Tag: sustainability

From bees to goats to Flex Farm, LU students lead sustainability efforts

Valeria Nunez '22 stands beside the newly installed Flex Farm in Andrew Commons.
Valeria Nunez ’22 helped bring the Flex Farm hydroponic growing system to Lawrence’s Andrew Commons. The first planting is happening this week.

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

It’s been the summer of sustainability on the Lawrence University campus, with students front and center in making change happen.

The goats that have taken up temporary residence in the SLUG garden are just one piece of a much bigger puzzle.

So is the ongoing bee advocacy work that has resulted in Lawrence being certified by the Bee Campus USA program, only the second Wisconsin campus to earn that designation.

Now comes the installation of Lawrence’s first Flex Farm, a hydroponic growing system set up last week by Fork Farms in Andrew Commons. The first planting in the indoor growing container — basil and leaf lettuce — is taking place this week.

The three projects are the very visible fruits of ongoing efforts to make Lawrence a more environmentally friendly campus, efforts that gained momentum when the Sustainable Lawrence initiative was launched two years ago, funded by a grant to transform the campus into a living laboratory of sustainability.

Many of the efforts are student-driven, supported by a Student Sustainability Fund that allows students access to project-based grants, overseen by a Sustainability Steering Committee.

“The goal of Lawrence’s sustainability initiative is to make students, staff and faculty aware of places where they can make more sustainable decisions and then challenge them to then make those decisions in their everyday lives,” said Project Specialist/Sustainability Coordinator Kelsey McCormick, co-chair of the sustainability committee. “It’s encouraging to see students applying their knowledge and challenging Lawrence to rethink its own processes and decisions.”

Floreal Crubaugh '20 holds a goat in the SLUG garden.
Floreal Crubaugh ’20 sought and received funding to bring 10 goats into the SLUG garden this summer to help control troublesome weeds. The goats are here through Friday.

Among those students are Valeria Nunez ’22 and Marion Hermitanio ’21, who secured funding through a sustainability grant to bring the Flex Farm to campus.

Students will operate the year-round Flex Farm, with an assist from Bon Appetit, the company that manages the commons. It’s expected that 50 percent of the foods grown will be served to students and the other half will be donated to a local food pantry. The hydroponic system will produce about 25 pounds of greens in each 23-day cycle.

Nunez and Hermitanio, along with members of the Bon Appetit staff, are getting the initial training on the Flex Farm. When fall term arrives, Nunez and Hermitanio will organize a student volunteer program, in conjunction with the school’s Committee on Community Service and Engagement (CCSE), to run the Flex Farm and coordinate the community outreach.

“We both believe that any changes you can make to be more eco friendly can make a huge difference,” Nunez said of her partnership on the project with Hermitanio.

“We were talking a lot about hunger and how not everyone gets access to fresh, nutritious foods. We saw the Flex Farm as an opportunity to address the food crisis locally by providing these nutritious foods to people in the Appleton area who need it.”

‘It’s a learning curve’

Lawrence students have their fingerprints on all sorts of other sustainability projects this summer.

Floreal Crubaugh ’20 tapped into the Student Sustainability Fund and sought permission from the City of Appleton to bring in goats to help control an overgrowth of weeds in the SLUG garden.

For more on the goats working weed control, see here.

“It’s a learning curve for all of us,” Crubaugh said of using the goats to control the weeds on the east end of the garden. “I’m hoping it’s something we can repeat. Hopefully it won’t get to this point again where it’s so unmanageable. Hopefully, with a combination of just weed mitigation and having this mowed down by goats once in a while we can control it. My end goal is to turn it into a wildflower pollination garden and not just a weed bed.”

Elsewhere in SLUG this summer, Phoebe Eisenbeis ’21 is working on a volunteer program that brings area children into the garden to learn about sustainable agriculture. Amos Egleston ’20 is working with a contractor to fix the drip irrigation system, and Cas Burr ’20 is heading a project to replace the hoop house.

On the bee front, Allegra Taylor ’20 and Claire Zimmerman ’20 are working with biology professor Israel Del Toro on the Appleton Pollinator Project, part of the bee advocacy efforts that recently resulted in Lawrence earning a Bee Campus USA designation from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

For more on Lawrence’s bee advocacy work, see here.

And Jessica Robyns ’20 is taking the lead on a pollinator garden and grounds survey at Lawrence’s Bjorklunden property in Door County.

Students come to these projects with deep passions, McCormick said. The Student Sustainability Fund allows them opportunities to put those passions into action.

“Student projects play an important role in helping Lawrence achieve its sustainability goals,” McCormick said. “These projects are often based on the strong interests or research questions from students, and therefore result in deep exploration of a particular topic.”

Sustainability grants average about $2,500 per project, McCormick said. A faculty or staff advisor is assigned to each project to provide oversight, and all grant requests must go through the Sustainability Steering Committee.

“All sustainability grant recipients are also required to complete a final reflection for their project, to inform the Lawrence community what they have learned from the project and what the lasting effects to campus will be,” McCormick said.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Goats called in for weed control, and, yes, we put a “Goat Cam” on a goat named Blu

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

APPLETON – Goats are busy working the garden. We’ve got the “Goat Cam” footage to prove it.

Ten goats — two Nigerian dwarf goats and eight fainting goats — have settled into the SLUG garden on the Lawrence University campus, and for the next week will continue to devour unwanted thistle and burdock weeds.

The goats — supplied by Steve Anderson of Mount Morris, owner of the newly launched Goat Busters farm — arrived last Tuesday after Lawrence biology major and SLUG garden manager Floreal Crubaugh ’20 put out a call for rented goats.

“I was looking for more sustainable ways to control the weeds than applying herbicides, and more efficient ways than pulling them up manually,” Crubaugh said.

We attached a GoPro camera — our “Goat Cam” — to the back of one of the goats. We let Blu show us the work in progress on a Monday morning in the garden. Be warned: the footage is adorable and may steal a large chunk of your day.

The SLUG (Sustainable Lawrence University Garden), a student-run nonprofit enterprise that uses sustainable agricultural methods to nurture a honeybee apiary, a fruit tree orchard, a vegetable garden and a hoop house, has been a fixture on the Lawrence campus for nearly two decades.

But the use of goats is a first.

Crubaugh went in search of goat rentals after successfully seeking monies through a Lawrence sustainability grant. The thistle and burdock weeds on the east end of the garden had gotten unmanageable, and the student volunteers couldn’t keep up, she said.

“I thought, what if we got some goats in here and they basically do the work for us, all while providing a lot of benefits for the garden, like fertilizer and digesting the seeds?” she said. “It was a really impossible project to take care of as humans, so we turned to goats.”

Lawrence senior Floreal Crubaugh holds one of the goats in the SLUG garden.
Floreal Crubaugh ’20 holds one of the goats in Lawrence’s SLUG garden. Crubaugh, the garden manager, brought in goats to help control troublesome weeds that have overgrown a portion of the student-run garden.

See more photos of the goats in the SLUG garden here.

More on sustainability efforts at Lawrence here.

Crubaugh, Anderson and LU officials first sought permission from the City of Appleton to allow for the goats. They were granted a special exemption for three weeks.

Anderson installed a temporary fence last Monday, then delivered the goats the following day.

“With the university always being progressive and thinking ahead, I think this is going to encourage the city and the county to take goats more seriously,” Anderson said. “Invasive plants are a widespread problem, whether it’s these weeds or buckthorn or whatever the issue is.”

It’s the first time he’s rented out the goats, something he wants to do more of in the future.

Anderson, who initially got the 10 goats this spring to help tackle a growing buckthorn problem on his family’s 30-plus acres in Waushara County, said he hopes to expand his goat herd and eventually connect with cities and counties to help control weed and invasive plant issues in parks and along hiking trails.

“They eat the seeds,” Anderson said of the goats. “That’s one of the biggest advantages of the goats is that they digest the seeds. The birds just spread it. But goats will actually digest it, so there’s no new growth.”

Steve Anderson, operator of Goat Busters, holds one of the goats in the SLUG garden.
Steve Anderson operates Goat Busters out of Mount Morris. He delivered 10 goats to the SLUG garden at Lawrence. They’ll remain in the garden through July 19.

Visitors are welcome to check out the goats and the work going on in the SLUG garden, located at the base of the hill just off of Lawe Street. Most of the goats are fairly shy. But a couple are outwardly social and are happy to greet visitors to the garden.

Crubaugh, who can be found tending the garden most days during the summer, hopes her work in SLUG will set the table for career opportunities in the sustainability field after she graduates.

“This is a good way to get a taste of that,” she said.

The senior from Bloomington, Illinois, had worked with goats while helping relatives who operate a cattle ranch in Montana. She saw the sustainability benefits first hand.

“I’d go out there during my summers as a kid and help bottle feed the orphan goats, and I’d watch the goats just move across the fields like a sundial, just mowing everything down,” she said. “That’s where this idea sort of originated for me.”

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

It’s personal: Earth Day activities raise awareness across campus

An aerial view of the Lawrence campus shows the sustainable gardens.
The Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens (SLUG) are part of the Lawrence campus. The SLUG student organization will take part in Earth Day activities between now and Tuesday.

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Earth Day 2019 arrives on Monday, but Lawrence University students and staff aren’t waiting until then to celebrate the wonders of the Earth and highlight the need for good environmental stewardship.

Lawrence student groups focused on environmental causes, along with the school’s Sustainability Steering Committee, will mark Earth Day with a series of events now through Tuesday.

Highlighting the Earth Day celebration will be a gala from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday on Main Hall green, featuring live music, Frisbee games, plant sales and various student-run booths raising money and sharing information on a variety of environmental issues.

Then on Tuesday, Equal Justice Works Fellow Jacklyn Bryan will present “Water and Wisconsin Tribal Communities: Past, Present and Future” at 7:30 p.m. in Steitz Hall. A member of the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of Owens Valley in California and a 2017 Vermont Law School graduate, Bryan will discuss her work to assist in statewide collaborations to assess and address outside risks to clean water on tribal lands.

Sunday’s gala is being organized by the Lawrence student group Greenfire, in cooperation with other student organizations and the Sustainability Committee.

“All of it will have some sort of relation to sustainability, environmental practices and just getting people outside,” said Alyssa Ayen ’19, co-president of Greenfire, a student environmental group with roots dating back to the early 1990s.

Like many of those involved, Ayen’s interest in environmental advocacy is personal. The environmental science major from Madison watched as urban sprawl began to erode wetlands in her grandparents’ neighborhood in Verona, her favorite childhood hangout.

Wall along Drew Street is painted for Earth Week.
Earth Week signage is courtesy of Greenfire.

“I would spend all of my time outside as a child, playing games, going on hikes and bike rides,” she said. “I enjoyed my childhood so much. But as I got older, I started realizing more and more that Madison, like so many cities, has urban sprawl. There is a ton of development, and I saw it near my grandparents’ house. I think I was probably 13 at the time and I realized it really bothered me a lot.

“I developed almost a relationship with the beings that lived there, the different animals that interacted there, that I saw on a daily basis. It was really hard for me to see that habitat diminished, and I think that’s really where it started for me. I knew I had to go out and make my career about it because it mattered to me so much, to at least be part of a change in mindset that has to happen in order for us to limit more environmental degradation.”

Ayen, who will go to work for the nonprofit advocacy group Impact following graduation, said Greenfire students are focused mostly on environmental justice issues and environmental education.

Eight students from Greenfire attended the Wild Things Conference in Chicago earlier this year, taking in a range of sessions on environmental concerns and initiatives, mostly focused on the Midwest.

“It was a really good learning opportunity,” Ayen said of the biennial conference. “There were a lot of nonprofits there, and organizations such as Sierra Club that are involved in environmental policy.”

Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise the visibility of some of those efforts here on campus.

“The Sustainability Committee really pushed for a bigger Earth Day event, and Greenfire wanted to go that way too,” Ayen said.

Kelsey McCormick, a project specialist at Lawrence and co-chair of the Sustainability Steering Committee, said there was a concerted effort to better organize Earth Day activities this year and set a framework for future endeavors.

Eight Lawrence University students from Greenfire pose for a photo at the Wild Things Conference in Chicago earlier this year.
Lawrence University students from Greenfire took part in the Wild Things Conference in Chicago.

The committee set out to make sure there was at least one significant activity a day in the lead-up to Earth Day.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the number of student organizations that have decided to put on events and take advantage of the hype that Earth Week has kind of created,” McCormick said. “We had hoped to get one big event each day. Now on some days we have multiple events because those student groups have decided to put things on on their own. And that’s wonderful. That’s what we really want Earth Day to be about, for as many groups as possible to show their commitment to the environment through what they’re doing.”

The events in the coming days include:

7 p.m. Wednesday: Showing of “Awake — A Dream from Standing Rock,” a documentary, in the Warch Campus Center Cinema.

7:30 p.m. Thursday: Sustainability Bingo, hosted by SOUP, in Mead Witter in the Warch Campus Center.

4:30 p.m. Friday: Plant Identification, hosted by the Bird and Nature Club, in Briggs greenhouse.

9 p.m. Friday: Sustainable Menstruation Ball, co-hosted by the Outdoor Recreation Club (ORC) and Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens (SLUG), at Pullmans Restaurant, 619 Olde Oneida St., Appleton. Shuttle pickup from Wriston every 15 minutes from 9 p.m. to midnight.

3-5 p.m. Saturday: DIY Natural Self Care Products, hosted by Greenfire in the loft at Colman Hall.

1-4 p.m. Sunday: Earth Day Gala, Main Hall green. Rain location will be Esch Hurvis in Warch Campus Center.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday: ENSTfest, an Environmental Studies poster session, Steitz atrium.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Jacklyn Bryan presentation on “Water and Wisconsin Tribal Communities: Past, Present and Future,” Steitz Hall 102.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Director/producer of award-winning documentary “Escarpment” to attend campus screening

What was the land like where Lawrence University’s northern campus — Björklunden — now stands several eons ago?

Roger Kuhns

The award-winning documentary film “Escarpment” will take viewers on a fast-paced journey through billions of years of natural history and the geologic and biologic past of eastern Wisconsin and the Niagara Escarpment region of the Great Lakes.

The screening, free and open to the public, is Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Warch Campus Center cinema. Roger Kuhns, who directed and produced the film, will attend the screening and be available for a question-and-answer session at the end of the film.

Winner of the 2017 Hollywood International Independent Documentary Award, the 92-minute film was shot on location along the entire length of the Niagara Escarpment, with a focus on Door County. Incorporating some animated sequences, it reconstructs ecosystems that existed when the Niagara Escarpment was formed, considers whether dinosaurs ever called what  is now Door County home and traces the path of glaciers as well as numerous other major events in the area’s geologic past.

Beyond just its geological narrative, Kuhns made the film as a way to educate, enlighten, and guide society toward better stewardship of the land and its resources while providing a glimpse of what a sustainable future might look like.

Roger KuhnsKuhns, who splits his time living in Door County and Mystic, Conn., is a man of multiple interests. A geologist by trade — he holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology from Beloit College and Washington State University, respectively, and earned his doctorate in economic geology from the University of Minnesota — he also writes books and songs, makes movies, and is both a naturalist and a sustainologist.

He has lived throughout the world, including eight years in Africa. An active teacher and workshop leader, Kuhns remains current by conducting science and practicing sustainability as the director of his own company, SustainAudit, LLC.

Last fall, Lawrence received a significant grant to enhance sustainability efforts on campus.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

A living laboratory: Lawrence launching campus-wide initiative focused on sustainability

In an effort to address real-world sustainability challenges, establish sustainability as one of its core values, and establish best practices in sustainable campus operations, Lawrence University is looking to transform itself into a living laboratory through a series of new institutional initiatives.

Project specialist Kelsey McCormick will serve as Lawrence’s new sustainability coordinator and will co-chair a newly formed sustainability subcommittee with Jeff Clark, professor of geology, who is also serving as special assistant to the president for sustainability.

Jeff Clark
Jeff Clark

“We’ve made a lot of progress in the past decade or so on the sustainability front, including the construction of the LEED Gold-certified Warch Campus Center, two solar arrays, a 100kW wind turbine at Bjorklunden, a campus-wide bike share and ride share program, a quarter-acre student-run organic garden that has operated since 2005 and a food service program that embraces socially responsible practices with an emphasis on a local farm-to-table sourcing model,” said Clark. “That said, we still have lots of work to do to try and change the culture of campus by integrating sustainability into our daily routines as well as our curriculum.”

A major focus of the new initiative will involve the establishment of an “Eco-rep” program designed to engage students in hands-on efforts in the residence halls to build a culture of sustainability, drastically decreasing the university’s environmental footprint in the process.

Eco-reps will lead by example and educate their peers on issues ranging from recycling and composting to water and energy consumption to food systems, transportation and consumer choices.

Kelsey McCormick
Kelsey McCormick

“The Eco-rep program is really at the heart of this effort,” said McCormick. “This key educational component will establish expectations around how Lawrentians live on our campus. The goal is to foster sustainability as part of every-day behavior. As a residential campus, a great way to accomplish this is to encourage our students to conserve energy, reduce waste and be more conscious in the spaces in which they live.”

Lawrence also will establish a “Sustainability Institute,” providing faculty with opportunities to deepen their understanding of sustainability issues and incorporate sustainability concepts into the curriculum. The institute will run for two years with as many as eight participants each year, increasing opportunities for faculty to work with students to create new engaged learning experiences.

These new efforts are made possible by a three-year grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. The funding will support leadership opportunities for students, professional development opportunities for faculty and infrastructural improvements to the campus. In addition, part of the grant will be used for a special fund for Lawrence community members to seek support for sustainability-focused projects connected to classes, research or co-curricular programs.

During each year of the grant, Lawrence plans to embark on one major infrastructural improvement with the intended goal of reducing the environmental impact, improving efficiency, and reducing waste, which ultimately should lead to cost savings in the long run.

solar panels on the roof of Hiett Hall
Solar panels on the roof of Hiett Hall are one of the efforts Lawrence already has undertaken to become a more sustainable institution.

Lawrence also will launch a Community Read Program to encourage campus members to read and discuss a common book on a current sustainability topic as a way to engage students with others in the community over these global challenges.

As a part of Lawrence’s strategic plan, Veritas Est Lux, the university is committed to enhancing “a culture of sustainable living by integrating sustainability goals across all aspects of the Lawrence experience.” Lawrence aims to be a steward of the surrounding community and the environment by preparing students to be responsible citizens of the world.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence leftovers: Student organizations helping to feed the Fox Cities

An old English proverb claims the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Lawrence University senior and Servant Leader Fellow Shang Li is applying a similar philosophy not for affection, but to improve the lives of hundreds of area residents.

A product of Lawrence’s innovation and entrepreneurship program, Food for Fox is the brainchild of Shang, Rachel Gregory and Malcolm Lunn-Craft and run with the help of the Lawrence Food Recovery Network team to reduce food waste while also providing a healthy meal for clients of two area non-profit organizations, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter and the Fox Cities Boys and Girls Club.

Helping to provide meals to area nonprofit organizations are Professor Mark Jenike, faculty advisor, Food for Fox co-founder Shang Li, Food Recovery Network co-presidents Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen and Food for Fox co-founders Malcolm Lunn-Craft and Rachel Gregory.
Helping to provide meals to area nonprofit organizations are Professor Mark Jenike, faculty advisor, Food for Fox co-founder Shang Li, Food Recovery Network co-presidents Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen and Food for Fox co-founders Malcolm Lunn-Craft and Rachel Gregory.

With the help of various student groups of volunteers — athletes, fraternity and sorority members, residents of theme houses and passionate individuals — unused food is collected from Andrew Commons, the Lawrence dining area, several evenings three weeks a month for twice-a-week deliveries of between 50 and 100 pounds of food to Harbor House. The collection the last week of the month is earmarked for a meal for children and their families at the Fox Cities Boys and Girls Club.

Beyond simple nutrition, Food for Fox’s goal is to support education of needy children through these donated meals.

“Food is a very powerful thing,” said Li. “We want to partner with local organizations to provide educational sessions for the children and their families on the importance of establishing healthy eating habits, especially at a young age.”

Gregory was drawn to Food for Fox in part because of her interests in sustainability.

“We waste an abundance of food, while many families in our own community go hungry or do not have access to a reliable supply of nutritious foods,” said Gregory, an environmental studies major from Plano, Texas. “We are melding two problems together to create a solution.”

Food-for-Fox_newsblog_3
The Food for Fox program has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley to provide a family meal the last Friday of each month.

As of the end of February, the Boys & Girls Club had served 230 meals courtesy of the Food for Fox program.

“The biggest benefit of this program is being able to open the meal up to our member’s families,” said Holly Purgett, Healthy Habits Food Program Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club. “Socially speaking, this event encourages families to have a meal together and spend quality time with one another on a Friday night. Our kids are proud to bring their parents, siblings and grandparents to the club and show them where they spend much of their time.

“Although we receive certain reimbursements, they do not cover all of our food program expenses,” Purgett added. “Having a meal donated, even once a month, helps with those non-covered expenses.”

Li was initially inspired by a Facebook video she saw two years ago about the Food Recovery Network, which prompted her to help establish a campus chapter — one of the first two in the state of Wisconsin — in the spring of 2014.

“That Facebook video really touched my heart,” said Li, a government and history major from Tianjin, China. “I was fascinated with how simple procedures and a support system can transform food waste into warm, nutritious meals for people in need.”

“I envision LU Food Recovery Network along with Food for Fox being run by generations of Lawrentians because there is always a demand for food and there is always a platform that will allow our students to shine as servant leaders.”
     — Shang Li ’16

In its first year of operation (May 2014- June 2015), the Food Recovery Network collected more than 5,000 pounds of leftovers, which were shared with its initial Fox Cities organizations, Loaves & Fishes and Homeless Connection. When those partnerships dissolved for various reasons, Li proposed the Food for Fox idea last fall to the Food Recovery Network’s new leadership team, Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen. Harbor House and the Boys and Girls Club became the new beneficiaries.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Boys & Girl’s Club for their willingness to collaborate with Food Recovery Network and Food for Fox to create an event that has a lot of potential as it continues to build awareness, promote sustainability and provide meaningful meals to kids in need,” said Holsen, a Servant Leader Fellow who joined the Food Recovery Network board in 2014 and became co-president last April.

Food for Fox founders Shang Li (l.), Macolm Lunn-Craft (c.) and Rachel Gregory (r.) are using surplus food from Lawrence to help feed others in the community.
Food for Fox founders Shang Li (l.), Macolm Lunn-Craft (c.) and Rachel Gregory (r.) are using surplus food from Lawrence to help feed others in the community.

Like Li, Gregory and Holsen, Diamond is passionate about food, maximizing its use and reducing its waste. She sees the collaboration between the Food Recovery Network and Food for Fox as an ideal vehicle to accomplish those goals.

“Food is a topic that is largely under discussed in daily life, especially among those that have enough of it,” said Diamond, a junior from Winchester, Mass., who worked with a group that focused on food, farming and hunger in the Boston area while in high school. “The fact that 40 percent of food produced in this country is thrown away while at the same time one in seven Americans are food insecure is simply not okay.”

The students involved see the two programs growing and expanding their reach in the years ahead, including operating during the summer and winter term break.

“We want to be a support system to low-income families and their children throughout the year,” said Li, who plans to pursue graduate studies in social innovations post-Lawrence. “I envision LU Food Recovery Network along with Food for Fox being run by generations of Lawrentians because there is always a demand for food and there is always a platform that will allow our students to shine as servant leaders.”

Gregory sees great potential for the Food for Fox program, especially in the education realm.

“I hope over the next five to 10 years, the program increases awareness to food-related issues. We want to introduce the kids to delicious healthy foods they might not have tried before, which will give way to healthy life-long eating habits. Economically, Food for Fox could even increase economic efficiency among our donors as they begin to take note of which foods are often left over. In our work this term, we tried to build a simple, logical model that can be applied to many different locations so that the program expands throughout the Fox Valley, Wisconsin and the Midwest.”

Members of Lawrence's athletic teams are among the groups who volunteer to collect leftovers for the Food for Fox program.
Members of Lawrence’s athletic teams are among the groups who volunteer to collect leftovers for the Food for Fox program.

Julie Severance, general manager of Bon Appetit, has served as the advisor for Food Recovery Network since its inception while Mark Jenike, Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and associate professor of anthropology, joined the team as faculty advisor earlier this year. John Brandenberger, Alice G. Chapman Professor Emeritus of Physics, Adam Galambos, Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professor of Innovation and associate professor of economics, and Gary Vaughan, coordinator of the innovation and entrepreneurship program, have served as mentors to the Food for Fox program.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Sierra Magazine Cites Lawrence University Among Nation’s “Greenest” Colleges

Lawrence University is among the country’s top “green” colleges according to Sierra Magazine’s seventh annual “cool school” rankings released in the September/October edition of the environmental publication.

Hiett-Solar-Panel
Solar panels atop Hiett Hall generated more than 25,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the past year and saved more than 40,000 pounds of carbon emissions.

Lawrence was ranked 53rd nationally in the magazine’s list of 162 institutions, which included just four other Wisconsin colleges (UW-Oshkosh 30th; UW-Stevens Point 58th; UW-Green Bay 98th and Northland College 107th).

In compiling its ranking, Sierra relies on a point scoring system based on goals and achievements in 11 categories: co-curricular, energy supply, food, innovation, planning, purchasing, transportation, waste management, financial investments, water management and instruction/research. Possible points per category varied from 34 (purchasing) to 249 (energy) with a total maximum score of 1,000. Lawrence finished with a total score of 627.19.

The sustainability efforts that helped Lawrence’s ranking include:

• Obtaining 25 percent of all of its food use from local sources.

• 100 percent use of recycled paper on campus for photocopying and letterhead.

• Diverting 35 tons of kitchen waste to the on campus, student-run sustainable garden for composting.

• Generating 25,364 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the past year through solar panels on Hiett Hall , saving more than 40,000 pounds of carbon emissions.

• Initiating a $5 per student, per term sustainability fee, proposed and approved by students, last fall to support proposals for infrastructural changes contributing to the sustainable operation of the university.

• Operating a 120-foot, 50-kilowatt wind turbine at Björklunden, the college’s northern campus in Door County, that provides approximately 30 percent of the lodge’s energy. The turbine eliminates nearly 75 tons of carbon emissions per year and reduces annual electrical costs at the lodge by more than $8,400.

• Recycling more than 319 tons of construction and demolition materials (concrete, steel, wood, cardboard).

•  Reducing water consumption by 27 percent since 2005 (base year).

“It’s always gratifying to be recognized for our sustainability efforts by Sierra Magazine,” said Gregory Griffin, director of the LEED gold-certified Warch Campus Center and longtime member of the University Committee on Environmental Sustainability. “It publicly underscores Lawrence’s commitment to being a more sustainable campus. But we’re certainly not complacent and want to do even better moving forward. A car share program and a partnership with a local biodigester to process post-consumer food waste are two of the new initiatives we’re planning to launch during the upcoming academic year.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence Places 19th Nationally in 2012 Recyclemania Competition

A concerted campus-wide effort to reduce its waste production helped Lawrence University finish 19th among 339 schools in the recently completed 2012 national RecycleMania competition’s per capita classic division.

In this category, schools compete to see which can collect the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per-person basis.

Lawrence was the division’s top finisher among 13 Wisconsin colleges with an average of 37.82 pounds of recyclables per person. The college also had a recycling rate of just over 29 percent of its overall waste generation (126th nationally). Union College won the per capita category’s national title with an average of 61.79 pounds per person.

“We’re doing well against some stiff competition and we’re using that competition to affect some positive changes on campus,” said Jason Brozek, assistant professor of government and current chair of Lawrence’s Green Roots sustainability committee. Some are highly visible ones, like the new outdoor recycling bins around campus and the new single-stream posters in all of the residence halls. Others are more behind the scenes, like evaluating our collection schedule.”

RecycleMania was first conducted in 2001 between Miami University and Ohio University. The 2012 competition included 605 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

In addition to the per capita classics division, schools also can participate in three other categories:

Grand Champion, which combined trash and core recyclable materials to determine a school’s recycling rate as a percentage of its overall waste generation

Waste Minimization, which measured the least amount of municipal solid waste (recyclables and trash) per person.

•  Gorilla Prize, which calculated the highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, bottles and cans during the 10-week competition, regardless of campus population.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.

Sierra Club Ranks Lawrence University Among America’s “Greenest” Colleges

Concerted sustainability efforts landed Lawrence University 44th on the Sierra Club’s fifth annual “cool school” rankings of the country’s top “green” colleges in the September/October edition of the environmental organization’s magazine. The ranking was an improvement of 62 places over 2010’s 106th ranking.

Lawrence was one of only three Wisconsin colleges — Northland College was 22nd and the University of Wisconsin-Madison 77th — to be included in the magazine’s list of 118 institutions. According to the magazine, surveys were distributed to 940 schools nationally.

In compiling its ranking, Sierra Club used a maximum 100-point scoring system based on goals and achievements in 10 categories: energy supply, efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments, and a catch-all called “other initiatives.” With a maximum score of 10 points in each category, Lawrence finished with a composite score of 61.91, up from 57.5 a year ago.

Assisting Lawrence’s jump in the rankings:

• A five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the past year — and a 41 percent reduction since 2002 — through energy efficiency changes.

• A 100 percent use of recycled paper on campus for photocopying and letterhead.

• A 15 percent commitment of the campus food budget on locally (within 100 miles) produced foodstuffs.

• The diversion of 30 tons of kitchen waste to the student-run sustainable garden on campus for composting.

• A total of 12,000 pounds of electronic waste collected and recycled in the campus’ first “e-sweep” last May.

• A first-place finish in the 2011 Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability’s “Campus Energy Challenge” with an overall energy reduction of 12.86 percent.

• A 10th-place finish in the 2011 Recyclemania national recycling competition (per capita category) with an average of 39.15 pounds per person.

“We should all be incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made this year, but we’re not planning to rest in 44th place,” said Jason Brozek, assistant professor of government and Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs and current chair of Lawrence’s Green Roots initiative. “We have some really exciting projects in store for 2011-12, including wind power at Bjorklunden and outdoor recycling on campus. I’d like to see us take over the top spot for Wisconsin schools in next year’s rankings and continue to move toward the top of the national list.”

The University of Washington jumped from fourth in 2010 to first in the 2011 rankings, edging Green Mountain College, last year’s top-ranked school, with total scores of 81.2 and 81.1, respectively.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

Lawrence University Named one of Nation’s “Greenest” Colleges

For the second straight year, Lawrence University’s commitment to sustainability has earned it inclusion in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.”

The guidebook, released Wednesday, April 20, recognizes 308 U.S. and three Canadian colleges and universities that have demonstrated exemplary efforts toward environmental responsibility.

Developed with the U.S. Green Building Council, the second edition of the 220-page guidebook highlights colleges that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

The guide profiles the nation’s most environmentally-responsible campuses, spotlighting each institution’s ecological commitment based on several criteria, including building certification using the USGBC’s LEED certification program, use of renewable energy resources, formal sustainability committees and recycling and conservation programs.

Lawrence was cited for its Green Roots environmental initiative, which promotes environmental awareness on the campus and the Committee on Environmental Responsibility, which facilitates dialogue among students, faculty, administrators and community members about the direction Lawrence should take on its path to sustainability.

Other factors include the Warch Campus Center’s LEED Gold certification by the USGBC, the student-run sustainable garden that provides fresh produce to the dining hall, the composting of all food prep waste and the college’s vibrant environmental studies program which draws faculty from 11 different departments and focuses on research projects that lead to solutions for real world environmental problems.

The guide also cited Lawrence students for developing position papers for the Sierra Club, conducting amphibian, bird and water quality surveys for Menasha’s Heckrodt Wetland Preserve and working at New London’s Wind River Bird Rehabilitation Center.

Most recently, Lawrence finished 10th nationally among 363 colleges — and first among 15 Wisconsin colleges — in the 2011 Recyclemania competition’s per capita recycling category (39.15 lbs/person).

“We continue to make great strides on the sustainability front,” said Jeff Clark, associate professor of geology and faculty associate to the president for the Green Roots initiative. “We’ve conducted a waste audit for campus, have acquired state and utility funding for a windmill at Bjorklunden and have moved to using 100 percent recycled paper across campus. That our efforts are being noticed off campus motivates us to continue to move forward.”

According to a 2011 The Princeton Review study, 69 percent of 8,200 surveyed college applicants said information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing. “To that end, we highly recommend the terrific schools in this book.”

The schools selected for the 2011 guidebook were based on a 50-question survey conducted in 2010 of more than 700 colleges across the U.S. and in Canada used to tally “Green Rating” scores scaled from 60 to 99. The 311 schools profiled received scores of 80 or above in that assessment.