Red Columbine, commonly found near streams and mountain meadows
Over the 2016-17 school year, a group of students have undertaken a project to bring a new sense of indigenous culture to our campus. The 1st Nations Club, co-advised by Brian Ramos from the Workforce Funding Department, has slowly been converting a section of the wooded area in the heart of campus to an Indigenous Garden, putting in native plants such as Red Columbine, Miners Lettuce, and Nootka Rose to name a few.
EvCC has a history of representing indigenous cultures on campus, through the various pieces of art donated to the college by some local tribes. There is a totem pole in the northwest section of campus outside of Olympus Hall, and the Thunderbird Killer Whale sculpture is located on the edge of the site of the new garden.
When asked about the purpose of this project, the students were eager to tell the story. They explained how this garden, to them, represents the success of native people, and how they’ve overcome many challenges to get to where they are today.
“I am this plant, I am of this Earth,” said Erik Sanchez, a student working on the project, “It’s really cool to feel connected.”
The group has finished with the planting, and over time will be adding outdoor furniture to resemble a traditional native gathering area. The project will continue throughout the rest of the school year as well as into the future.
This afternoon, the ASB Senate approved a proposal to open a student body election on a sustainability fee. This comes at a time when the United States government has displayed an extreme lack of leadership on issues concerning climate change and the environment, noted as one of the reasons for approving this fee proposal. The motion was nearly unanimous, with only one opposing vote.
The fee, which would be set at $0.50 per credit with a maximum of $7.50 per quarter, is intended to establish a more inclusive sustainability initiative that empowers the student body to lead EvCC toward a greener future. Widespread support has been generated from groups and individuals across campus, such as the Students for Environmental Action Club and Student LIFE. Now that this fee is officially a student body referendum, the focus of the group behind the project will shift toward reaching out to the greater campus community to educate the students on what they will be voting on. The election is anticipated to be held in early Winter Quarter during the 2017-18 academic year.
The revenue from the fee will be allocated to three different funds. The Campus Sustainability Fund will offer grant opportunities to students, staff and faculty who have the desire to implement their own “green” projects. The Green Investments Fund is a way to leverage the limited amount of money available via revolving loans and rebates, to accomplish infrastructural improvements and energy efficiency retrofits. Finally, a portion of the revenue will be allocated to the Sustainability Office to create more student employment opportunities.
This referendum is significant, as it has been expressed that it will likely determine the future of EvCC’s sustainability efforts. The original funding is nearly diminished and the College is facing cuts in state funding. This pairing of dilemmas indicates that some of the programs currently in place would go away if no solution is found, and stalls in future projects are anticipated.
Check back soon for updates on this development, or contact the EvCC Sustainability Team to get involved or learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that Spring is in full-swing, it’s time to get cleaning! Last Saturday, May 20th, dozens of neighbors from around EvCC turned out to rid themselves of the clutter which they’ve accumulated over the last year. Volunteers from EvCC’s Custodial and Facilities crews helped residents of the Northwest neighborhood throw out or recycle old electronics, scrap metals and lumber, yard waste, and other household items such as carpets, bedframes and more.
A big thanks to 3-R Electronics Recycling for coming out to this event! Also saved from certain doom in the landfill were a number of bicycles, which were happily accepted by a local bike shop in town. Although neighbors did not have to pay an entry fee, they were asked for donations to help cover the the rental and hauling costs of the containers.
Employees who volunteered their time spoke of this event as a good way for the college to improve its connection and relationship with the surrounding community; something to be appreciated as the college can sometimes forget how its growth and resulting traffic impact our neighbors.
This event was sponsored by the Northwest Neighborhood Association, in partnership with EvCC’s Sustainability Team.
EvCC’s Leadership Academy provides a professional development opportunity for college faculty, staff, and administrators to enhance skills with specific emphasis on leadership practices, working styles, diversity, communication, group dynamics, design thinking, change management and conflict resolution. The academy takes place over the course of eight months and focuses on building small teams who work together on a projects that give back to the college.
For the 2016-2017 academy, Team Hufflepuff worked with client Pat Sisneros, Vice President of College Services.
One of Pat’s areas of focus was making sustainability more institutionalized at EvCC and for the college to eventually be recognized as a national leader for sustainability. Of course, we already know that EvCC is doing some great work with sustainability, but it turns out that we needed to do a better job at telling our story and encouraging everyone to get on board.
Team Hufflepuff tackled this project with the goal of completely revamping the college’s sustainability website with easier navigation, updated images, and action-oriented language. It would be an area to show off the great work that is already happening on campus as well as bring in new tools and resources to help spark greater interest on campus.
The Results – After 8 Months
A new campaign was created (Go, See, Do!)
The website structure and design was completely overhauled
A new dashboard was created on the website, based on EvCC’s Climate Action Plan
New photos were taken to highlight areas on campus where sustainability is happening