Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Kathleen Hilimire
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Fort Lewis College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Kathleen Hilimire
Assistant Professor
Environmental Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Environmental Center is a student-driven organization that works to develop environmental leadership amongst the students of FLC by engaging them in hands-on, high-impact sustainability projects on campus and within the community. This organization is guided by a 40% student Board of Directors who provide direction for two professional staff, 30 student staff, and 100 volunteers. Recent accomplishments include:


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Fort Lewis College has many options for students to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems. Within academics, there are two sustainable food systems courses. Political Ecology of Food is a course that draws on multiple disciplines within the social sciences to examine how environment, policy, culture, society, and economics intersect to inform food system function. Ecological Agriculture immerses students in approaches to garden and farm management that are compatible with ecosystem function and environmental conservation. Also within academics, the Environmental Studies program offers an internship course, through which students can acquire 150 hours of hands-on experience at one of many local organically managed farms.

Outside of academics, students can volunteer at the Environmental Center’s demonstration eco-garden or participate in the Local Food program. For students with a serious interest in local food systems, the Environmental Center also offers paid fellowships through the Local Food Fellow program.

Finally, students can acquire hands-on experience in organic agriculture at the Old Fort. The Old Fort at Hesperus is a beautiful 6,000+ acre site managed by Fort Lewis that is located just 16 miles from campus. The Old Fort offers several programs to learn more about farming. There are summer internships in sustainable agriculture that fulfill requirements in Environmental Studies, Public Health, Sociology, Biology, and other fields. The Old Fort Market Garden Incubator Program is for aspiring farmers and provides educational classes along with access to land, water, and infrastructure. Incubator participants run independent businesses and cooperate with each other to produce a variety of foods at 7,600 feet. Finally, the Farmer-In-Training Program is a stepping stone between the internship and incubator, for people who want to farm but who need more experience.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The Old Fort Farm Incubator Program offers an alternative point of entry for beginning farmers in the Four Corners region, providing them with access to support services that enable them to develop the skills necessary to succeed


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

1) Environmental Center REEL Film Experience: The REEL Environmental Film Experience serves to educate and inspire our campus and greater Durango community. It also generates funding to ensure that the Fort Lewis College Environmental Center will continue its critical work advancing environmental initiatives in our region, while simultaneously providing the training, skills, and ethical development to tomorrow’s environmental leaders.
2) Environmental Center Campus Sustainability Summit: The goal of this annual, student-driven event is to showcase sustainability on the Fort Lewis College campus, in the community of Durango, and beyond.
3) Martin Luther King Day Celebration: An annual celebration of the legacy of social change that provides Fort Lewis College students with training and workshops around direct action and social justice.
4) Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado Homegrown Food Retreat: Annual regional gathering of food system stakeholders to collaboratively identify and address gaps in our regional food system. The Environmental Center is a standing coalition member of the Growing Partners, and students aid in planning and implementing the retreat.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

1) Real Food Challenge Dining Installation: In 2015-2016, the Environmental Center's Aesthetic Activist student group designed a multi-media art installation to highlight how our on-campus Closed Loop Food system supports the Real Food Challenge here on campus. Through a combination of student-created photography, chalk lexicon, graphic design and three dimensional elements, our student artists walked viewers through student efforts from growing food on campus to Sodexo's role in preparing this food to be served in campus dining. The final segments of the 30x40' piece directed viewers' attention to the on-campus, student-run composting program and how the 'fuel' that it creates is ultimately used to grow more food by students, for students in the campus garden.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Fort Lewis College has several options for students to gain experience in Leave No Trace principles. Within academics, there are courses in the Adventure Education major with an explicit Leave No Trace Focus. Outside of academics, students can learn about Leave No Trace through Outdoor Pursuits, a program that offers outdoor experiences that emphasize environmental awareness.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Environmental Center cultivates environmental leaders by connecting Fort Lewis College students with opportunities to create change on campus and in our community. Our Local Food Security Initiatives provides instruction and workshops in ways to grow your own food, as well as how to access affordable, locally-grown foods in our community. Our Campus Sustainability initiative focuses on education, behaviors, and life skills directly related to a more 'sustainable life' (ie. personal and social behaviors related to conservation, resilience, etc). Our Zero Waste Initiative emphasizes ways that students can adopt more zero-waste life practices through our Free Store, Move In-Move Out program, campus composting, and residence hall recycling. And our Real Food Challenge Initiative helps to coach students on food choices beyond eating local that will help to sustain a more viable food system. All of the above are student-governed.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College employs between 25-30 student staff each academic year, 2-4 student staff in the summer, and between 2-6 credit-bearing student internships at any point.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Co-Curricular Classes: Ecological Agriculture immerses students in approaches to garden and farm management that are compatible with ecosystem function and environmental conservation. This credit-bearing course partners with the Environmental Center to utilize the on-campus garden as a laboratory for practicing what has been learned in the classroom.
Environmental Center Internships: The Environmental Center sponsors between 2-6 internships each semester that partner a student's academic studies with hands on, applied projects that ultimately advance sustainability efforts on campus or in our community. Internships have included Sociology partnerships where students complete the Real Food Challenge annual purchasing audit, Internships with Environmental Studies to design a three-season greenhouse for the Local Food Security Initiative, and internships with Adventure Education to build and run Alternative Spring Break programs.
Embedded Research: The Environmental Center has partnered with numerous faculty and classes at Fort Lewis College to embed needed research within existing classroom structure and syllabi. Examples include partnering with Environmental Studies Colloquium classes to gather a deeper understanding of on campus perceptions of and value for the Real Food Challenge, working with Honor’s Action Research Class to understand behaviors and attitudes around campus recycling, and engaging with Sociology to research on-campus food insecurity.
Embedded Classroom Projects: The Environmental Center has partnered with numerous faculty and classes at Fort Lewis College to embed applied projects within existing classroom structure and syllabi. Examples include our current partnership with the Engineering Senior Design Seminar to design and ultimately construct a green storage structure at the Environmental Center’s garden. Other examples include partnering with the Business Department’s Marketing Class to build a business plan for the on-campus garden, collaborating with the Honor’s Writing for Social Change to build out a lexicon for behavior change here at Fort Lewis College, and working with the GIS program to create a map of fruit trees in Durango available for harvest as part of the Environmental Center’s Crop Mobs program.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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