Center for Sustainable Communities
December 4th, 2017
The Luther Gardens: A Year in Review
The Luther Gardens had a very successful growing and harvest season! From May-November over 6785 pounds of produce was sold to the cafeteria, equaling roughly $13,000 in sales - a record high for the Luther Gardens! The busiest month was September, during which over 2000 pounds of fresh produce was delivered to the cafeteria! This year's crops included the infamous Luther Gardens cherry tomatoes, beets, kale, squash and peppers. If you attended a Christmas at Luther dinner last weekend you likely enjoyed some of our rutabaga too (this year we grew 700 pounds)! June-September was very dry this year, so we are thankful for the new well dug this Fall to help irrigate the fields. Next year the garden crew is looking forward to planting more greens, adding fruit trees and melons to the plots, and continuing to host fall garden parties. Thank you for growing with us this season!
Pilot Immersion Pre-Orientation Program to involve both international and domestic first-years

We are now seeking student leaders for an Immersion style pre-orientation program that will take place in August 2018. This new pilot program will bring together international and domestic first year students for a week of learning about culture, community and place as they prepare to start college. If you love working with people, have an adventurous spirit and a willingness to try new things, consider applying! Leadership development training will be provided and leaders will gain skills and habits of mind to propel them forward in any endeavor. Contact Emily Neal for further information.

Apply now to be a leader for this program! 

Think Warm Thoughts: Summer Sustainability Opportunities

Summer may feel like it's a long ways away, but the holiday break and J-term are the perfect times to start researching summer opportunities! Please consider these opportunities as you plan your summer:
  • Center for Sustainable Communities Positions: The Center for Sustainable Communities will be hiring 3 full time Food and Farm Crew Members, 2 full time Land Stewardship Interns, 2 Discovery Camp Teaching Assistants for June/July and 1 Immersion Program Assistant for August. For more info and to apply.
  • Recycling Crew: Facilities Services is also hiring for summer recyclers (contact Cindy Blue for more information about applying). 
  • Faculty/Student Collaborative Research Grants: Interested in research? Research grants are available through the Dean's Office. More info.
  • Internships: Luther has connections to organizations across the country who are hiring interns. More info about summer internship opportunities. Did we mention that you can apply for funding through the Career Center to support your internship? (It's true!)
Decorah Power: Microgrids, Storage, and Cybersecurity at the Community Level
Decorah Power, a non-profit citizens group investigating the formation of a  Decorah Municipal Electric Utility, is on the tail-end  of their learning series. Come out for their last presentation in the series! On Tuesday, December 5th, you are invited to  come  learn from Matthew Backe s, Research Engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory . Matthew will be presenting virtually at 7pm in Valders 206.

This presentation is part of Decorah Power's Learning Series - a series of events to help the community better understand the opportunities and challenges that would be involved in a Decorah municipal utility. The event is free and open to the public. 
Visit the National Parks this January!
The Center for Sustainable Communities is partnering with Green Iowa AmeriCorps to present public screenings of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." A biography of historical and contemporary characters embodying a uniquely American idea, this 12-hour, six-part documentary will be screened in Valders 206 throughout January Term! Directed by Ken Burns and co-produced with Dayton Duncan, the documentary traces the evolution of national parks from the mid-1800s and over the next 150 years.  This documentary explores all aspects of the National Park system in America and pays homage to the people that make them possible.

Join us for this 6 part series! Screenings will take place in Valders 362, with an environmental education activity available for children in Valders 379 for all who need it.  Each episode is approximately two hours long. It is not necessary to attend every film to understand the context, though we encourage it if possible!
Wednesday, Jan. 10th, 6:30pm - The Scripture of Nature
Sunday, Jan. 14th, 2:00pm - The Last Refuge
Wednesday, Jan. 17th, 6:30pm - The Empire of Grandeur
Sunday, Jan. 21st, 2:00pm - Going Home
Wednesday, Jan. 24th, 6:30pm - Great Nature
Sunday, Jan. 28th, 2:00pm - The Morning of Creation
Read more about the documentary series.
Last Indoor Farmers Market of the year
Do you miss weekly trips to the Farmer's Market for fresh produce, meat, eggs, baked goods, and crafts? Are you longing for a reason to walk downtown and experience community and visit with local vendors? You're in luck! The popular Winneshiek County Farmers Market is hosting a special Indoor Market one last time! This is the perfect chance to pick up a handmade holiday gift for your loved ones. Visit the Danan Lansing Building at the Decorah Fairgrounds from 8:30-11:30AM on December 16th. Hope to see you there!
Sustainability Tip
Minimize waste (and save money!) this holiday season by changing how you wrap gifts! Save and re-use wrapping paper, or use alternatives like newspaper or old maps.   Another option for paper can be found in discontinued books of wallpaper samples, or even old calendars.  You can also wrap gifts in scarves or handkerchiefs!  Gift bags are easy to make out of scrap fabric and some ribbon, and these are both reusable and made out of recycled materials.
Questions or comments?
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. Thank you!
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 visit:
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, December 5th: 
"Microgrids, Storage, and Cybersecurity at the Community Level"
Saturday, December 16th: 
Burning Bright Community Concert
Staff Spotlight
Sarah Forsythe '15

Sarah works as the Food and Farm Fellow for the Center for Sustainable Communities. She graduated from Luther in 2015 with degrees in Anthropology and Sociology. During her time on campus she became passionate about food justice, food security and rebuilding food systems. She applied to this position to give back to Luther, help grow the the Luther College Gardensand to expand her experience working in agriculture. This past calendar year, Sarah has been managing the Luther Gardens, supervising student workers, managing the Caf to Community program, and helping to produce food for the college's cafeteria.
Farm Production Manager - Community GroundWorks
Community GroundWorks is accepting applications for a farm production manager to maintain produce and crop sustainability of the organization.
Kids' Garden Manager - Community GroundWorks
The Kids' Garden Director is responsible for developing and managing the Troy Kids' Garden, a regional garden-based education program for a diverse population of elementary, middle and high school children from area schools and community centers.
Field Crew Member - Conservation Corps 
Work outside for a year with the Conservation Corps! Conservation-minded people and all outdoor-loving young adults are encouraged to apply.
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