Center for Sustainable Communities
September 14, 2015
null At Luther, we hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to sustainability- in fact, we consider it part of our mission. We recognize that sustainability goes hand in hand with a just, equitable, and prosperous society. We work hard not only to green our campus practices but also to teach students through academic courses and campus life that creating a sustainable society is a responsibility that falls to each of us. As we dive in to the new academic year, we will continue to tackle issues ranging from renewable energy to sustainable food systems to land management, and many more! The Center for Sustainable Communities invites you to engage in these issues with us as we continue to make Luther a more sustainable place and serve as a leader in campus sustainability  nationwide.
Summer Updates
  • In June, faculty and students traveled to Northern China to conduct research on the interaction between economic, social, and environmental interests in the process of urbanization. The team was in China for one month, and the project aimed to offer a case-study of urbanization in the country.
  • At the beginning of the summer, construction began on the installation of 95 kilowatt solar array on the roof of Preus Library, as well as a 736 kW in the form of two ground mounted arrays behind the existing solar field on
    Pole Line Road. The project is estimated to save Luther more than $1 million over the next 25 years, and reduce Luther's overall footprint by five to six
  • Over 100 elementary and middle school students and 23 high schoolers took part in environmental education through Discovery Camps and the Environmental Studies Pre- College Program throughout the summer. Camp themes ranged from "Edible Earth" to "Survival Camp" and focused on the science of the natural environment in this region. 
  • In August, first year students and upperclassmen leaders embarked on New Student Immersion Experiences , exploring the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota, canoeing the Upper Iowa River, biking Northeast Iowa, exploring the local food system, and backpacking the Driftless region.
Edible Gardens open to students and faculty for fall harvesting
The majority of students may have left for the summer break, but  our gardeners stayed on campus to make sure that the Edible Landscapes stayed in top condition! In front of Valders Hall of Science and behind Ylvisaker Hall, the edible landscapes are full of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, chard, herbs, mixed greens and more! Anybody is welcome to take what they would like- just
be sure to close the gate to keep out the critters! Read more about the history and evolution of the Edible Gardens on the Campus and Community Gardens webpage.  
Klean Kanteen giveaway, Buckthorn Blitz introduce first years to sustainability on campus
In the first week and a half of school, first year students have engaged in a variety of events and projects as part of their introduction to sustainability at Luther. The Center for Sustainable Communities sponsored a Klean Kanteen giveaway, where the first 200 students to visit the Sustainability office were given a reusable water bottle. Students were also asked to take a pledge to commit to at least three different ways in which they can be sustainable throughout their time at Luther.

Over the weekend, approximately 100 first year students, Residence Assistants and upperclassmen leaders took to Luther's natural areas to help clear out invasive buckthorn. Not only were students introduced to what the land management and stewardship side of Natural Areas does at Luther, but were given an opportunity to meet new faculty, work with upperclassman, and spend some time outside. This project was initiated as part of the First-Year Service project coordinated with their residence hall floors. Students also spent time volunteering in the Luther Gardens and other on and off campus places. 
Space available for 2016 J-term trips to South Africa, Holden Village, Southwest
Luther's January-term  program offers students the opportunity to have out-of-  classroom experiences in an area of study not necessarily related to their major. Every year, courses are offered in areas related to Environmental Studies and Sustainability; there are still spaces available for the following trips in 2016:
  • Africana Studies 239/Environmental Studies 239: Environmental Justice & Sustainable Development in South Africa
  •  Environmental Studies 239: Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest
  • Biology 140/240: Ecology of the Southwest
There will be an informational meeting Wednesday Sept. 16 at 9 PM in Valders 374 for the  Environmental Studies 239: Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest course. Applications for all J-term trips are due September 21, 2015. For more information or to apply, visit the Center for Global Learning website
Sustainability Tip
Start the year off sustainable! There are many things you can do get your feet off the ground as we start a new academic year. Need some binders, folders and pens? Pick up gently used school supplies from the Supply Reuse Station in Valders 364. Trying to decorate your room on a budget? Search The Depot Outlet and Goodwill in Decorah for some unique finds. Hit up the Oneota Co-op or the Winnishiek  Farmers Market to stock your mini-fridge with fresh and local snacks! 
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
Thursday, September 17th
Gardening Series: Growing Grapes 
9:45-10:45am   Valders 362 
Join David Cavagnaro for a conversation about growing grapes in this region. David has successfully grown grapes at his farm north of Decorah for years and will share some of his best tips and tricks. He will provide recommendations on varieties that do well in your midwestern home garden. Registration is required.  Read more 
Wednesday, September 16th
Informational meeting: J-term in Holden Village, Washington 
9pm   Valders 374
Every considered studying environmental issues in the picturesque Cascade Moutains of the Pacific Northwest? This informational meeting will give an insight to the course offered, itinerary, and costs for January-term 2016.    Read more 
Saturday, September 19th
Shopping Shuttle 
11-12:30am  SOS Office (Union) 
The Shopping Shuttle is taking its second run of the year in to town to Walmart and the downtown Co-op. Students are welcome to ride free of charge. Please register. Read more  
Tuesday, September 22nd
Annual Plant Giveaway 
9:45 - 10:45am (or until supplies run out.)  Valders Greenhouse 
Need some small plants to spruce up your room or office? Luther Grounds is hosting their annual Plant Giveaway, and students, staff and faculty are invited to come pick up some greenery from the greenhouse in front of Valders!
Faculty Spotlight
Jon Jensen
Director, Center for Sustainable Communities

Jon Jensen is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities and a faculty member in Environmental Studies and Philosophy.  He provides oversight to all areas of sustainability at Luther as well as working to expand the Center's outreach to the community and region.   Jensen works to promote sustainability in the curriculum at Luther, in the Midwest, and throughout the country and teaches courses on Environmental Philosophy, Food and the Environment, Environmental Leadership, Sustainable Food Systems and Sustainable Communities.  To read more about Jensen's involvement and research, check out his full bio.
Craft's Farm (Bluffton)  is committed to sustainable agriculture and are seeking part-time help with chores such as feeding sheep and donkeys, barn cleaning, and occasional hay runs. Pay is $12/hour. Read more 
U-Haul Car Share, a nationwide car sharing company, is looking for a student to help market, manage, and grow the car sharing program on Luther's campus. Read more 
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