Major: Sociology/Human Services
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Fort Lewis College has a passion for sustainability. From the time I took my first tour of Fort Lewis, more than four years ago, I have been impressed by how much students and teachers care about sustainability. I was lucky enough to qualify for a work-study position so I immediately went to the Environmental Center and applied for a job. I was so happy to get a position on the local food team where I got to both learn about the local food movement in Durango and do my part to promote local food.
The Environmental Center has two full-time paid professional coordinators and the rest is done by work study students and volunteers. The projects we do at the Environmental Center are totally student-driven. For example, when I was a sophomore, there was a group of students that wanted to get more local food into the dining hall. We are now a part of the Real Food Challenge. Our goal is to shift to buying 20% of the food in the dining hall locally and we’ve made great progress so far.
As a junior, I was able to work as the campus garden coordinator. What an amazing opportunity it was to plan and work the garden on campus for one season. There are so many small farms around Durango and it was great to get to know and work with these local farmers. We gave away the food that was grown in the campus garden. A large portion went to the on-campus student food bank called the Grub Hub, which was started by the Sociology Club on campus. We also gave a bunch of food to the Cooking Matters program that helps low income families learn to cook simple healthy meals.
This year a group of students at Environmental Center were successful in getting recycling bins into each of the rooms on campus. My favorite event that the Environmental Center puts on is the February Food Retreat. One hundred and seventy five students and community members participated in the event that resulted in the creation of a new Farmer Cooperative Association and a food distribution hub. We also serve a delicious totally locally sourced meal at the event.
To be able to practice my passion for sustainability through Fort Lewis and get connected with the people in this amazing community of Durango has been a major highlight of my college experience. If working towards a more sustainable future is a passion of yours then you will fit in at Fort Lewis. Not only will you be able to learn more about the issues we are facing, but you will be able to work with friends on making Fort Lewis and Durango a better place.