Center for Sustainable Communities
April 20th, 2015
The Big Tiny House Event to unfold the "tiny home" movement

On Saturday, April 25th, the Center for Sustainable Communities is hosting local tiny house owners and enthusiasts who will share their stories, motivations, and knowledge of the go-tiny movement. Hundreds of people have downsized to homes of 50-400 sq. ft which are more environmentally sensitive and efficient, enable money savings, and maximize time and energy available for friends, family, and their community. The event will begin with an introduction from Luther senior, Jonathon Williams, and continue with presentations from local tiny home owners, and conclude with additional presenters and time for questions.The event will take place from 10am to 12:30pm, starting in Valders Hall of Science Room 206. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the event and presenters, visit the event information page.  

Prescribed burns begin on Luther's prairies

On Saturday, April 11th, the Luther College burn crew began the spring prescribed fire season. Led by Dr. Kirk Larsen and Dr. Molly McNicoll, 20+ student volunteers applied fire to plots throughout Anderson Prairie and near Hickory Ridge Woods. Dr. Larsen and Dr. McNicoll are planning more burns through Aikman Prairie and other parts of Luther's natural areas through the end of the semester.  


Fire has been used in the spring for most of Luther's prairies. Luther's prairie and oak savanna were established in 2005

with the goal of helping reduce soil erosion during flood events and providing recreational and aesthetic benefits to the Decorah community. The burns stimulate the beneficial effects that natural grass fires and grazing has on native prairies. To read more about Luther's prairie initiatives, visit the Luther College Natural Areas webpage.
Energy Scavenger Hunts engage students in campus energy inefficiencies
The Center for Sustainable Communities has started a new series to engage students in issues related to energy inefficiencies on campus. Students are invited to attend weekly Scavenger Hunts on Wednesday nights to identify lights that shouldn't be on, heated areas that are too warm, and other areas where energy efficiency efforts could be pointed at. Students and sustainability staff will take a quick walk around campus and share casual conversation to discuss what they observed. Students who attend two or more scavenger hunts will receive a gift card to Sugar Bowl. This series will continue until May 13th. Interested students should meet in Valders 374. For more information, visit the Energy Scavenger Hunts information page
Discovery Day to bring youth into the natural world

On Saturday, April, April 25th, kids K - 6th grade are invited to spend the morning learning about the wonders of the natural world! Each participant will attend three environmentally focused workshops designed by Luther College Environmental Education Students. Previous Discovery Day activities have included learning about animal adaptations, including camouflage, making natural plant dyes, predator/prey relationships, insect investigations and much more. This event will be held rain or shine! A snack will be provided. For more information and to register, visit the Discovery Day webpage.   

Seniors invited to take the 2015 Graduation Pledge
Graduating seniors are invited to take the following pledge regarding social and environmental responsibility: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work." The pledge was developed at Bentley University and has since has grown into the Graduation Pledge Alliance. More information about the pledge, its history and participating schools can be found at Graduating seniors  interested in signing the pledge can do so by visiting the  Sustainability website.
Environmental Studies Pre-College Program accepting applications for Summer 2015
The Center for Sustainable Communities is  accepting applications for the 2015 Summer Pre-College Environmental Studies Program! The Pre-College Environmental Studies program is a week-long residential program for innovative high school students with a passion for the environment and an interest in creative problem solving. Meet and explore with others in this field-based program, designed to immerse students in a cooperative setting while discovering current environmental and social issues through outdoor-field experience and project-based research. This summer's program takes place from Sunday, July 26th- Saturday, August 1st, 2015. Visit the Environmental Studies Pre-College Program website to learn more and apply.  
Sustainability Tip
With the warm weather that spring brings, choose a more environmentally friendly form of transportation. For longer treks, bikes are available to rent for free through the Bike Share program, and walking is always an option for going shorter distances. Don't forget about Luther's UHaulCarShare program, where you can rent a vehicle for a cost that is based on time and distance traveled.  
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
Wednesday, April 22, 29- Energy Treasure Hunt 
8pm Valders 374
Join Center for Sustainable Communities staff for a tour of campus to identify and learn about energy efficiency in this new weekly series. Read more
Wednesday, April 22- Earth Day Campus Clean Up 
4pm meet outside the Union
Students are invited to celebrate Earth Day with a Campus Clean-up sponsored by Student Senate. Read more
Thursday, April 23, 30th- Luther and Climate Change mini series 
9:45-10:45 Valders 367
The Center for Sustainable Communities is hosting a mini series discussing science, policy, technology, and the economics of climate change. Read more
Thursday, April 23- "Natural Building in Japan" 
4pm Valders 362
Luther graduate Kyle Holzhueter will be giving a presentation on his experience with natural building in Japan with materials such as straw bale and natural plasters. Read more
Saturday, April 25th- Discovery Day 
9am-noon Baker Commons
All kids K - 6th grade are invited to spend the morning learning about the wonders of the natural world! Workshop sessions will be lead by students in the Environmental Education course.  Read more 
Saturday, April 25th- The Big Tiny House Event 
10am-12:30pm Valders 206
The Center for Sustainable Communities is hosting local tiny house owners and enthusiasts who will share their stories, motivations, and knowledge of the go-tiny movement.  Read more
Thursday, April 30th- Gardening Series: How to Make a Bean Tipi 
9:45-10:45 Valders 362
Join David Cavagnaro of the Pepperfield Project as he discusses the ins and outs of bean tipis and works alongside participants to build a bean tipi in one of Luther's edible landscapes. Read more and register  here
Student Spotlight
Travis Houle '15

Travis is a senior Environmental Science major from Edina, Minnesota. Travis serves as a project manager for the Center and is part of the Sustainability Grant Fund Student Review Board. He is currently working on collaborating with the Winneshiek County Recycling Center and depot outlet to recycle move out waste this spring. In the next year Travis will be traveling to China, Turkey, the Balkans, Italy, and Tanzania conducting various independent and 
collaborative research projects related to Environmental Studies, and will serve as a Teachers Assistant for the Earth and the Environment in Italy program. Travis intends to apply to graduate programs in Environmental Studies this coming fall.  
Refugee Global Greens Summer AmeriCorps- Lutheran Services of Iowa 

LSI is seeking  two  Iowa Campus Compact (ICAP) Summer AmeriCorps members to assist in the advancement of the LSI Refugee Global Greens program.   Read More  

Projects Coordinator- Dickinson College

Dickinson College is hiring a Projects Coordinator to join the staff of its Center for Sustainability Education to develop, manage and lead projects related to sustainability on-campus. Read more  

University of Northern Iowa's Local Food Program is looking to hire 4 AmeriCorps VISTA members to assist in developing three new food access/security initiatives. Read more 

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