Students and Staff to Promote Sustainability at Hartwick

October 19, 2009

Hartwick College hosts Sustainability Day beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 21 in Stack Lounge, Dewar Union. The event will highlight daily efforts to reduce energy usage and encourage the campus community to take steps toward sustainability in their own lives.

Members of the campus community have been encouraged to get to Oyaron Hill greenly. Bikers and walkers are invited to register at the reception table outside of Stack Lounge from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Participants will receive a "green" gift to recognize their daily efforts to reduce their ecological footprint.

At 11 a.m., informational displays will educate participants on how to reduce their environmental impact. The event includes demonstrations of microbial fuel cells and presentations from local businesses. Students also will present their research and posters.

Brian Hagenbuch, Director of Hartwick College's Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies, explained that the event's goal is twofold.

"On one level we're raising awareness, but the events also are very participatory," Hagenbuch said. "We're trying to engage the entire Hartwick community in sustainability. This is kind of the catalyst to get things started."

A roundtable discussion of campus sustainability will take place at 1:45 p.m. followed by a Dumpster Dive activity at 2:30 p.m. on Frisbee Field. A special event will take place at 3 p.m. between Dewar Union and Wilder Hall.

"We will be breaking ground for a small organic garden on campus," Hagenbuch said.

Members of the Grassroots Club and the Outdoor Club will be responsible for the garden.

"This was a student-inspired idea," Hagenbuch said. "Club leadership would determine what gets planted. We are looking for people to sow some seed. Local sustainability methods could be used by biology, chemistry, or other courses."

Students also took the lead in contributing to Sustainability Day. Mirra Boehmke '11 was inspired to organize a cleanup project after observing the amount of litter at Table Rock last May.

"While taking pictures of the valley, I looked down over the edge of the rocks and noticed a lot of garbage," Boehmke said. "[Pine Lake Program Coordinator] Dan Morse '97 told me about Hartwick Sustainability Day, and we made plans to organize a garbage pickup. We are meeting at 4:30 p.m. in front of Golisano, and then walking up to Table Rock. I hope that some of the litter can be collected and recycled."

Sustainability Day will conclude at 7 p.m. with a screening of Transforming Energy in Clark Hall, room 342.

"It's been a real team effort," Hagenbuch said. "We're a small community and we can all chip in and do a lot. The effort of a few individuals is magnified."

By Alicia Walstad '10

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030