September 8, 2015
I will dive right in and let you know that: 
  • Yes, my grandfather was a sumo wrestler
  • I have indeed been known to fold paper creations for weddings
  • but I was never detained at gunpoint in Slovenia (though that did happen in Cyprus)

Thank you for checking back into the EC digest and welcome to an exciting edition!

With the semester starting up I have been reminded of an ichigyomono (a short phrase which might be found hanging on the wall of a tea house in Japan to be the subject of contemplation):

The empty sky has no back or front; 
the path of birds eradicates east and west.

We have been meeting with a good number of students interested in joining one of our student teams and I can say that amidst the drollery of scheduling, monotony of reminder e.mails, and even the repetition of our interview questions my spirit remains buoyed by the prospect of working with our newly formed teams; soaring over fences, flying in directions unlabeled.

Also exciting is that an introduction is in order! Randy Willis, FLC SkyCard office manager, long-time EC supporter and environmental activist will be sharing different local or national campaigns and ways to get engaged if you are so moved. We hope this new "Take Action" section not only spreads awareness about important issues; encouraging inclusive, deliberative public engagement but hope it also serves to remind us of the general importance of being engaged in our communities.

Finally, Bibliophilia! I am a lover of books and am excited to promote and continue to develop the Environmental Center library which already has over 2,200 resources and is open to all to explore, learn and grow with. The Bibliophilia section will simply feature a book in our library to showcase what kinds of incredible resources have been collected and preserved over the years (and maybe one will even catch your interest). Feel free to stop by (I may be immersed in composing an overly lengthy digest intro. but I'd be happy to take a break and talk books, origami, composting or whatever other curiosity may be bouncing about in your brain).

P.S. the section header art in this edition is of origami by one of my origami heroes: Akira Yoshizawa. If you are intrigued and want to learn more about origami I highly recommend the documentary Between the Folds (I highly recommend it even if you aren't intrigued by origami right will be). 
ecHappeningsEnvironmental Center Happenings  
The Environmental Center is seeking out Apple Trees to harvest !
So that we can serve you locally-sourced Cream Bean Berry Apple Ice Cream! 
The EC will have a crew of volunteers headed out on foot and bike and scooter this Tuesday, September 15th to gather unwanted fruit in our community that will become Cream Bean Berry Apple Ice Cream. You can enjoy the goodies at our Humane-ity Picnic on 10/1 with Temple Grandin and the 8th Annual Apple Days Festival, 10/4. By signing up your tree, you will help us to:
  • Reduce human-wildlife conflicts by reducing fruit attractants
  • Increase the local food circulating in the good system
  • Connect students with the tasty value of local food!
To donate your tree for harvest, email Rachel at by September 14th, 2015.

Apple & Pear Trees for sale to support the EC's Local Food Security Initiative
To help with replacement costs for a few sad trees in our on-campus Food For Thought Orchard, the Environmental Center is selling zone-specific, semi-dwarfed fruit trees including:
  • Honeycrisp Apple Trees
  • Improved Golden Delicious Apple Trees
  • Pacific Gala Apple Trees
  • Golden Russet Bosc Pear Trees
To Order: Each tree is $25. To order your tree(s), please complete this form. Tree orders are due by September 18th. Once an order is placed, C&O nursery will grow your trees for you and we will deliver your new local-food bearing tree in early to mid- April of next year. Trees will arrive approximately 5/8" in diameter.
For more information: please contact EC Board of Directors member, Sharon Ames at
Thank you for supporting the Environmental Center and our Local Food Security Initiative!
Brewmeisters Wanted
The Environmental Center is seeking out a student or community member  interested in teaching a home-brewing workshop as part of our annual Hops Harvest and Beer Brewing workshop. Our hops will most likely come off the vine in mid to late September this year, so we are looking to host this workshop sometime during the week of 9/28 or 10/5 based on your availability. In addition to bringing your expertise to this event, we are looking for someone who is able to provide homebrew equipment to use during the workshop; the EC can provide hops and any additional supplies required.
Interested Brewmeisters can contact Rachel Landis at or 970-247-7091
Events + Goings Ons
Campus Garden Workdays
Tuesdays from 4-5 beginning September 8
Join our Local Food Fellow, FLC Student Duke Jackson, for an hour of garden goodness. Depending on the season and the garden's needs, you may be helping to harvest tomorrow's dining hall dinner, planting up next year's garlic or plucking hops for our beer brewing class. All are welcome and no experience necessary---just show up at the EC Campus Garden (located just north of the Center for SW Studies and across from the new soccer fields).
For more information, contact Duke Jackson at  
The EC Crop Mob presents:
Apple Gleaning
Tuesday, September 15 from 5-7
Join the EC Local Food Team to harvest apples from neighborhood apple trees to provide you with local fruit and simultaneously help reduce bear/human conflict.
To Sign Up and for additional information, contact Rachel Landis at
Fresh-pressed Cider at the Old Fort Farmstand
Thursday, September 17 from 1-4, FLC Student Union
Come press your own cider with the EC's Local Food Team while you shop the Old Fort Farmstand for FLC-grown, organic veggies.
Apple Ice Cream Production
Tuesday, September 22 from 3-5
The FLC Environmental Center has partnered with local ice cream maker, Cream Bean Berry, to harvest unwanted fruit from neighborhood trees...and then make ice cream from it! Join us for this oh-so-sweet opportunity! Ice Cream makers will be sure to get some Cream Bean Berry ice cream for their efforts.
Sign up at the EC or reserve your spot by e.mailing
communityEventsCommunity Events  & Opportunities
Magnify your Money + Support School Gardens
The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado would like to ask for your support    for a time-limited fundraiser for our school garden programs. We have been awarded a generous grant from The Payroll Department in the amount of $10,000.
Before we can receive our money we need to raise a 50% match from the community. One of our board members is kindly willing to donate $2,500 if the community provides the other $2,500.
We need your help raising these funds before the deadline of October 2nd! Otherwise we don't get our grant!
This is an amazing opportunity to help us leverage funds and raise $15,000 for school garden programs in Durango! Every $1 someone gives will be matched by an additional $5!
Donate today towards Durango school garden programs! If you give $20 we will receive an additional $100.
What your donation will provide:
  • Student scholarships for Dirt Club after-school gardening programs
  • Student scholarships for Jr. Gardeners Summer Camp in 2016
  • Famer Days at local elementary schools
  • Development of school garden lesson plans for 9R elementary schools
Deadline: October 2nd, 2015
How to Give:
Southwest Fossil Free Campus Organizer Internship
Fossil Free FLC, a student-led group of activists that is a part of the larger Divest movement to get colleges out of the pockets of fossil fuel companies, is looking for a passionate, hardworking student to take on connecting fellow students to our cause. You will gain lots of leadership experience while being the face of positive change in a world that needs your help.
To apply, please visit this link:
For more information, please visit:
If you have any questions please contact Emily Denham at
The Great Divide: A film by Havey Productions
A feature length documentary on issues of water and conservation in Colorado. There will be a panel discussion after the film, beginning at 7:15 pm. Panelists will include Bruce Whitehead, Southwestern Water Conservation District, Dan Olson, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Kate Greenberg, National Young Farmers Coalition and Michael Vicente of Ute Mountain Ute Enterprises.

When: September 10, 4:30 pm - 8 pm
Where: Durango Arts Center Theater

Music for the Animas Concert Series
"Music for the Animas" is a concert series presented by Liver Down The River, Durango Massive Productions, and Mountain View Artists to raise money in aid of the clean up of the toxic spill into the Animas River. These events will feature live music, silent auctions including original art pieces, concert tickets, commemorative posters and memorabilia, photographs, and so much more, as well as donation boxes for people to contribute to the fund! All proceeds will be donated to the Mountain Studies Institute who will distribute the funds to the organizations leading the clean up.
When: Friday, Sept. 11 | 8pm - 11.30pm
Where: Animas City Theater
Cost: $10 in advance, $12 day of the show
Tickets are available at Southwest Sound in Durango as well as at
5th Annual Produce Bounty
Produce Bounty is an annual fresh food drive and nutrition education event held in partnership with the Durango Food Bank's commodity food distribution. Farmers and Gardeners will be dropping off thousands of pounds of produce and donations to share with hundreds of community members in need.
Volunteers are needed during produce drop off times to help receive, clean, organize and store donations on 9/18, 9/19, and 9/20 and to help set-up and distribute the produce on 9/21.
When: Friday, Sept. 18 - Monday Sept. 21, 2015
Where: La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave.
More Info. and Volunteer Sign-up at:
ATTENTION Students: EcoFlight Student Program
EcoFlight's Flight Across America student program is a 5-day, 4-state aerial and ground education experience where college students get to see landscapes from the air, and meet with experts, stakeholders and conservation groups about a selected environmental issue. This year's program entitled, Mega-drought: Exploring the Future of Water in the West, runs from October 11th to 15th, beginning and ending in Aspen, CO. The program is FREE of cost to the students.
More Info. + Application: Here
Application Deadline: September 21, 2015
Cost: Free
Apple Days - Sunday, October 4th: Growing Partners Needs Your Help!
Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado invites you to participate in an amazing community tradition - the harvest of our apple abundance to support the 8th Annual Apple Days festival. Please mark you calendar for the festival, which is from 11:00am - 4:00pm on Sunday, October 4th. You can also be part of the fun by volunteering your trees or yourself in support of the event!
Volunteering: We need volunteers for a variety of tasks from September 14th to October 4th. Visit Sign-Up Genius for more information and to sign up:
Apple Trees: If you have fruiting trees (even just one!) you would like to have harvested and donated to this community event, please complete this form. A member of the Apple Days Planning Committee will then contact you to confirm your registration and provide you with additional details regarding our harvest process in the week leading up to our Sunday, October 4th festival. If you prefer to register your tree via phone, please contact the CSU Extension Office at 970-382-6463.
When: Sunday, October 4th, 2015 | 11:00am - 4:00pm
Contact: Joni Podschun, Growing Partners Executive Director - or 970-833-1328
Take Action Bibliophilia
Coming to you from the SkyCard Office guy! Randy here. Like most of you, I was a naturalist from early on. I kept that tack and earned my MS in Environmental Science from George Mason University in Virginia. I worked on a number of amazing environmental survey jobs as a student and then somehow "Life" happened and I landed here. The passion remains though, which makes me a latent, frustrated environmentalist excited to have a new outlet to share important tidbits that come my way.
Below I have an online petition I want to throw out in hopes that you will consider the message and add your name to it.
No surprise here, it turns out that disposable water bottles are the biggest source of pollution in our National Parks. Because of this, the park system was given the option to ban the sales back in 2011 but a recent lobbying campaign from Big Water brands like Deer Park, Fiji, and Evian got a last minute amendment into Congress's appropriations bill that would block the National Park Service from funding or enforcing the program.
Let congress know that you favor the ban by signing this online petition put out by  CREDO action.


The EC Library featured find:




How did Asian farmers work the same fields for 40,000 years without destroying the land's fertility and without applying artificial fertilizer? At the turn of the 20th century, a former official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture travelled to Asia to learn the answer. This landmark book chronicles his travels and observations on waste-free methods of cultivation that conserve natural resources. "One of the richest sources of information about peasant agriculture . . . one of the pioneer books on organic farming."

- The Last Whole Earth Catalog