May 14, 2018
Endeavor Together Program
It was an exciting weekend for the students preparing to lead Endeavor Together, Luther's new pre-orientation program. From fire building to orienteering, canoeing to cooking, the weekend was packed with activities, laughs, and songs around the campfire for the 20 students leading trips for incoming students. The leaders team this year involves a great diversity of people that combine domestic and international students from Cambodia, Zimbabwe, East Timor, Maldives, Myanmar, Swaziland and Nepal. The Endeavor Together program (previously called Immersion Program) is designed to bring together a small cohort of incoming first-year students in order to share in fellowship and adventure while building community and preparing for college life. Sean Mckenzie (‘20), an Endeavor Together leader, said “The Endeavor Together training was a great primer for the the actual trips coming up in August. This training, at Meadow Farms, gave the us a good understanding the of the programs new goals, while showing us the tools we will need to lead students on the upcoming trip”. All groups are led by two highly trained student leaders. Faculty and staff mentors will connect throughout the week with each group. The Endeavor Together program is designed for students of all backgrounds and with a variety of interests. All incoming first-year students are encouraged to attend. More information here and the registration for the program is open until the end of summer.
Move Out 2018

After reaching a 40% reduction in Move Out waste last year, the CSC hopes that Luther students are able to achieve a 50% reduction in Move Out waste this May! We have partnered with The Depot and The Spectrum Network to have daily pickups of donations that are organized on campus. With the help of over thirty volunteers, this Move Out is shaping up to be a big success.
Restoring Luther's Natural Asset
Luther’s natural areas are seven times the size of its highly designed upper campus. These natural areas provide countless opportunities for Luther students, faculty, and staff to engage in top-tier biology research, land-management internships, humanities courses bolstered by the natural world, and a strong sense of place. Luther’s extensive land holdings enrich student learning in a way few colleges can match. And they transform both students and the land in the process. Luther is proposing two restoration projects to preserve its natural areas; an oak savanna restoration, and a large scale European buckthorn removal. The goal of the first project, Oak Savanna Restoration, is to decrease competition from junipers to allow for oak regeneration and herbaceous layer regeneration. Currently open grown oaks are over-crowded by native juniper trees (50-70% cover in some areas). The proposed activities include cutting and removing 90% of the juniper trees from the area, and focusing on oak regeneration by fencing in naturally occurring oaks, or planting new ones. The second project,large scale European buckthorn removal, focuses on removing buckthorn in preparation for future restoration, and reducing major seeds sources to prevent buckthorn invasions in other locations. Luther’s natural areas are currently dominated by buckthorn and other invasive species. This project proposes forestry mulchers to remove nearly all buckthorn from work areas, and leave wood mulch and chips in its place. Followed by an herbicide treatment of the area, and restoration activities including savanna/prairie seeding and planting after herbicide. These restoration projects are rare education opportunity for students, faculty and staff that stress the importance and management of oak savanna restoration, and woody invasive management.
Killing'ot Lembikas's Visit to Luther
Lembikas is a warrior of the Maasai tribe, a people whose culture developed around herding cattle, sheep, and goats on the grasslands of East Africa. Since 2011, Lembikas has worked with Luther students and faculty as a cultural guide and interpreter for January Term programs based in northern Tanzania. Luther groups have been hosted by Lembikas and his extended family at their boma, or homestead, in the savanna region just east of Serengeti National Park where Maasai, their livestock, and wildlife have long co-existed. Recently Maasai have been excluded from large areas of the savanna following the creation of zones established exclusively for wildlife conservation and trophy hunting, resulting in adverse effects on the pastoralists’ livelihood, culture and environment. In his talk at Luther College on May 6th Lembikas explained and discussed the role of pastoralism in the Maasai culture. Both the expansion of agriculture and the establishment of conservation reserves pose a serious challenge to the Maasai livelihood, culture and environment. Lembikas focused on the resulting tensions, with special emphasis on the violence surrounding land conflicts in Loliondo where Lembikas's homestead is located. During his three-week residency in Decorah, Lembikas will speak with students in a variety of classes at Luther and Decorah Community Schools. After leaving Decorah, he will travel to Holden Village in Washington state where he will join Holden’s summer teaching staff. His time in the U.S. is made possible through the Center for Sustainable Communities with additional support from Luther’s Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Departments.
Environmental Class Visits Luther College Garden
On Thursday April 26th Professor Brummel's Environmental Forays class came out to the Luther Gardens to learn about local food production, composting at Luther, and to help clean up the gardens. Prior to adding the pulper in Cafeteria, much of the compost generated from campus was contaminated with both trash and recyclable materials. Last fall, finished compost was applied to the Luther College Garden. The Environmental Forays class helped sift through the finished compost and pick up trash and recyclable materials intermingled with the compost applied last fall. Some of the most common items found were: metal silverware, plastic straws, produce stickers, plastic cutlery, candy bar wrappers, and dental flossing sticks. A mini challenge for everyone is to think of ways you can eliminate single use plastics from your life. A big thank you to the Environmental Forays class for helping clean up the Luther College Garden!
Chargepoint Update
The Chargepoint station has been successful so far. When it was first installed, there were about 6-7 faculty and staff who owned plug-in hybrid vehicles. Chargepoint generates a monthly report of use. Which is mostly used to identify the revenue, and does not focus too much on tracking users. With that being said, user information is still tracked. Since the commissioning of the system, there has been 39 unique drivers who have utilized the station. Users can only be identified by a code number on a report from the Chargepoint. There is no personal identifying information to put a name with that number. There has been 508 uses, and one user has plugged in 123 times. Other high users have plugged in 82, 61,51,45 and 37 times respectively. Unfortunately with the limited ID information provided, there has not been a possibility to identify anyone. The Chargepoint system is simple to manage as Chargepoint automatically takes care of the fee collection and data tracking. The plan is to continue to evaluate the use of the two port stations, and determine if additional stations are warranted in the future. As plug in hybrids become more mainstream, the expectation is that the utilization rate would increase.
Recycling and Compost Work Opportunities

The Recycling and Compost crew are looking for fall workers! Are you passionate about the environment? Do you want to make a difference on your campus? Join the crew! Recycling is looking for students to work between 7AM and 6PM and weekends for the fall of 2018. Email if you are interested in applying.
Sustainability Tip
Donate or reuse any items in your dorm room to help reduce waste to the landfill. The fewer truckloads will help decrease carbon emissions. Moreover, you can save money by reusing or repurposing items for next year. Benefiting is bigger than our community as donating unwanted items helps others and promotes economic and social sustainability.

In the process of moving out you can:
Donate: furniture, clothing, food, hangers, bedding, towels, and rugs
Recycle : paper, plastic, metal, and cardboard and anything with a cord that's broken
Divert : make sure to choose the landfill last!

Making a step easier for you, we have set up a donation room in each resident hall for you!
Here they are:
Olson : 2nd Floor Lounge
Brandt : Ground East Lounge
Larsen : Main Lounge
Farwell : First Floor Lobby
Miller : Ground floor study lounge
Dieseth : Ground floor study lounge
Ylvisaker : Game room
Baker Village : Food Donations - Lower Level. Other Donations - Trucks (Saturday/Sunday)
College Apartments: Covered areas underneath outside stairs
Senior Student-Worker Spotlights

Natalie Wade '18
Natalie has really enjoyed working for the Center for Sustainable Community (CSC) for the past 2 years. She has learned a significant amount about campus and Luther's goals and initiatives. Natalie said that it has been rewarding to help work toward achieving our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030! The highlight of Natalie's work has definitely been the people and connections that she has made with people in the Center, Luther, Decorah, the Midwest and beyond from various conferences and projects. Natalie's hope is that more students get involved in the process of making our campus more sustainable in all aspects; environmentally and socially she would like for students to be at the core of the Center's initiatives. Natalie does not have concrete plans after graduation, but she hopes to work in the area of Public Health and focus on environmentally-related human health issues. 
Liam Fraser '18
Liam has been working for the CSC over the last three years. When Liam accepted a position focusing on waste reduction goals for the college, he had no idea how fulfilling the work would be. Liam finds that at the end of each year, there is always so much progress to reflect on. Some of Liam's highlights with the CSC include starting up plastic film recycling his sophomore year, conducting around two dozen waste audits his junior year to provide enough data to showcase the beginning successes of the new four compartment bins, and presenting at the UMACS conference in the fall of his senior year. Liam's hope for the center is that it is able to continue crafting innovative events and changes for the college. Not only does Liam want to continue seeing development that works towards our goal of carbon neutrality, but he would love to see a stronger push for establishing communities that are just as based in societal betterment and ethical understanding as they are in environmental sustainability. After graduation, Liam is excited to share that he will be heading to Chicago for a year of service with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Liam will work as the Winter Farmers Market Outreach Coordinator for the environmental non-profit Faith in Place. Liam is thankful for all the opportunities the CSC has provided him over the years that have helped prepare him for his future work!
Nathan Campbell '18
Nathan has been working with the CSC over the past two years and it has been incredibly fulfilling. Nathan has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spread the word about Luther's renewable energy sources as well as important ways we can reduce the amount of energy we use. The most exciting project that Nathan has been a part of has been the Baker Village Energy Monitoring project. It has been successful thanks to the efforts of many passionate colleagues and it was a privilege to be a part of its success! Nathan's hope for the CSC is that it can continue to serve as a resource to the community by promoting responsible resource stewardship and community inclusion. Nathan is confident that those who are staying with the center will do just that.
Thank You Maren!

On behalf of all the student workers at the CSC who have been inspired and mentored by Maren Beard, we would like say thank you and wish Maren the best for her future with the Luna Valley Farm and beyond!
Sustainability Jobs/Internships/Opportunities
  • Duluth Community Garden Program- Garden Education and Volunteer Specialist Strives to cultivate healthy neighborhoods by providing access to land, resources, and community. DCGP manages 20 gardens (255 rentable plots) across Duluth, with the goal of building a garden within every 10 blocks. Garden plots are available on a sliding scale basis, to ensure that food growing and resources are accessible to all, regardless of income. DCGP provides access to well stewarded land, and educational resources and community building to its gardeners and members. Read more.
  • Lutheran Volunteer Corps- PositionsA few positions opening for this summer . Read more.
  • Field to Family Local Food in Iowa City Food Hub- Manager PositionThis new Food Hub Manager position will provide strategic leadership, as well as day-to-day oversight of all aspects of the Food Hub’s core operations, including the aggregation and distribution of local produce to buyers. This is a full-time position. It is anticipated that this position will begin in June 2018. Read more.
  • Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA Outdoor Center- Specialist PositionTo teach outdoor education classes and recreational programs. Also assist in all aspects of maintaining quality outdoor education and conference programs in accordance with the mission of Camp Speers YMCA. Read more.
The Center for Sustainable Communities is always looking for ways to improve our publications. If you have any questions, concerns, general comments, or story ideas for future newsletters, please email at any time.

This newsletter is provided by the Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates all sustainability initiatives at Luther College. The mission of the Center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region. For more information on sustainability initiatives at Luther and the outreach work of the Center for Sustainable Communities, please v isit: .
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