Sustainability Council

    The Sustainability Council consists of student leaders who work to address campus environmental issues.

    Sustainability Council Minutes

    Sustainability and Food Initiative

    • May Day was held in the garden on Saturday, April 30 from 1-3PM. Big success! Very large turnout!
    • Fence project is ongoing! Contact Emma Cease (ecease2@washcoll.edu) if you are interested in helping paint.
    • Casey Time is being held in the Campus Garden this year! Friday, May 6th from 12-2PM. Projects include: Compost bin building; painting bee boxes; mulching; clearing weeds; digging post holes; helping Emma paint the garden fence. All are welcome!
    • The ShoreRivers bioretention dedication is at 11PM this Friday! All are welcome! Located in the North Commons parking lot.

    Student Environmental Alliance

    • Move-Out Market
    • Boxes will be placed in residential halls for donations starting this week through end of finals week 
    • Partnership with Residential Life 
    • Elections will be held for new officers this week

    Compost

    • Recycling video has been completed
    • New officers have been selected
    • Presidents: Grace Kelly and Hannah McCarthy 
    • Vice President: Amity Harrington 
    • Treasurer: Belle Leiphart
    • Secretary: Aryanna Horan
    • Historian: Rory Miller
    • Vermicomposting is going well!
    • Anyone interested in hosting the worm bins over the summer can contact any of the officers 
    • Due to time constraints, the garden/compost officers have decided to hold off on the seedling fundraiser until next semester
    • There are currently seedlings beginning to sprout if any of the other clubs/Casey Time has use for them 

    Garden

    • New officers have been selected
    • 2 new colonies of bees have been added to the garden! 
    • We now have 4 hives!
    • The new colonies will be introduced this week

    Sustainability and Food Initiative

    • There is still one spot left in the regenerative living community!
    • Some of the permaculture interns and KAO collaborated last friday to start mulching the RAFC camping path.
    • The Garden fence is in the process of being painted. 
    • New water bottle refill stations will be installed over the summer 
    • ShoreRivers would like to do a dedication of the North Commons stormwater installation on April 22 
    • John Seidel’s  retirement ceremony is at SG hall on Friday, April 22 from 3:30-5:30
    • Arbor day event is on Friday, April 29 11:30-1:30 run by CES on the library terrace, with a scavenger hunt around campus and educational materials 

    Campus Garden

    • Discretionary request has been approved!
    • Next semester budgeting is in progress
    • May day celebration is Saturday, April 30 1-3pm
    • The garden will be hosting Casey Time volunteers on Friday, May 6 (reading day) 
    • A water bottle refill station will be installed in the garden over the summer! 
    • This is funded through a Mid-Shore Health Coalition grant and opens up the opportunity to receive more grants 
    • Chicken Caretaker Sign-Up

    Composting Club

    • The recycling video has been filmed and is now in the process of being edited.
    • New officers will be introduced by the next meeting.
    • The worm bin project is up and running, and is currently being passed among members. 
    • If anyone is interested in hosting the worms for a couple of days, please let Emily know! 

    Student Environmental Alliance 

    • Move-out market is being planned in collaboration with residential life.
    • Tentatively timed for the weekend before finals week. 

    SGA

    • Welcome Kevin!
    • If anyone has any questions that SGA can answer (budgets, events, etc.), feel free to contact Kevin! 
    • Elm recycling event this Friday, April 15
    • Upcoming Bee Campus event at SG hall 
    • Annual birthday celebration by Chestertown Environmental Committee on Saturday, April 23 starting at Wilmer Park
    • Trash clean-up along rail trail 
    • 2 shifts: 8:30-10:30 and 10:30-1
    • Prizes given away to people who participate!
    • Lots of venders will be present 
    • Town of Chestertown is sponsoring a book talk for “Nature’s Best Hope” at the Chester River Yacht Club on April 2t at 5:30PM
    • Bike share 
    • App being developed by makers union 
    • Will be released next school year 

    Sustainability and Food Initiative 

    • Launch of the regenerative living learning community pilot program for the 2022-2023 school year
    • Applications are available now for any students interested!
    • Emma has begun painting the fence 
    • Food initiative internship this summer 
    • Applying for a grant to put a water bottle filler in the campus garden 

    Food Recovery Network 

    • Looking to join with the SGA hunger and homelessness 

    Campus Garden

    • Looking for more students to help take care of the chickens
    • Hannah Perkins will be hosting another interest meeting to teach volunteers everything they need to know on Monday, April 4th
    • No prior experience is needed 
    • Sign up to learn more here regardless of whether or not you can make the interest meeting: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040B4CA9AA28ABFD0-campus
    • Worm bin has been started 
    • Joint workday with compost club last friday was successful 
    • Seeds have been potted for upcoming fundraiser 

    Composting Club 

    • Joint workday with compost club last friday was successful 
    • Aerated composting bin is almost up and running
    • Seeds have been potted for upcoming fundraiser 
    • Worm bin has been made and we are looking for caretakers 
    • Composting video is going to be filmed either this week or next week 
    • Composting bags are ready to be set up in the dining hall 

    Student Environmental Alliance 

    • Sustainability poster making night held last week 
    • Planning on one more event in late April/early May

    SGA

    • Last meeting with Alexa!
    • April 16th Earth day event collaborated with the Elm 
    • 2-3PM in the Egg 
    • Recycling copies of the elm to make collages
    • Bee Campus art installation will be put up in late april/early may

    General Announcements 

    Sustainability and Food Initiative 

    • Emma is planning on starting the fence project after spring break.
    • Talk to your groups and come up with a design! 
    • The permaculture chicken design

    SGA

    • Upcoming recycled paper collaboration event!
    • Going to attend rally in April if legislation passes to the floor
    • Erica Q. from the Elm has a lot of extra copies and needs something to do with them
    • Currently writing to delegates voicing support for environmental legislation 

    SEA

    • Fall recycling challenge in collaboration with Buildings and Grounds was Cecil House
    • The dining hall will be switching back to reusable to-go containers! More information will be shared soon on social media.
    • Working with building and grounds to determine what recycled bottle-cap furniture we want to order
    • Upcoming sustainability poster night on March 24th

    Garden Club

    • Meeting time is currently 2:30-5PM
    • They are currently working to reconstruct the 18-day compost bins
    • Hannah Perkins is leading training days if you are interested in caring for the chickens
    • Another chicken interest meeting will be held soon to notify the entire campus
    • There is an article in the Elm about the chickens, so please check that out. It talks about how everyone can respect the chickens, the eggs, and general safety of the chickens.
    • More plywood is also needed for the aerated compost bin lid. Looking to possibly split the cost with the Compost Team. Analiese is taking measurements. 
    • Friday work days have begun and will continue for the rest of the semester
    • The permaculture interns have done an amazing job so far in the garden!
    • The garden is officially the home to five chickens courtesy of Dr. Van Meter.
    • The garden has acquired another picnic table that anyone is welcome to utilize for meetings, studying, relaxing, etc.
    • We have A LOT of leftover compost buckets and WAC reusable bags, so please reach out to Analiese if you would like one or many for a possible event/giveaway
    • All bird houses have been constructed, however we need plywood for the bat boxes.

    Composting Club 

    • Extra composting buckets are being distributed for anyone that wants one
    • Meeting tonight, Monday March 7th at 7PM in Smith 110

    Food Recovery Network 

    • Upcoming trash clean-ups at Sass and possibly Eastern Neck
    • Planning to do a tree planting 

    Wildlife Conservation Club

    • Finishing up painting bird houses in collaboration with the Campus Garden

    Council Members in Attendance

    General Announcements 

    • President Sosulski was in attendance today!
    • Kappa Alpha Omicron Environmental Honor Society Induction Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 8 at 4:30pm in Litrenta 
    • Keynote speaker will be Annie Richards, ShoreRivers Chester Riverkeeper

    Discussion with President

    • Current campus composting situation 
    • We are receiving scraps from the dining hall but need more resources and a larger location if we want to effectively compost everything
    • Large increase in overall campus involvement and engagement with the drive-by compost system 
    • Need for a permanent full-time Sustainability Director position 
    • Resolution was passed through SGA outlining this 
    • This position helped organize more sustainability internship opportunities in the past 
    • This position could help promote consistent messaging across campus regarding our sustainability initiatives (compost, nutrition, food recovery, permaculture, environmental justice, habitat restoration, etc.)
    • Would align with the environmental image the school is promoting
    • Future possibilities to increase the sustainability of the campus landscape 
    • Large open spaces that are primarily turf grass or eroded soil 
    • We could implement spaces that are more attractive, eco-friendly, and engage the student body
    • For example native meadows like at SG Hall or rain gardens 

    Dining Hall Changes

    • Look into swapping canola oil with a healthier alternative and/or reduce unnecessary use 
    • Need to incorporate more local and seasonal food 
    • Reduce the amount of refined grains and offer more whole and sprouted grains 
    • Look into bringing back the reusable to-go containers 
    • The school is currently considering different dining services moving forward since the current contract with our current vendor is up

    Sustainability and Food Initiative 

    • Potential living and learning community in the Western Shore dorms for those interested in Sustainability initiatives 
    • Close location for easy care of campus garden, composting, and chicken care

    SEA

    • T-shirt distribution is ongoing
    • Contact Emma C if you ordered a t-shirt to arrange a time for pick-up
    • Spring interest meeting will be soon 

    Garden Club

    • Hosting an interest meeting for a council to take care of the chickens coming later this semester 
    • Collaboration this Sunday, February 20 with Wildlife Conservation Club to finish painting birdhouses

    Composting Club 

    • Receiving funds for a composting bin in one of the dorms 

    Food Recovery Network 

    • Upcoming collaborative event with Sabine Harvey at UMD Agriculture Extension 
    • Planning an in-dorm food preservation workshop 
    • Upcoming film screening 
    • Will be looking for a new executive board since all officers will be graduating 
    • Possibly participating in some talks and events held by FRN National later in the spring

    Wildlife Conservation Club 

    • Collaboration this Sunday, February 20 with Garden Club to finish painting birdhouses



    General Announcements 

    • President Solsulski will be joining us for our meeting next week!

    Sustainability and Food Initiative 

    • Nine permaculture interns this semester
    • They are currently working on new plant profiles for the website
    • Working to coordinate May Day celebration
    • Looking to have a bigger impact project later this semester
    • Will be implementing pocket gardens around campus in combination with Building and Grounds 
    • Possible rain garden implementation 
    • Looking to implement new signage promoting environmental initiatives around campus 
    • Expanding upon fence project in the spring so that each environmental club is represented 
    •  SEA
    • Virtual talk with Dr. Isabella Alcañiz called “The Role of Race, Immigration and Partisanship in Shaping Attitudes about Climate Disaster Assistance in the United States”
    • Held on Monday, February 7th at 4PM on zoom
    • Link will be sent out 
    • In collaboration with Sigma Delta Pi
    • Will discuss the disproportional impact of governmental aid following natural disasters for marginalized communities 
    • Emma C is in the process of distributing t-shirts ordered last semester for those that ordered one 

    Garden Club

    • Chickens are coming soon! They will be here late Feb./Early March 
    • A chicken coop is being donated by Dr. Van Meter. Thank you!
    • Chicken council will be formed for taking care of chickens
    • Interest meeting will be soon
    • Possible upcoming collaboration with KAO for a garden planting
    • Bees will be coming soon as well!
    • Workdays will be starting again soon. They are Fridays with a new time frame of 2-4PM.
    • Possibly expanding to some Thursdays 2-4PM

    Composting Club 

    • Recycling video with President being created
    • Compost team meeting Monday, Feb. 7th
    • Upcoming fundraiser selling seedlings 
    • Food Recovery Network 
    • Upcoming collaborative event with Sabine Harvey at UMD Agriculture Extension 
    • Planning an in-dorm food preservation workshop 
    • Upcoming film screening 
    • Will be looking for a new executive board since all officers will be graduating 
    • Possibly participating in some talks and events held by FRN National later in the spring

    Wildlife Conservation Club 

    • Currently on hold because of COVID
    • Trash clean-ups will still happen at Sassafras NRMA

    Emma Cease - Student Sustainability and Food Initiative Director (ecease2@washcoll.edu)
    Isabel Bendel-Simso - Student Environmental Alliance President (ibendelsimso2@washcoll.edu)
    Analiese Bush - Campus Garden President (abush2@washcoll.edu)
    Marianne Herbst - Wildlife Conservation Club (mherbst2@washcoll.edu)
    Emily Hurley - Composting Club President (ehurley3@washcoll.edu)
    Alaina Perdon - Food Recovery Network President (aperdon2@washcoll.edu) Alexa Venturato - Student Government Association Environmental Chair (aventurato2@washcoll.edu)

    General Announcements

    • KAO will be doing a beach clean-up on Reading day at Betterton Beach
    • Beekeeping course and permaculture internship will kick off in the spring
    • EV chargers have been rewired and are working correctly
    • Handsell located in Dorchester County has opportunities for students to camp and participate in native american/sustainable crafting
    • They have a wigwam and experimental archaeology site looking at land-use pre and post colonization
    • New water refilling stations will be installed at the beginning of spring semester!
    • Check out the updated green spaces map to see the location of current water bottle refilling stations
    • All sustainability related updates, minutes, member profiles, etc. are located on the website
    • Please do not hesitate to reach out to any council members if you have any questions/comments

    SGA

    • Director of Sustainability resolution submitted at 11/30 Senate meeting
    • Terracycle officially kicks off 12/1
    • Upcycle gift exchange assignments have been made
    • The location will be shifted from Central Services to a new location. New location will be communicated once finalized
    • New resolution passed in Senate to support legislation to protect environmental rights

    Food Recovery Network

    • Composting bucket activity on December 8th at 7:30PM in the Nest with Composting team
    • Looking to host film screening during finals week
    • Looking to purchase wheelbarrow to help transport compost

    Composting Team

    • Composting bucket activity on December 8th at 7:30PM in the Nest with Food Recovery Network
    • Upcoming garden workday with garden club on Friday 12/3 3-5PM
    • Working on recycling video

    Gardening Club

    • Garden workday every Friday until the end of the year at 3PM
    • Upcoming day tbd to finish bird, bat, and bee homes in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation

    SEA

    • Last issue of the Wave will be released mid December
    • Recycling challenge is ongoing! Winners will receive a trophy and free pizza after winter break. Make sure to properly recycle in your dorm hall to have a chance to win.

    Wildlife Conservation

    • Upcoming day tbd to finish bird, bat, and bee homes in collaboration with Garden Club

    Emma Cease - Student Sustainability and Food Initiative Director (ecease2@washcoll.edu)
    Isabel Bendel-Simso - Student Environmental Alliance President (ibendelsimso2@washcoll.edu)
    Analiese Bush - Campus Garden President (abush2@washcoll.edu)
    Marianne Herbst - Wildlife Conservation Club (mherbst2@washcoll.edu)
    Emily Hurley - Composting Club President (ehurley3@washcoll.edu)
    Alaina Perdon - Food Recovery Network President (aperdon2@washcoll.edu) Alexa Venturato - Student Government Association Environmental Chair (aventurato2@washcoll.edu)

    General Announcements

    • Kappa Alpha Environmental Honor Society is hosting a film screening of “Picture A Scientist” on November 10 (Advising Day) from 2:30-4:30pm in Norman James Theater
      — Diversity and Inclusivity film about the barriers women face in the STEM field
    • Permaculture internship and beekeeping course applications for spring will be sent out soon
    • Next meeting will be November 30, 2pm
    • All sustainability related updates, minutes, member profiles, etc. are located on the website at https://www.washcoll.edu/sustainability/council/
    • Please do not hesitate to reach out to any council members if you have any questions/comments

    SGA

    • Permanent Director of Sustainability Resolution
    • Terracycle Initiative — Nationwide program to recycle objects that can’t go into typical wastestream (ex. Shampoo bottles, tide containers, etc.). Boxes will be placed in laundry rooms at dorm halls. Collected bimonthly; free to set-up; earns school points that can be redeemed for charitable donations.

    SEA

    • November issue of the Wave released 11/9/21
    • Upcoming environmental documentary night on November 18 at 7 PM
    • Recycling Challenge in collaboration with buildings and grounds kicks off on November 15th! Initiative to help promote proper recycling in dorms. Residence Hall Floor (or by building if Western Shore) with best care of recycling stations will win a trophy and pizza party. Will run until December 13. Winners will receive prize when we return from winter break.

    Campus Garden

    • Oktoberfest was a big success!
    • Chickens and pocket gardens coming in the spring

    Composting Club

    • Working with Food Recovery Network for DIY Compost Bucket Event
    • Compost bin implemented in Dining Hall kitchen

    Wildlife Conservation

    • Upcoming tree planting event
    • Continued collaboration with Garden Club to make bird, bat, and bee houses

    Food Recovery Network

    • Working with Composting Club for DIY Compost Bucket Event
    • Please contact Alaina Perdon (aperdon2@washcoll.edu) if interested in packaging groceries to be distributed throughout Kent County by Minary’s Dream Alliance
    • Film screening about food waste and food insecurities during finals week

    Emma Cease - Student Sustainability and Food Initiative Director (ecease2@washcoll.edu)
    Isabel Bendel-Simso - Student Environmental Alliance President (ibendelsimso2@washcoll.edu)
    Analiese Bush - Campus Garden President (abush2@washcoll.edu)
    Marianne Herbst - Wildlife Conservation Club (mherbst2@washcoll.edu)
    Emily Hurley - Composting Club President (ehurley3@washcoll.edu)
    Alaina Perdon - Food Recovery Network President (aperdon2@washcoll.edu)

    General Announcements

    • New recycling signage have been hung up in trash rooms in all dorms on-campus
    • Please read and adhere to these recycling guidelines to make sure we can recycle items properly and help out our maintenance staff!
    • Looking into advocating for Washington College to pledge commitment to the DOE Better Climate Challenge
    • The school has officially been awarded green power recognition by the EPA!
    • Full press release
    • Looking to add SGA representative to Council
    • Next meeting set for November 9th at 2PM
    • All sustainability related updates, minutes, member profiles, etc. are located on the website
    • Please do not hesitate to reach out to any council members if you have any questions/comments

    Garden Club

    • Oktoberfest will be held October 29th from 3-5PM in the Campus Garden
    • Rain location is the alumni house
    • Enjoy gluten-free earth oven pretzels, fresh mustard, fermented potato salad, sauerkraut, mugwort soda, and a root beer demonstration and tasting
    • Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are all welcome
    • 3 new sugar maple trees have been planted near Daly hall
    • Recent collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Club to build homes for birds, bats, and bees was a success
    • Continuation of this project on Sunday, November 7th 2-4PM — all are welcome!
    • Herb spiral and garden rock terrace projects have been completed
    • Looking to add chickens in the spring

    Student Environmental Alliance

    • October issue of The Wave was a success and can be found on the Sustainability website page and SEA social media
    • Next issue will be out in November
    • Upcoming recycling challenge in the works
    • Pizza and trophy prize

    Composting Team

    • Working on educational video to promote proper recycling across campus
    • Compost bin in dining hall has been approved and will be implemented soon
    • Remember that pumpkins can be thrown in the drive-by compost located in the campus garden!

    Food Recovery Network

    • Recently participated in first volunteer harvest at Sassafras Environmental Education Center by harvesting sweet potatoes for food pantries in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties
    • Planning to make one more trip there before it gets too cold
    • More volunteers would be greatly appreciated!
    • Planning upcoming composing workshop in collaboration with Composting Team
    • Already have funding for buckets that students can decorate for their dorms
    • Event will also provide a crash-course in composting
    • Please contact Alaina Perdon (mailto:aperdon2@washcoll.edu) if interested in packaging groceries to be distributed throughout Kent County by Minary’s Dream Alliance

    Wildlife Conservation Club

    • Recent collaboration with Garden Club to build homes for birds, bats, and bees was a success
    • Continuation of this project on Sunday, November 7th 2-4PM — All are welcome!

    Council Members

    Emma Cease - Student Sustainability and Food Initiative Director (ecease2@washcoll.edu)
    Isabel Bendel-Simso - Student Environmental Alliance President (ibendelsimso2@washcoll.edu)
    Analiese Bush - Campus Garden President (abush2@washcoll.edu)
    Marianne Herbst - Wildlife Conservation Club (mherbst2@washcoll.edu)
    Emily Hurley - Composting Club President (ehurley3@washcoll.edu)
    Alaina Perdon - Food Recovery Network President (aperdon2@washcoll.edu)

    General Announcements

    • School has joined the EPA Green Power Partnership in recognition of its solar energy purchase
    • Plans to fund a rain garden on the southern end of campus
    • Oktoberfest will be held October 29 from 3-5PM in the Campus Garden
    • Make mustard, mugwort beer, and earth oven pretzels
    • All sustainability related updates, minutes, member profiles, etc. are located on the website at https://www.washcoll.edu/sustainability/
    • Please do not hesitate to reach out to any council members if you have any questions/comments

    Maintenance and Grounds

    • Maintenance is extremely short-staffed
    • Causing back-up in general maintenance jobs (like collecting recyclables)
    • Asking that students be patient and understanding
    • Federal work study maintenance job position postings in the works

    Recycling Challenges

    • Students are not separating recyclable materials in the dorms
    • Cardboard needs to be folded and placed in bins
    • Bottles and cans must be empty and rinsed out
    • Placing items in incorrect bins
    • All recycling is hand-sorted by maintenance!

    Recycling Solutions

    • Campus-wide recycling challenge
    • Dorm/dorm floor with the best kept recycling stations at the end of each month will win trophy and food reward
    • Campus-wide educational video
    • New infographics for recycling stations
    • Need increased recognition and interaction with employees from students
    • New highlights of employees in the Elm and the Wave
    • Formation of an anonymous form submittal for students to put in suggestions of how maintenance can help improve campus in the works

    Campus Garden

    • Garden workdays are every friday 3-5PM
    • All are welcome!
    • Garden is accessible to students 24/7
    • Planned collaboration with Garden Club on October 10
    • Building bird, bat, and bee houses for campus garden

    Student Environmental Alliance

    • First interest meeting is Thursday September 30 at 7PM
    • Looking to restart bottle cap collection to convert into campus furniture

    Composting Team

    • Upcoming collaboration with Food Recovery Network for dorm composting workshop for students
    • Make your own compost bucket

    Food Recovery Network

    • Upcoming collaboration with Composting Club for dorm composting workshop for students
    • Make your own compost bucket
    • Chestertown Community Table is not operating currently because of COVID
    • Waiting on health department to re-establish relationship between them and Dining Hall
    • Efforts have been switched to education rather than food recovery in the meantime
    • Looking to partner in the future with the Maryland Agriculture Extension

    Wildlife Conservation Club

    • Recent trash clean-up at Sassafras that was successful
    • Planned collaboration with Garden Club on October 10
    • Building bird, bat, and bee houses for campus garden
    • Have more trash clean-ups and tree plantings with some outside organizations planned COVID-permitting

    Fall 2021

    First Meeting of 2021

    The Sustainability Council had its first meeting in Fall 2021 with Lea Carter of Buildings and Grounds at the Alumni House to discuss solutions to campus recycling challenges.