September 27, 2017
Welcome to the third edition of the Environmental Center (EC) Digest for the 2017-2018 academic year! Every two weeks, this little gem of digital media will arrive in your inbox.

Scroll down to learn about Environmental Center events and happenings and to explore community events, initiatives, and job postings  focused on environmental, social justice and sustain ability...  and of course, our ever-anticipated (and always wordy) introductory musings. Ready, set, go:
What's the point of education, of going to college? Recently, a transactional view of a college degree has been taking hold. Thinking of one's education in terms of a cost benefit analysis. The benefit is the sum total of all the knowledge the student gains and the job that this knowledge will allow the student to get post graduation. The cost is the cost of tuition and the lost opportunity of entering the full-time workforce as soon as possible.

But what about the experience and journey of navigating the college years? What about everything else that makes college, college. Imagine if we had the ability to simply transfer information into one's mind in exchange for a fee. The transactionalists would delight. Go for it! It would save so much time and effort and you can get straight to work at your new higher paying job! I am willing to bet, though, that if you asked college grads what they would prefer - if they would rather have gone to college or received all their knowledge through some futuristic brain implant - they would choose to live their college years. The preference lies not in a fear of bizarre futuristic technology, but in the fear of missing out on all their experiences during that time.

To be sure, the formal knowledge gained in the classroom is important, and working toward a rewarding career is one of the primary reasons to go to college. But the experiences outside of the classroom, unrelated to credits toward a degree, are hugely influential to a person's life path. These times help build the so called " soft skills" which are vital to leading a happy, successful life. This weekend at our Fall Staff Retreat we saw students gaining knowledge throughout our several workshops, digging in the soil, hiking along the slickrock, sharing food, and laughing around the campfire. Savoring in life-moments and giving meaning to their time in college. That's got to be part of what it's all about.

Marty Pool, Environmental Center Assistant Coordinator
Environmental Center HappeningsECHappenings
Shop at Durango Outdoor Exchange on Sunday to Benefit the EC!
Need a new-to-you jacket for winter's cold temps? Looking for that perfect, lightly-used wet suit that will enable you to thrive in Autumn canyoneering scenarios? Or what about a headlamp to help with everything from camping situations to oil changes? 

Come one, come all to the  Durango Outdoor Exchange, our locally-owned, outdoor gear re-store! Not only are these folks keeping the Zero Waste spirit alive through their mission to get you the best used gear you can find, they are also committed to keeping our community strong. Every first Sunday of the Month, the Durango Outdoor Exchange donates 10% of its profits to a local non-profit.... and this Sunday proceeds will be going to the Environmental Center!  So head out and shop til you drop!

When: THIS Sunday, October 1 from 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Where: Durango Outdoor Exchange,  546 E. College Dr
Cost:  Free entry, affordable prices!

Thanks to all for your support of the EC, the Durango Outdoor Exchange and a Zero Waste World!
Campus Garden Workdays

Join our EC Local Food Fellow, Paula Pletnikoff every Thursday afternoon for a quick break from the rapid-fire world to harvest organic fruits & veggies, digging in the dirt, pruning in our orchard and planting up our new campus food forest. 

In addition to helping to maintain our campus growing spaces, Paula is excited to share tips and tricks for how you can grow your own food. Oh, and did we mention you get to eat raspberries off the vine?

When: Thursdays from 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Meet at the EC Campus Garden - in the rear corner of the Center of Southwest Studies parking lot.
Cost: Free!

For More Information: Contact Paula Pletnikoff at
Food Forest Workdays

Come on out and get your hands dirty! 

Join permaculture guru (and FLC EC Graduate) Duke Jackson to learn some pretty wild stuff as we install our new campus Food Forest. 

Be part of something that will feed FLC students for generations to come. Feel free to come and go as fits your schedule.

When: Mondays from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Where: Meet at the Campus "Food For Thought" Orchard just north of Pine Hall
Cost: Free

For More information, contact Duke Jackson at
More EC and FLC Happenings
Help us Help the Bears and Feed our 
Community! 17 Days and $9K to Go!

Bear Smart Durango has received a $10K Match Grant from the Payroll Department to help us increase our ability to protect bears in our community, while also increasing the amount of local food circulating amongst hungry Durango-tangs.

If we are able to meet our $10K funding goal by October 1st, the funds will be used to hire a Fruit Gleaning Coordinator who will work with the EC, Bear Smart, and various community groups to ensure that we harvest as much local fruit as possible next year, update the community fruit gleaning webpage and find ways to get the fruit to people who need it most.

Donate on Bearsmart's Fruit Gleaning website at
Support the EC When You Shop at City Market

If you shop at City Market 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:

Instructions for Enrolling:
-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.

From then on out, 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)
The EC Zero Waste Team Takes Paper-Reduction to the Next Level

The EC's Zero Waste Initiative and the FLC Information Technology department were selected to participate in a nation-wide paper use reduction program

Within this effort, our goal will be to reduce on-campus paper use by 50% by 2020. That means decreasing our printing by 1.3 million pages/year and saving 7.5 million of energy from being used in annually. 

To achieve this goal, our Zero Waste Initiative student team will partner with Behavioral Psychology experts, Root Solutions, to design campaigns and institutional solutions that excite all of us to use less paper this fall...and launch the effort this Spring!

Our findings, along with other participating schools, will be compiled and presented in a nationwide AASHE Best Practices guide in 2018.
EC's Real Food Challenge Team Hits the Road

The EC's Real Food Challenge team has been selected to present our Vote Real program to sustainability professionals nation-wide!

This October, four students from the EC's Real Food Challenge student team will be presenting our very own, home-grown Vote Real Initiative to thousands of sustainability professionals at the national AASHE Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Our students will present along with a group from Gonzaga University to showcase ways to advance sustainable dining practices while combatting social injustice and encouraging greater democratic participation. 

This is an awesome honor and we are so proud of our students!
Community Events & Opportunities
Local LocalHappenings
Events and Happenings in our Local Community
Join MSI and Durango Nature Studies for Durango Green Drinks on Thursday
Attend the Peace Corps Online Info Session to Learn More About Service Efforts

Apply your agriculture and environment know-how overseas to help feed our world.  The Peace Corps needs food security specialists to address global food security, conservation concerns and climate change issues at grassroots levels. 

Help improve a community's livelihood and develop sustainable solutions, while gaining global skills for your career. Join us at this focused information session in celebration of World Food Day to learn about Volunteer experiences from Returned Volunteers, ask questions about service, and hear about how you can join today.
When: October 16 from 1  - 2 p.m.
Where: Online!
Cost: Free

Register in advance at 
Positions departing April - September 2018 are posted on our website (  Our next deadline is October 1 (April - June departures) then January 1 (July - September departures).

Contact Karen Sweeney at for more information on getting involved with the Peace Corps.
Fall Fest Seed Swap!

Botanical concepts presents: Fall Fest and Seed Swap.

Botanical concepts garden center will host a three day event with an inter-active seed swap, a local artisan market and low-low end of the season prices on plants soils, tools and gifts.

When: September 29 - October 1,  5:00 p.m. - 9 p.m. each day
Where: 251 County Rd. 250, Durango
Cost: Free

For more information: check out botanical concepts garden center by clicking these links for Facebook or Instagram!
Student Veggie Share!

Sign up for weekly local produce from the Old Fort Market Gardens!

The Student Veggie Share features carrots, potatoes, beets, kale, onions, garlic and more, and runs from September 13th to November 15th.

When: Pick up every Wednesday from 1 - 4 p.m.
Where: outside the Student Union
Cost: You pay $135, and you get 10 weeks of veggies, picked up from the Old Fort Farm Stand! As the semester progresses, the cost lowers each week to reflect the remaining weeks. One of the least expensive ways to get fresh veggies in Durango!

To sign up: go to
For more information: email
Let's Give Back to the Garden Project! 

The Garden Project of SW Colorado serves our community in amazing ways. They are responsible for all of the school gardens that connect our kids with healthy eating habits, provide healthy meals for children that otherwise might not have them, and provide invaluable learning opportunities.

They also fight to feed healthy, local foods to folks who otherwise might not have the opportunity through their Manna Soup Kitchen Garden & Farmstand and Ohana Kuleana Plot. They help our community in a thousand other ways, including supporting groups like the Environmental Center with expertise, supplies, and collaborations.
They have given and do so, so much...and right now, they need our support!

Please consider donating to the Garden Project to ensure that these invaluable services to our community continue.

Learn more about their current needs and donation opportunities or watch this short video about the Garden Project: 
Green Business Roundtable Kicks off a New Season!

Join over 80 business owners, elected officials and community leaders each month in a lunchtime networking event and discussions on the regional economy and environmental stewardship.

When: The second Wednesday of each month 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
Where: Henry Strater Theater, 699 Main Avenue, Durango
Cost: is $17 when you RSVP or pay by 5 p.m. the Thursday prior, $22 for late RSVPs and a limited number of walk-ins.
RSVP and more info:

Contact: Erika Brown, San Juan Citizens Alliance, 259-3583 ext. 3 or
Join 4CORE's Solar Celebration Weekend!
Enjoy a night of food and fun on Friday, then learn about energy efficient structures and even tour a solar-powered home on Saturday!
Currently 4 Homes for Sale to Qualified Households in Bayfield

Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County eases the burden of home ownership on area residents by offering qualified households (1+ persons) a break on housing costs.

You or your loved ones could pay only 30% of your monthly gross income toward mortgage payments by participating in Habitat for Humanity's program!

Attend the orientation on October 13, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the ReStore to apply!

No RSVP required, children welcome, no documents needed.

Email or call (970) 382-2215 for more details.
Opportunities Opportunities
Jobs, Scholarships, Internships, and more!
Help Wanted at Table to Farm Compost

Table to Farm Compost is looking for additional paid help for 1-3 days during the first week of October  (Mon-Wed)!

Monday is the biggest day (4-5 hours) and Tuesday/Wednesday would be around 3. 

Mornings are preferred but can work around their schedule as long as they have enough time free before 5. Experience with a truck/trailer would definitely be a plus!

If interested, contact David Golden at 970-799-6997 or learn more about Table to Farm Compost at
Market Manager Position Available

The Durango Farmers Market is hiring for their Market Manager position.

The Market Manager is responsible for providing the day-to-day operations of the Durango Farmers Market (DFM) and is one of only two paid positions at the DFM. 

If interested, go to to find more details and read the job description.

Contact with any questions or concerns.
Intern with US Senator Michael Bennet's Office

Internships  provide the opportunity to learn about the role of a Senatorial office while enabling those who participate to be of service to their community.  Exemplary college students will be chosen to assist with a variety of duties including constituent services, community outreach, and special projects. A variety of administrative tasks are required such as greeting visitors, answering phones, and database management.

Internships are on a voluntary basis; no stipend is provided.

For more information, contact Stuart Jenkins, Constituent Advocate for Senator Michael Bennet, at 970-259-1710 or

Regional & Beyond
Further Resources and Opportunities
2017 Taos Environmental Film Festival Coming Up Soon!

The Taos Environmental Film Festival honors our land and showcases all artistic disciplines. Together, artists can support efforts to stop Climate Change. Showcased films incorporate honoring the land, environment and people of New Mexico, the country and the world, with performance and lectures to expand our knowledge and engagement with environmental activism and topics. 

When:  Sept. 27 - Oct. 1
Where:  Taos Community Auditorium  located at  133 Paseo del Pueblo Sur.
Hosted by:  The Taos Fall Arts Festival

For more details visit or call 575-758-2052 with questions.
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