September 13, 2016                                Fall 2016 : Issue 1

Looking Forward to Another Great Year
Welcome back!

As we launch into another school year, the Environmental Center is excited to announce a cadre of new happenings. First and foremost, Ricky Green, our former Assistant Coordinator has returned to Japan where he continues to shape the world into a better place through education...and baking! In his stead, we welcome, Marty Pool from Denver University's Master's Program in Environmental Policy and Management. Since Day One, Marty has proven himself an incredible fit for the EC: gregarious, community-focused, and absolutely committed to doing whatever it takes to move the environmental needle forward.

Together, Marty, our student staff, our awesome community (that is all of you!), and I will be working on the following initiatives:
  • Real Food Challenge at FLC will shift 20% of campus dining food purchasing dollars to foods that are fair, humane, ecologically-sound, and/or local by 2020 as part of the RFC national campaign's efforts to create a socially-just and ecologically-sound food system.
  • Zero Waste Initiative moves FLC and La Plata County towards a zero waste model through decreased consumption, re-purposing opportunities, and proper waste management including efforts on campus-wide composting, recycling and food waste reduction.
  • Local Food Security works to provide all La Plata County residents have access to local food through efforts to increase agricultural production, educate new growers and potential consumers, and create local food access points for underserved populations.
  • Energy Impact Initiative utilizes a strategy of fuel shifting, energy consumption reduction, and increased efficiency to meet FLC's next carbon reduction targets under the President's Climate Commitment.
More information and  complete project descriptions can be found on the Environmental Center website.

As Confucius said, "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.". Help us move towards a sustainable world by getting involved with the EC this year. Below are a few upcoming opportunities to do so!

Be well,

Rachel Landis
Environmental Center Coordinator
Apple Tree Harvest - Crop Mob!

The Environmental Center is seeking out both Apple Trees to harvest and harvest that we can serve you locally-sourced Juice & Cream Bean Berry Apple Ice Cream!

The EC will have a crew of volunteers headed out on foot and bike and scooter every Thursday from 12:20-2:15 to gather unwanted fruit in our community that will become Cream Bean Berry Apple Pie Ice Cream. Join in this amazing experience by signing up your tree to be harvested or coming along to pluck fruit. Or, imbibe in sweet apple juice goodness every Wednesday from 1-4 at the Old Fort Campus Farmstand or our ice cream at the annual Apple Days Festival on 10/2!

By participating in this program, you will help us to:
  • Reduce human-wildlife conflicts by reducing fruit attractants
  • Increase the local food circulating in food system
  • Connect students with the tasty value of local food!
Donate your Apple Trees for Harvesting! Please register your tree here:  Someone from the EC will reach out to confirm whether or not we will be able to harvest your tree in the upcoming weeks or during our big community harvest for Apple Days on 10/2. 

Apple Harvesters:
When: Every Thursday from 12:20 pm to 2:15 pm
Where: Meet at the Environmental Center, then head out to assigned campus and community neighborhood trees.
Sign-Up: Questions about donating your tree for harvest or volunteer to be on a harvest crew, email Zack Bauer at
Crop Mob Featured in the Durango Herald

The Durango Herald hosted an article (and video) today that featured the EC's Local Food Security Initiative, and specifically our Crop Mob program that we are currently partnered on with BearSmart Durango and the CSU Extension. Over the years, this program has captured tons (literally) of local foods and redirected them from the landfill/waste and into our food system. Last week's efforts captured eight bushels of apples, engaged 10 student volunteers, and removed the bear attractant from one gentleman's house. To top it all off we got some great press coverage! Have a look at this exciting press for FLC here and share with anyone you might think would be interested:

Campus Garden Workdays

Join the EC's Local Food Security Team for Campus Garden Workdays

Each Wednesday and Thursday through November, join the EC's Local Food Fellows to learn about organic gardening and help us to bring in the harvest! All community members are welcome to join in!

When: Wednesdays 11:15 am - 1:30 pm, or Thursdays 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Where: Meet at the EC 5 minutes before the meeting time, or join us out at the Campus Garden (North of the Center for SW Studies at the far North-East corner of the parking lot)
Sign-Up: Please contact Local Food Fellow, Zack Bukovich at
One Pot Wonder Workshop

Learn how to cook local, tasty food all on one burner

Join the Garden Project of SW Colorado and EC Local Food Fellows for a super tasty workshop that starts with a local harvest from the Manna Soup Kitchen Garden and ends with instruction from a professional chef on how to cook tasty, nutritious and affordable local meals on a single burner. Perfect for folks who crock pot, hot plate, or use a camp stove to cook!

When: Wednesday, September 21st 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Where: Manna Soup Kitchen Garden, 1100 Avenida Del Sol, Durango, CO 81301 (Transportation provided from the FLC campus, ask for more details when you sign up)
Cost: Free
Sign-Up: Contact Paula Pletnikoff at
Save the Date: EC's 25th Birthday and 15th Annual REEL Film Experience

Mark your calendars now because you won't want to miss the chance to celebrate with us!

The EC will be celebrating 25 years of advancing sustainability throughout the region and graduating student leaders committed to creating social & environmental change at this years REEL Fillm Experience. The night will be centered around the theme 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. Free food, a cash bar, birthday cake and a guaranteed-to-make-you-leave-feeling-good opportunity to take action round out this informative, inspirational and fun evening!
When: Saturday, November 5th. Doors open at 5:30 pm, screening begins at 6:00 pm
Where: FLC Community Concert Hall
Tickets: 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!
News & Updates
EC Is Now a Southwest Seed Library Host Location

Come check out and plant some seeds!

As a part of our Local Food Security Initiative, the Environmental Center 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. Also, 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
For more information please contact Rachel Bennett, Community Seed Coordinator:
Unused Ink Jets Available


Zero Waste your office! The EC is looking for a home for several no longer needed, but unopened ink jets. Email Marty at if you can use any of the following ink jets:

  • HP, LaserJet, 305A (Yellow, cyan, magenta)
  • HP, color LaserJet, 4500-4550 (Cyan, Black, Magenta)
  • HP, color LaserJet, C4194A, Yellow
  • Epson, 252 standard-capacity, cyan, magenta, yellow
First come first serve. Once you contact Marty we'll set aside the ink jets for you to come pick up!
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. 
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)
2016 Produce Bounty

Donate your garden produce or your time for this annual fresh
produce food drive.

The 6th Annual Produce Bounty will provide fresh local produce to community members in need. Regional gardeners and farmers are encouraged to donate their excess fruit and vegetables to the Produce Bounty Project, which aims to bolster food assistance programs with a fresh infusion of garden crops. Qualifying individuals and families (those who earn 185 percent or less of the federal poverty threshold) are eligible to receive the food.

Produce Drop Off:  Friday, September 16th 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm;  Saturday and Sunday, September 17th & 18th 10:00 am - 5:00 pm\
Produce Pick Up for Families in Need: Monday, September 19 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Where:  La Plata County Fairgrounds
Sign-Up: Those interested in volunteering for the event can sign up at 
More Information: Contact Erin Jolley of Cooking Matters Colorado at ( 970)529-8085 or Katheryn Maloney at  (970)769-1479
Seed Saving Basics

Learn more about saving your seeds, part of the Conservation Education Series

Come to this free event and expand your knowledge of this important practice. We will explore the value of seed saving for community resilience. Learn simple garden planning for seed, harvesting, and storage methods.  Activities included.

When: Wednesday, September 21st 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Where:  Ohana Kuleana Community Garden
More Information: Please visit
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. 
Regional & Beyond
West Slope
EE Conference  

Bringing Colorado's EE Plan to Life

Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) invites you to j oin environmental education (EE) providers and supporters from agencies, nonprofits, schools, and environmental, nature, conservation fields for an engaging summit. Join us to learn more about the Colorado Environmental Education Plan, network and share ideas, and find inspiration from innovative EE leaders.

When: Friday, October 7th 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where:  Ridgway State Park Group Event Facility,  located in
Pa-Co-Chu-Puk area of the park
Cost:  $45 members/ $55 nonmembers
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 coupled 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: Wednesday & Thursday, November 2 & 3
Where: Colorado Mesa University: University Center - Main Campus, Grand Junction, CO
Cost: $60 - $160 (depending on days attended and if a current student)
Sunnyside Meats:
The Sunnier Side of Meat Processing

By Zack Bukovich
Environmental Center Local Food Fellow

Working as a Local Food Fellow for the Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity of getting up close and personal with many of La Plata County's diverse and successful producers.  This summer alone I have had the pleasure of walking the long rows of Mike Nolan's Mountain Roots Farm, touring the various garden plots beneath the dueling buttes at Twin Buttes Farm; and I have even been towed around in an old wagon by none other than Dave James himself as I received a detailed, behind the scenes look at the practices that make James Ranch successful and sustainable.

This week however, marked a shift in my escapades into the country.  This time I exchanged the sunshine and cool breeze for fluorescent lights and air conditioning, my ragged work clothes for a long white smock and a hairnet . . . Read On