Every year we host and organize a variety of educational and action oriented events. Our five committees have been very productive this past semester. To give you an idea, here are summaries of each committee from the coordinators themselves!
Education & Outreach
This semester, Education and Outreach has focused on promoting environmental issues on the KU campus. Our committee continues to work with the Wetland Learners program, facilitating field trips for 2nd and 6th graders to the Wakarusa Wetlands. Besides Wetland Learners and a demonstration for the 7th graders at Southwest Jr. High about wetland ecology, other campus projects include planning a day of service in collaboration with KU Alternative Breaks, a Sustainability Career Fair, and promoting Meatless Mondays. Through the KU Center for Sustainability, Education and Outreach is organizing a “Lights Out Campaign.” We are going to revisit the previous University efforts with stickers but also display additional energy facts above light switches. The Education and Outreach committee will be assisting in additional projects at the request of the Center for Sustainability. Lots of efforts are also going into planning the first Sustainable Career Fair that will take place in April next semester. We have met with the Career Center and they are going to be a great resource for us in planning this amazing event! We are eager to start work on the career fair now that we have booked the Kansas Union ballroom to host our this event on April 19th. Our next step is to brainstorm potential businesses to invite to the career fair.
Creative Hands is a new group as of the 2010-2011 school year. Constructed with the intent of improving Environs networking within the group as well as with the campus community, Creative Hands contributes through publicizing events and Environs' projects. In the past few weeks we have begun working with KJHK, making public service announcements and producing commercials. This fall we have worked with Local Foods group in creating a logo for the Student Farm. Future projects include involvement with the Students Farm such as signs and landscape, Field Station trail markers, Campus Murals, Fundraisers, and Advertising such as chalking, fliers, and radio broadcasts to inform about future projects/events.
The Local Foods committee has continued working this semester on various projects to educate and promote local foods. We are currently planning the screening of a documentary that will be shown later in the semester to increase awareness about the food industry in general. We also participate in many farm tours and recently attended the Kaw Valley Farm Tour to increase our knowledge of gardening techniques and healthier eating. And finally we are utilizing the University of Kansas Student Farm to learn from and grow our own produce!
We are building and continuing relationships with various environmental friends, both new and old–the KU field station with trail maintenance, the ECM with compost upkeep, the Potter Lake Project with pond restoration and cleaning, as well as the Wetlands Preservation Organization with a fundraising event currently in the planning stage in support of Haskell's eco-walk project.
Our committee is continuing the project to bring LED street lights to Jayhawk Boulevard, funding has been acquired and we are in the final stages of planning. We are also planning a bike safety awareness week in the spring to promote safe bicycle riding through the lawrence community and campus. Our campaign for this year is to promote the use of aluminum and discourage plastic on campus. Our first step is to bring a filtered water bottle filling station to the Union which counts the number of water bottles saved while using the machine (just like the ones that already exist in the rec center).