to help advocate The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, and I have also been working with the bike blender and will be bringing that to the fairs as well. I am helping organize and run active living tots camps, I am working with Sunflower Daycare and helping with their garden, researching foods and recipes for Farm to Preschool lessons for this upcoming school year."
Lauren Mordini, Discovery Camp Teaching Assistant:
 Each week at Discovery Camp have different campers with different activities and instructors. The main focus of most of the camps involve environmental science and lots of nature. This job combines two of my favorite things: kids and nature. We are fortunate enough to have all these amazing places in and around Decorah that we are able to visit and explore, and are outside all day long rain or shine."
Check back in July and August to hear from even more summer interns!
This Week at the Edible Landscape
There are two Edible Landscapes on Luther's campus, one is located next to Valder's Hall of Science, and the other is behind Ylvisaker Residence Hall. Both are open to the public all summer long! Head to campus every week to see what is ready to eat.

Fresh this week: 
Mixed Greens -- There are still TONS of mixed greens available, especially lettuce! Grab a scissors and harvest what cut off what you'd like, leaving about an inch so that the plant will regrow.
Herbs -- Basil, parsley, and dill, oh my! There are lots of different herbs ready for the picking. Take a scissors and help yourself!
Sustainability Tip
Unplug! Leaving your electronics plugged into the socket, even if they are turned off, uses energy. This is called 'ghost energy' or 'phantom load' and can cost over $100 per year. Simply unplug electronics if you're not using them, or use a surge protector/power strip and turn the entire thing when not in use. 
This newsletter is provided by the Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates all sustainability initiatives at Luther College.  The mission of the Center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region.  For more information on sustainability initiatives at Luther and the outreach work of the Center for Sustainable Communities, please visit:
Upcoming Events

To register for these classes and more, either click the links provided or visit Luther Sustainability's website. 
Student Spotlight
Margaret Yapp '15

 Yapp is a major in English and Religion, from Iowa City, Iowa. This summer, she is working full time for Sustainability as the Sustainable Foods Intern and on the Gardens Crew. Yapp will be helping with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Reimbursement Program for faculty and staff, assisting at Food Education classes, and writing things like this very newsletter! 
 Americorps position with FFI, Luther 
The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative (FFI) in partnership with Luther College, are now accepting applications for the anticipated 2014-15 Americorps positions. Read more

Americorps position - Farm to School Program in Winnebago County:
re:TH!NK, a healthy living coalition and program of the Winnebago County Health Department is seeking candidates to fill a full-time AmeriCorps Farm to School position.  The AmeriCorps member will work with school districts in Winnebago County to expand the purchase of local seasonal foods in school meal programs, and provide student education about healthy foods and school gardens. Read more
Manager - Foodshed Field School
Future Harvest CASA seeks a full-time, energetic, self-motivated, highly organized, and visionary manager to operate its new Foodshed Field School.
Read more
Americorps position - Farm to School program at Rock County Farm
UW-Extension and the Rock County Farm to School Coalition is looking for two part-time AmeriCorps Farm to School members for the 2014-2015 school year to help increase food security and create a happier, healthier community in Rock County. Read more
General Manager - Mad River Food Hub
Mad River Food Hub seeks a General Manager to assume overall responsibility for the management of a 4,000 square foot shared-use, USDA, and State of Vermont inspected food processing and incubator facility.
Read more
Wild Gift Grant & Fellowship
Wild Gift's 16-month Fellowship provides mentoring, seed funding up to $10,000, networking, and other related services to lift the Fellows' ventures off the ground. Read more
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