Forestry, Waste, Racism, Thrifting. These are just a few of the unique focus groups working within The Sustainability Leadership Program (SLP). In SLP, new and existing initiatives are working together to make DePauw University a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious place to live and work, according to Kiara Goodwine, student director of the Sustainability Leadership Program.
“This program is truly unique to DePauw,” said Goodwine.
The SLP, led by Student Directors Goodwine and Rafael Robert, and Faculty Director Malorie Imhoff, is made up of seven groups concentrated on specific environmental issues that affect DePauw’s campus: the Environmental Policy Project, Zero Waste Group, Campus Farm, Environmental Racism Group, the Thrifty Tiger, and new this semester: the Forestry and Conservation Education Groups.
“There are constantly new things happening in the Sustainability Leadership Program,” said Imhoff. The new focus groups for Conservation Education and Forestry specifically are working to “educate the campus about environmental topics” and “identify spaces around campus and in the community that could support more trees,” she said.
According to Imhoff, a new addition is being implemented into the program: the Green Tiger. This student-held position will support weekly informational sessions that the community can attend to learn about sustainability initiatives on campus and get involved, said Imhoff.
The SLP also announced the following for this semester: new hours for the Thrifty Tiger, the Adventure Outpost bike rentals opening for the season, plans for a keynote speech about environmental justice in April, and the grand re-opening of the Ullem Campus Farm and new Center for Sustainability in May.
According to a recent press release from the Office for Sustainability, the new and improved Ullem Farm “includes a new building and significantly expanded agricultural operations,” and “the building (currently under construction) will feature an outdoor classroom, kitchen, rooftop solar panels, student programming and dining space, and additional sustainability features.”
The facilities are scheduled to open in early May, but according to Robert, “seeds are being grown in the greenhouse in preparation for the spring weather” already.
“I have been in this program since my first semester at DePauw,” said Goodwine, “and the impact SLP has had on campus and the community continues to grow.” She and 84 students involved in various programs under SLP look forward to more growth with additional programs coming in Spring 2019 and for years to come.