This year marks the Environmental Center's 25th anniversary. Over this time, our students, staff, volunteers, and community have worked tirelessly to advance environmental responsibility and social justice throughout campus and our region. The fruits of these labors read like a community organizer's dream list: Launch recycling efforts on campus and - ultimately - Durango; halt timber sales on public lands; aid in the completion of a countywide, food-security assessment; draft the FLC Sustainability Action Plan; prompt the erection of the (at the time) greenest building in Durango; brought hope-bearing super stars like Vandana Shiva and David Orr to town; committed FLC to the Real Food Challenge...and on and on.
In many ways, however, the Environmental Center's most powerful work is what comes afterwards, once a student graduates from the EC and launches into the world, taking with them the values that they explored and developed along the way; the inspiration found in experiencing that, yes, they can affect positive change; the vision they hold for creating an authentic and connected community; and, of course, a deep sense of their commitment to be active citizens.
Last week during the Southwest School to Farm Conference, I had the chance to observe this 'delayed' and truly beautiful outcome. During the opening session, I found myself in the company of seven Environmental Center alumni, each of whom was continuing their work to better our world as farmers, food system advocates, and committed members of their community.
The power of these alumni's efforts and stories took my breath away...And I suspect that anyone reading this Digest has a similarly powerful story to tell about how the EC has impacted you and your work to advance a greater world. If you are an EC alumni or someone that has engaged with the EC in a way that has felt significant to you, please tell us your story. We would love to share our collective story with our community as we celebrate 25 years of great work!
Here's to the next 25 Years!
Rachel Landis, Environmental Center Coordinator