October 26, 2016                              Fall 2016 : Issue 4

Come Celebrate the Environmental Center's 25th Birthday & 15th Annual REEL Environmental Film Experience on 11/5!

"To change everything it takes everyone."

It is the Environmental Center's 25th birthday!

We are immensely proud of the EC's legacy. It is a 25-year legacy of teamwork, positive change and ethical integrity.  The EC has a strong and powerful spirit. Our students and alumni are incredible and inspiring. We are proud to be creating agents of change with each passing year.

We have experienced many major successes, but we also never forget to set our sights on the horizon ... on the bigger picture.

The EC recognizes that small successes build over time. Perseverance and tenacity are key when it comes to the work we do. No organization is 100 percent successful all the time, but what matters is how you work through challenges and set-backs.  We are building a sturdy fortress of success with the culmination of these 25 years. 

The EC wishes to shine a light on our community, our volunteers, our staff (both past and present), and everyone in-between that make what we do possible. It is amazing how many people care about us, our efforts and the earth.

We are only as good as our team.  Our team is only as good as our community. Our community is only as good as our earth.

We invite you, with open arms, to celebrate our 25th birthday at our annual REEL Film Experience on Saturday, Nov. 5. 

This year's REEL Film Experience features the world premiere of our very own homegrown EC documentary. So be sure not to miss it! You can buy your ticket online.

Help us celebrate our triumphs and trials, tell your alumni stories, meet with old friends and make new friends.


Alexandra Lamb 
Environmental Center, ENVS F'16
Media and Communications Manager

Let's party!
Come Celebrate the EC's 25th Birthday and 15th Annual REEL Film Experience!

We are celebrating 25 years of advancing sustainability throughout the region and graduating student leaders committed to creating social and environmental change at this years REEL Film Experience.
The night's theme is Creating A Climate for Change. Festivities will include the screening of several locally-produced climate shorts and the regional screening of the internationally acclaimed movie,   A Time to Choose. Prior to the event, we invite you to join us for a March of Solidarity & Action up the college's front hill!
Free food, beer/rootbeer, birthday cake and a guaranteed-to-make-you-leave-feeling-good opportunity to take action round out this informative, inspirational and fun evening!

Also, do not miss the Work Premiere of the EC's very own homegrown documentary, The Fierce History of Now, filmed and produced by Durango videographer, Shan Wells!
When: Nov. 5 at 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.). Marchers can meet us ahead of time at the gate on the 8th Street Hill (8th STreet & 8th Avenue) at 4p.m. when we will collectively hike up to the Concert Hall. 
Where: FLC Community Concert Hall
  • Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Durango Welcome Center or at the Community Concert Hall website.
  • $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Cost includes a light dinner.
  • Children 12 & under are free.
  • All proceeds benefit the FLC Environmental Center!
For more information on the event go to our  website!

Ballots are Arriving: 
Come on Students! It is Time to VOTE!

For students who are already registered to vote, the 2016 General Election Ballots should be arriving in student mail boxes as we speak!

The La Plata County Clerk will have a ballot drop box in the Student Union during the following times: 
  • Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

It is not too late to register to vote! Use a school computer and  register to vote here!
Come Shopping with the Zero Waste Team:
The EC Free Store is Open!
Do you need new t-shirts? How about pants? Sweaters? Perhaps a new coat ...
With fall in full swing and winter quickly approaching, the EC's Free Store is here for you!
Why are we so great to give this stuff away? The EC is committed to working toward a Zero Waste Campus. We will achieve this ultimate goal by supporting ways to REDUCE consumption, REUSE functional items, and RECYCLE (and COMPOST) waste rather than sending it to a landfill.
The Free Store is all about reusing items so that you don't have to spend your money on new stuff.
Last year, the Free Store cycled through:
  • 320 cotton t-shirts
  • 90 pairs of jeans
  • 36 pairs of shoes
  • 64 dresses / jackets
This saved:
  • $3,800 worth of merchandise value
  • 600,000 gallons of virtual water from not buying new goods
Have some things that you decide you don't need? Feel free to come by and drop them off so another student can use them!
When: Mondays 12:45 - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Student Union Building or anytime at the Environmental Center 
The Local Food Security Team presents:
Campus Garden Workdays

Join the EC's Local Food Fellows every Wednesday and Thursday through November to work in our campus community garden.
Participants will learn about organic gardening and help us to bring in the harvest.
All community members are welcome to join!
When: Wednesdays 11:15 - 1:30 p.m. or Thursdays 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Meet at the EC or join us out at the Campus Garden
Sign-Up: Please contact Local Food Fellow, Zack Bukovich, for more information: zackbukovich@hotmail.com
Support the EC When You Shop at City Market
If you are a City Market shopper with a rewards card, you can use your grocery shopping to support the Environmental Center at no extra cost to you!

All you have to do is sign up here:
  • Click on the Enroll Now button
  • Create an account
  • Register your City Market Value Card and when asked what organization you would like to support, type in Environmental Center and check the appropriate dialog box. 
City Market's Community Rewards program will make a donation to the Environmental Center each time that you make a purchase.
Get your groceries and support the EC in one fell swoop-it's like getting your cake and eating it, too! (food pun intended)
EC Alumni-- Tell us your story!
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.

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!
Tell us your Environmental Center story here: https://goo.gl/forms/8JHqmD1rRuapOG0A3

Rachel Landis with EC alumni_ Max Kirks_ Emily Haefner_ James Field_ Max Plate_ Mike Nolan_ and Beth LaShell. Not featured_ Danielle Duni and Brandon Francis

FLC's Food Focus Group Needs You!
We are very excited to take our Food Focus group to the next level this academic year!
The mission of the Food Focus Group is to come together in a casual, solution minded atmosphere where we can be agents of change. We want to set an example for other like-minded institutions as we move forward
T his group will have an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas that will build on our foundation to serve more local and quality food options, healthier choices and waste less in the process.
We will discuss/brainstorm new and exciting ways to create a dining environment where sustainability and our commitment to the Real Food Challenge are front and center.
The structure of the meeting is informal and collaborative, where all ideas are seeds for thought.
Dinner is provided at the meetings free of charge!
When: Every 3rd Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m.
Where: FLC Piedra Room
News & Updates
Real Food Challenge Team: RESULTS ARE IN! 
The EC Celebrates National Food Day with the Announcement the October Real Food Challenge Winner

The Real Food Challenge Team announced the winning veggie for October's 'Vote Real' campaign on National Food Day! 
421 votes were cast, but tomatoes took the organic cake (food pun intended), winning by a landslide of 190 votes!
Moving forward, all whole tomatoes purchased by campus dining will be sourced from Fresh Pack and switched from conventional to organic. The good news....
  • $10,017 will shift to organic produce in an average academic year
  • Real Foods will increase by an average of 1.3% through tomatoes purchases alone
  • FLC diners will enjoy the benefits of replacing one of the ninth highest pesticide-ridden vegetable with its healthier form! 
Thank you for helping us to make a difference in campus dining, our health, the environment, and the Real Food Challenge! Keep up the great work and participate in January's upcoming vote!
"In my first few weeks with the Environmental Center family I have been able to connect with and relate to someone in each team. 

This alone has shown me that being part of the EC will provide me with a community like no other. 

I am looking forward to becoming environmentally conscious, knowledgeable, and well-rounded through my interactions with individuals, communities and organizations through the EC."  (Read More)

-Kaidee Akullo, Real Food Challenge Team
FLC is Honored for Campus Sustainability

This fall Fort Lewis has been honored by two influential organizations in recognition of the campus's ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. Princeton Review and Sierra Club both listed.

Fort Lewis stands among some of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation. Recent action for sustainability on campus has centered around renewable energy, sustainable food purchasing and green buildings.

Click here for more information! 
Come check out and plant some seeds!
EC Is Now a Southwest Seed Library Host Location

As a part of our Local Food Security Initiative, the EC is proud to provide the SW Community Seed Library with a new home and invites everyone from the community to come and utilize this new and incredible resource.
Keep your eyes out for workshops and exchanges coming soon!
The purpose of the Southwest Seed Library is to:
  • Provide free regional hardy seeds (food, herbs, flowers)
  • Improve soil and food with knowledge of our earth
  • Be a school for saving and sharing seeds
  • Be a place to learn about growing in our challenging climate
  • Be a connecting point between farmers, gardeners, and schools to share knowledge and resources for a stronger, healthier Southwest
  • Be a long term Permaculture project that will grow with our community
  • Empower for self-care and abundance
Please contact Rachel Bennett, Community Seed Coordinator, for more information:  southwestseedlibrary@gmail.com
Unused Ink Jets Available


Zero Waste your office! The EC has several unopened ink jets that are no longer needed. We would love to provide them with happy homes!


Email Marty at mlpool@fortlewis.edu if you can use any of the following ink jets:

  • HP, LaserJet, 305A (Yellow, cyan, magenta)
  • HP, color LaserJet, CE4500-4550 (Cyan, Black, Magenta)
  • HP, color LaserJet, C4194A, Yellow
First come first serve. Once you contact Marty we'll set aside the ink jets for you to come pick up!
Learn about the Farm to School Movement with:
Durango's Green Business Roundtable

Green Business Roundtable is one of the most innovative and successful lunchtime  networking events in Durango, offering engaging presentations at the intersection of business, the  regional economy and environmental stewardship. 

There are certain values that connect folks in Southwest Colorado across political lines: t he western  grit of self-sufficiency, a connection to the land, and growing our own food for the health of our  children and the health of our local economy. 

Learn about the local Farm to School movement, hear  about the community gardens popping up across the county, and be inspired by the innovative  programs addressing local food security head-on.

Participants will enjoy a delicious locally grown lunch and exceptional networking opportunities with business owners, elected officials and community leaders.

When: Nov. 9 from 12 - 1 p.m.

Where: Henry Strater Theater

Register or RSVP here by 9 am Monday, November 7th.

Cost: $15 when you RSVP RSVP in advance / $18 for walk-ins

Click here for more information!
Durango Green Drinks

A great chance to get your networking on and meet other rad folks in the environmental and sustainability fields here in town. 

Check out their  Facebook page for more information!
Comment on the Hermosa Creek Watershed plan!

San Juan Citizen's Alliance invites you to submit your comments 

Nearly two years ago, a tireless and diverse grassroots effort to secure protections for a local watershed culminated in the  Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act. Now the draft management plan is available for comment.

This community secured incredible protections for the Hermosa Creek watershed. Take a moment to make sure it is done right. The SJCA asks you now to 

In an effort to encourage more meaningful comments, we're experimenting with a new approach. Rather than create a pre-written letter, we are asking you to write a short personal letter drawing on talking points from our analysis. We've also created a blog detailing our concerns in more depth. We believe taking a few extra minutes to type the comments in your own words will translate into greater consideration by the Forest Service.'

Thanks for helping us ensure a strong finish to this successful collaborative process.
Regional & Beyond
CMU Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum

COMPLEX SYSTEMS IN FLUX: Changing Relationships between Water, People and the Environment

The 2016 forum will seek to generate new insights into the dynamics of the natural and human systems that coexist in the Colorado River Basin. 
Keynote Speakers: 
Jack Schmidt, Professor of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University;  Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources.

When: Nov. 2 - 3
Where: Colorado Mesa University
Cost: $60 - $160 (depending on days attended and if a current student)
For more information please visit Colorado Mesa's webpage!

Thoughts and ideas included in  The Lorax Reacts are solely those of the author. Anyone is welcome to submit a piece to this opinion section of our newsletter. To submit, please email Assistant Coordinator Marty Pool at  mlpool@fortlewis.edu

The Secret About Government
by Marty Pool

In awesomely retro the Netflix series "Stranger Things" the US Department of Energy is at the heart of a creepy supernatural mystery. The actual US DOE got in on the fun and released a fun rebuttal  to the picture that the show paints of the entity. For the vast majority of us, this type of thing is all in good fun. Entertainment media using the classic "secret shadowy corners of the government" plot device is nothing new. Sadly it seems that this idea is gaining more traction in the way citizens view their actual government.

According to a 2013 pollabout 1 out of 4 of voters believed that a secretive power elite controls the world (on another unfortunate note, 37% of voters believed that global warming is a hoax, but that's the topic for another day). We currently have a Presidential candidate claiming the US election could be rigged even though there' overwhelming evidence that this is not the case and it would be essentially impossible to doI've worked with governments as have many of my friends. The DOE funded project that I worked on didn't open up an inter-dimensional portal; it investigated how to coordinate distributed generation. My friends that work in advocacy groups aren't making back-door deals; they are plain and simply meeting with representatives to make sure their organizations' members are heard. To paraphrase my friend who is a legitimate Secret Agent for the State Department: "If people only knew how straightforward and mundane my day-to-day work was, we'd have a lot fewer spy action movies."

Personally, I believe these sentiments arise because of two primary factors. One is that the US has a pretty darn poor participation rate when it comes to voting. I imagine that there is a certain contingent of folks who make a fuss about how broken the system is, but never participate: never vote, never go to public hearings, never attend town hall meetings, never join an advocacy group, never get involved other than ranting in online forums. All I can say to this point is: don't be one of these people! If you care about something, find organizations that support your stance, sign up for their email lists, volunteer for them, or donate to their cause. Provide public comments on draft plans. Call or write your representatives. Attend public hearings. Research ballot issues and candidates and VOTE in the way that reflects your values! I think you'll find that our government, especially local and regional governments, are more open and accessible than you'd think. It may not be as exciting as secret Illuminati ceremonies, but it is really rewarding and fulfilling.

The other factor is the unfortunate reality that politicians listen to big donors and special interests over the general sentiments of average citizens. This problem can corrupt nearly every other political issue: environmental issues, education, personal liberty, the list goes on. At a talk last night at the Powerhouse Science Center, former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter said that campaign finance reform - getting big money and dark money out of politics - was the key underlying issue for progressing towards his vision of a New Energy Economy. It is understandable that people are frustrated by the feeling that their voices are not being heard. But if our citizens keep pushing for a solution, using all the methods I just described above, we can overcome even this mighty obstacle and continue our work towards a More Perfect Union . . . unless of course the Department of Energy accidentally unleashes a horde of monsters from an alternate dimension.