Center for Sustainable Communities
November 10, 2014
Natural Areas feature: Hickory Ridge Woods
Walk from Luther's Sampson Hoffland Laboratories, cross College Drive, and take a stroll through Anderson prairie to get to Hickory Ridge Woods. Hickory Ridge Woods is dominated by large oak and hickory trees in the canopy, with a variety of other species like sugar maple, walnut, ironwood, and basswood also being common. There is a 1 mile loop trail through Hickory Ridge Woods for a quick hike through the woods, or the trail is also the beginning of the five mile loop trail through Luther's natural areas for a longer excursion. Hickory Ridge Woods is a great place to get out for a hike  because of its close proximity to Luther's main campus. During the spring, a variety of spring ephemeral wildflowers can be seen along the Hickory Ridge Woods trail (Hepatica, spring beauties, bloodroot), as well as other interesting plants like mayapple, jack-in-the-pulpit, and wild ginger. Hickory Ridge Woods has been the location of a number of Buckthorn Blitz's by Luther students to help in reducing the number of invasive species present in the woods.
Sustainability staff and students present at AASHE conference in Portland, OR
From October 26th-29th, over 2000 sustainability staff, faculty, administrators and students attended and presented at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) annual conference in Portland, Oregon. Center for Sustainable Communities Director Jon Jensen lead two sessions, entitled "Campuses as Leaders and Partners in Comprehensive Food System Change" and "Teaching Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences." Sustainable Foods Educator, Maren Stumme-Diers presented "Using Health Care Funds to Support Employee CSAs and Food Education." Students Emily Dufford and Allison Bansen presented posters communicating sustainability and the Caf to Community Program. To read more about AASHE and the organization's work, visit the website.
J-term and spring courses for Environmental Studies, sustainability released
Registration for J-term and spring semester is right around the corner! Students interested in the environment, social issues and sustainability should consult the Environmental Studies course offerings available online. Some of the on-campus class offerings include:

  • ENVS 185: Society and the Sixth Mass Extinction 
  • ENVS 185: Sustainable Cities? 
  • INTS 302: Hot or Not? The Challenge of Global Climate Change

Spring semester:

  • BIO 250:Restoration and Conservation Biology
  • ENVS 239:Chinese Environmental History

  • ANTH 339 Consumerism and Sustainability: An Anthropological Perspective

For complete course listings and more information on major/minor options, visit the Environmental Studies website.
Week of Action to support the EPA's Clean Power Plan

The Iowa Interfaith Power and Light is a member of the RE-AMP network, a collaboration of over 150 organizations in an eight-state region in the Midwest. The network is organizing a Week of Action November 17-21 to support the EPA's Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and they need our help.Congregations and individuals are being asked to take a photo of individuals or groups taking action on climate. These photos can be as simple as an individual selfie with a homemade sign, or as complicated as a staged congregational photo by their solar array, recycling center, or other climate related project. Spread the word and share your photos via social media, and send to for a chance to be featured in the next Sustainability newsletter! Please use the hashtags #ActOnClimate, #FaithAndClimate, #Midwest, #Iowa.  

Sustainability Tip
As colder weather is rapidly coming, make sure to maximize energy efficiency in your home, office, or dorm room! Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows. Also use locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant. Students: having issues with your windows or heater? Fill out a Fix-it form so maintenance can come figure out the problem and make repairs! Find the Fix-it form here!   
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
Tuesday, November 11th- ECO Educational Event: "A Resilient Sustainable Future: Decorah in 2050" 
8pm Valders 375
Hosted by the Environmental Concerns Organization, Professor of Social Work  Craig Mosher will be speaking and facilitating conversation about future sustainable communities. Open to students and community members.
Thursday, November 13th- Reclaim Your Holidays workshop 
9:45-10:45am Valders 379
Reclaim your holidays this year by building your celebrations on what is meaningful, memorable and refreshing. This workshop gives practical tips for rethinking and greening your holiday season! Please register online.
Monday, November 17th- Cooking Class: Fall Comfort Food 
noon-1pm Valders 379
With the holidays fast approaching, come learn some new adaptations of classic dishes and new-school approaches to comfort food. Please register online.
Thursday, November 20th- Sustainability Council meeting 
4:15-5:15pm Borlaug Room
The Campus Sustainability Council is coming together for their second meeting this semester to discuss new policies and to hear from different task groups. Members of the campus community are welcome to attend. Learn more
Staff Spotlight
Emily Neal
Director of Outreach

Emily Neal is the  Director of School Outreach.  She has over 18 years of experience teaching people of all ages about integrating concepts of wellness, sustainability and stewardship into their lives. Emily is responsible for supervising FoodCorps and AmeriCorps members that serve in over 18 districts throughout Northeast Iowa. Together, they help districts foster healthy environments for students, staff and the communities they serve. She has a Masters in Science Education and an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, both from the University of Iowa.
Washington State Policy Coordinator-  BlueGreen Alliance 
The BlueGreen Alliance seeks qualified candidates for the new position of Washington State Policy Coordinator in Seattle, Washington. Read More
Sustainability Coordinator- Concordia College (Moorhead) 
Concordia College- Moorhead is looking for Sustainability Coordinator to serve as a key facilitator of sustainability-related activity on campus.  Read More
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