February 2, 2016                                             Spring 2016 : Issue 35
Illustration by Irene Rinaldi
Orion still stands prominently in our winter night sky but this edition I chose to feature two incredible images provided by the Hubble space telescope.  While Orion may have been seen by every culture, in every time and place on earth, the images in this edition are privileged glimpses into the depths of our universe afforded to us through recent technological developments.
In a time where some would deem print a thing of the past, our blog features our library and our featured book as Douglas Tompkins put it, "is a call to arms - arms to hug with, arms to dig and plant with, and arms to link together to confront the juggernaut of industrialism, especially its tragic takeover of our agriculture. We cannot rest until we have regained a culture and agriculture that is local, family-scale, and fully integrated with the richness and diversity of creation. "

And it is this, the exploration of the richness and diversity of creation, whether it be gazing up with the naked eye at Orion on a crisp winter night, scouring digital archives of deep space photography, contemplating reading in the digital age, or savoring as Fallon puts it, "that irreplaceable feeling of opening a book," that ties it all together.
Read on for some great opportunities to learn and link arms.
Ricky Green
EC Assistant Coordinator 
Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

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: www.citymarketcommunityrewards.com
  • 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).

Its time to get your grub on

Each Wednesday this semester, Join Sodexo, the Old Fort and the Real Food Challenge for Old Fort Farms, locally-sourced meat specials at San Juan Dining

Here is a lineup of our upcoming menu options:

1/27 Pulled pork with chipotle BBQ topped with corn relish on a housemaid Kaiser roll with herb mayo
2/3 Local pork Quesadilla with hatch chilies and pineapple Pico, fried fingerling potatoes  raspberry lime ketchup
2/10 Local Nacho Platter spicy local ground beef and local pinot beans  with all the trimmings and a side of cilantro ranch
2/17 Local green chili brats cooked in local ale on a pretzel roll topped with kraut a side of pickled beets and oven roasted turnips
2/24 Char grilled local burger topped with grilled onions and a bacon blue cheese sauce served with buffalo style local fingerlings and local carrot slaw

This week's cafeteria will also feature the following Old Fort Farm's Produce:
  • 20# carrots
  • 20# fingerings
  • 20# Yukon gold
  • 20# turnips
  • 10# beets
2% Real and Counting!!! Help us keep up the forward progress by eating 'real' today!

Become the next Local Food Fellow 

The local food fellowship program is for Fort Lewis College students with an interest in food security, community gardens, sustainable agriculture, orchards, and healthy eating.  

Fellows work approximately 20 hours per week from May 1st through August 29th overseeing and managing our on-campus garden and orchard, while also connecting with local organizations to learn more about our local food system. Additionally, fellows will work approximately 1-4 hours/week post Spring Break through April to get the garden set up, as well as, September through December to wrap up of the garden season and offer educational garden workshops to our campus community.  

Fellows register to take ENVS 393: Environmental Agriculture (4 credits) during the first summer session (May 2nd-June 3rd). Students who have previously taken this course or who can demonstrate equivalent experience are welcome to apply and request exemption from this course. To capture the knowledge and insights gained during the fellowship, Fellows will be asked to design a Capstone project that directly benefits our campus or community.

Term: March 14th - December 16th, 2016 (20 hours/week in summer; 1-4 hours/week during school year) 
Compensation: $2,500-$5,000 stipend. Additional funds available for students who qualify for Work Study
To apply: Fill out the fellowship application and submit with a current transcript, résumé, and list of three references to rllandis@fortlewis.edu . Applications are available on the EC's website and at the EC's office in the Student Union, Room 145. 
Application deadline: February 12th at 8a.m. 
For more information: Contact Rachel Landis at (970) 247-7091 or email rllandis@fortlewis.edu

FLC Environmental Center preparing Native youth

The FLC Environmental Center was featured in a recent article in the Navajo Times . The article highlights the experiences of two of the EC's all-star Dine staff and FLC students, Kelkiana Yazzie (ENVS, 16) and Brandon Francis (ENVS, 15). Additionally, the article was written by FLC Exercise Science senior, Lane Franklin. It is a really great piece and highlights FLC and the EC's commitment to both support and develop leadership among our students, as well as, serve our surrounding region.

So much gratitude to Lane Franklin for writing up such a moving article...and of course to Kelki and Brandon for the many amazing contributions that they have made at the EC...and will continue to do wherever they end up!

Free Store
For more information:  contact Amaya McKenna at akmckenna@fortlewis.edu

"Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry." 
- Richard Feynman

One of the most important things I've learned working on the Campus Sustainability Team at the Environmental Center over the past three years is that consistency in small, thoughtful actions makes enormous changes. Often times, this goes deeper than what others see.

Over the past six months, I have been giving the EC library an extreme make-over. Through a series of tiny steps and long hours, I have reached a new level of organization, coordination, and persistence. At the beginning of the Fall semester 2015, the EC partnered with the on-campus Reed Library to make our resources more accessible to students. Now, when you search for a book located at the EC on the Reed database, you will be directed to us! This is important, because it brings community members and students from all corners of campus to our warm haven. Did you know that we have the largest environmental library in the four corners? Our library is made up of over 1,800 books and subscriptions to 6 periodicals (and growing). As a die-hard bibliophile in a digital world, I know the irreplaceable feeling of opening a book and slipping into another world for a while. This is why I find fulfillment in making the EC library an organized, clean, and easily accessible resource for others.

Over past three years, my drive to educate myself as a devoted environmentalist has profoundly impacted the way I think and act. Today, I choose to act in a way that inspires others. Spending more time in the library has strengthened my passion, which I will take with me through life. I hope that a beautiful library will inspire others in the same way it has for me.

Fallon Kelley 
Campus Sustainability Team

NGC 2174: Stars Versus Mountains, Credit: ESA, Hubble, NASA
UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

The UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program seeks to prepare a diverse group of early-career students to lead the future of environmental conservation. 

  • $4000 stipend each summer
  • Year-round mentorship from UCSC/home institution staff
  • Lifelong membership in Doris Duke Conservation Scholars professional network

Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado Supports Homegrown Leaders

The Growing Partners (GP) Executive Committee announced that their vision of a "healthy, local food system that reaches all incomes, cultures, and ages" is not possible without supporting a diverse group of local leaders with first-hand knowledge of the barriers in the food system.
Joni Podschun, GP Executive Director and Arboles resident, shared, "We want to build on the good work already happening in local communities -- if you're getting your neighbors together to talk about how our food system could work better for you, we want to support you."
Growing Partners began in 2004 as a group of local agricultural advocates and educators  who completed one the first food assessments in Colorado. All of the participating organizations were dubbed "Growing Partners," which over the years also came with shared projects and funding. GP is best known for their annual Apple Days Festival in downtown Durango.
Growing Partners will continue their flagship events, but from now on, any individual, organization, business, or group in the five-county Southwest Region can join the coalition and become a "Growing Partner." GP is intentionally recruiting diverse coalition members who are artists, Tribal leaders, restaurant workers, farmers, business owners, faith leaders, healers, trash collectors, educators, policy makers, ranchers, environmentalists, and anyone trying to feed their family on a limited budget.
Growing Partners will share more details about these changes at their 8th annual Homegrown Food Retreat, Saturday, April 23rd, held in Montezuma County for the first time in the organization's history. In the meantime, community members can give feedback at GP community meetings:
  • Cortez: February 2nd at Noon
  • Ignacio: February 3rd at Noon
  • Conference Call: 5pm February 4th
You can sign up on the Growing Partners website ( www.growingpartners.org ) or by calling Joni Podschun at 970-883-1328.

Local Wild Living Program

The Local Wild Living Program is a 3 month educational course that offers a deep exploration of Edible and Medicinal Plants, Local and Living Nutrition, Permaculture Basics, and Holistic Health Principals. The program honors the living soil of our bodies as an integral dance with the living soil of the earth. 
  • 120 hour Program
  • 3 Weekend Wild Food Field Trips
  • Suggested Donation $888
When: February 9th - April 27th, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am - 12pm
For more information: contact Katrina Blair at turtlelakerefuge@yahoo.com
Register: here

The Green Man Festival

Extraordinary Alchemy, Turtle Lake Refuge, and iAM Music present an open-hearted, conscious-living, community dinner and dance. A family festival in celebration of all things green, loving, and healthy - the community, our environment and personal wellness. 

There will be a giant "Green Man" for children to decorate and mask-making with natural materials for all ages!

When: Saturday, February 13th, 4pm - 10pm
Where: Northpoint Center - 1315 Main Ave.
Cost: suggested donation of $10 at the door
For more information: visit the website

Animas Valley Grange Speaker Series

The Animas Valley Grange will host a wide variety of monthly talks from February through October, beginning with "Backyard Chickens" by Julie Ott on February 17. These free talks will be presented on the third Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30 at the Grange Hall, 7271 County Road 203 north of Durango.  Programs will feature local experts on topics of interest to the community followed by a question and answer session.
This year's series will highlight orchard management, with talks on pruning, pest and disease management, and orchard restoration. Other topics include water quality, power tool maintenance, living with bears, dehydrating fruits and vegetables and soil carbon sequestration.
Each presentation will be announced in advance.  There is no charge, and registration is not necessary.  Refreshments will be served.
The Animas Valley Grange can now be found on Facebook.   

When: the third Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30pm
Where: Grange Hall, 7271 County Road 203
Cost: Free
For more information: contact Marie, 385-5298 or Deb at 403-3862

Durango/ La Plata County Chapter of the Citizen's Climate Lobby

A contingent of community members has formed to start a chapter of theCitizen's Climate Lobby in Durango. CCL's missions is to build the political will for a livable world and empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. 

Susan Secord, coordinator for Colorado CCL, and Chris Hoffman, an active member of Boulder CCL, will be in town on Sat. February 20th to host a volunteer training and orientation workshop. 

At this workshop, you will learn about the profound difference we make when we empower and inspire our members of Congress to action. You will learn how to become an effective advocate for climate solutions.  You will learn about our methodology for developing relationships with members of Congress and the local media.

"Most impressive is the work of the Citizens' Climate Lobby...  If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group."
Dr. James Hansen, former Director, NASA Goddard 

When: Saturday, February 20th, 12pm potluck 1pm-4pm training
Where: TBD
For more information: contact Andrew,  durango@citizensclimatelobby.org

What's Hop'n - Winter Workshop

If you want to learn more about growing, marketing or utilizing hops, join us for the 2016 Winter Hops Workshop.  It will be held March 12th from 8:30 to 4:30 at Fort Lewis College Student Union Building.  We have a great program planned and hope to see you there. 
To register online, go to www.tinyurl.com/oldfortmarketplace or you can mail your completed form to 18683 Hwy 140; Hesperus, CO  81326

You can check for updated information at  www.tinyurl.com/oldforthops or follow the Old Fort on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/oldfortathesperus.

When: March 12th, 8:30am - 4:30pm
Where: Fort Lewis College Student Union Ballroom
Cost: by March 7 - $25, after March 7 and at the door: $30
Take Action Bibliophila
I have been going round and round in this column on issues relating to the extraction of Oil, Gas, and Coal. I will give you a breather today.

Very good people that you are! Four years ago, a comprehensive study on food waste, published by the Natural Resources Defense Council, found that 40 % of the food produced in the U.S. goes wasted. Much of this waste is by design and the litany of problems that accompany this waste goes well beyond the issue of hunger. MADNESS and ABSURD! 

The Obama administration has undertaken a path toward cutting this waste by 50% by 2030 The NRDC publication on Food Waste goes on to estimate that i f we trim down this food waste by just 15%, we could feed nearly 25 million needy people. Help put some teeth in the goals, set by the Obama Administration, by supporting Rep. Chellie Pingree's legislation to get a law on the books. Consider   takepart's article and signing the 2 petitions on food waste that they have sponsored. (Look for the Megaphone icon "Take Action" tab).

Credo Mobilize has given us another OPPORTUNITY to be heard regarding the need to push back against BIG AG .
Another long standing,  food/environmental issue is the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. 

These pesticides, related to nicotine, are sprayed over the soil and then taken up by the plants. Pollinators receive a low dosage when foraging on the plant's nectar. It seems that the exposure causes bees to lose their ability to navigate to their foraging areas and to get back to the hive. The end result is known as Colony Collapse Disorder. According to the  White House Fact Sheet , " the number of managed honey bee colonies in the United States has declined steadily over the past 60 years, from 6 million beehives in 1947 to just 2.5 million today. Population declines have also been observed for other native pollinators, such as bumble bees, and Monarch butterflies. In 2009, local, natural insect pollination in the U.S. was assessed at over 9 billion dollars. The EPA has at last admitted that neonicotinoid pesticides are principally causing colony collapse disorder. 

It's time for the EPA to TAKE ACTION and prohibit these pesticides before we completely lose the benefits that bee pollination gives us and the world over - 35% of the world's food production.

Fatal Harvest documents the destructive effects of the current industrial food system, considering monocultures, genetic engineering, pesticide use, irradiation, and other aspects of corporate agribusiness. From shattering myths about the conventional food system to cataloging its impacts (issue by issue, and crop by crop) to providing an alternative vision of ecological agriculture, Fatal Harvest makes a powerful case for diversified, organic farming techniques as well as for the restoration of local knowledge including agrarian and wild values. 

The book's final section offers perspectives on integrating wildlife-friendly practices with organic production, as well as developing more regionally diverse systems of production and distribution. Fatal Harvest's innovative graphic design teaches the reader to see and recognize the differences between an industrial approach versus truly ecological agriculture, which uses nature as measure and where conservation is a consequence of production.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology collaborated with the International Center for Technology Assessment and its Center for Food Safety (CFS) to produce the book, and thereby increase public awareness about the ecological, cultural, economic, and health ramifications of the global industrial farming system. CFS founder and executive director Andrew Kimbrell spearheaded the research team and project.

Contributors: Edited by Andrew Kimbrell; with essays by Wendell Berry, Jerry Mander, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Monica Moore, Wes Jackson, Alice Waters, Gary Nabhan, David Ehrenfeld, and others.

Distributed by Island Press, 2002.