Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.01
Liaison Rebecca Walker
Submission Date April 13, 2022

STARS v2.2

Southern Oregon University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Rebecca Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Management, Sustainability and Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Indigenous Gardens Network

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The SOU Native American Studies Program organizes the Indigenous Gardens Network, which is a hub for Indigenous-led land projects centering on food sovereignty, land stewardship, educational opportunities, and habitat restoration. The purpose of the Indigenous Gardens Network is to provide accessibility to land and “first foods” for tribal communities. First foods are plant and animal species that Native Americans traditionally relied upon for subsistence, medicine, and ceremonial uses. The network consists of a tribal steering committee and working groups with citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Their Indigenous knowledge and expertise in cultivation, harvesting, and stewardship inform and direct each project that the network takes on. Projects from the past year included listening sessions on barriers to land accessibility for tribal people, planning meetings, site visits, the creation of working groups, an online Acorn Camp, a First Food Stewardship planning project at Vesper Meadow, development of a Shasta/Takelma Learning Garden at SOU and the purchase of acorn processing equipment and camas restoration tools.
https://news.sou.edu/2022/02/indigenous-gardens-network-again-receives-oregon-cultural-trust-grant/, www.sou.edu/to


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
City of Ashland Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

The purpose of Ashland’s Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission is to support the achievement of Ashland's Community Climate Recovery Goals and conservation activities. The Commission shall actively encourage Community entities and individuals to make wise use of resources and make progress toward Ashland's Community Climate Goals as set forth in the most current City Council approved version of the Climate and Energy Action Plan.

The Climate and Energy Action Plan has two overarching goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare Ashland to be more resilient to climate change impacts. The vision of how to do this builds in equity, building a resilient community, and protecting ecosystems. It states that Ashland's Climate Vision for 2050 is to be a resilient community that has zero net greenhouse gas emissions, embraces equity, protects healthy ecosystems, and creates opportunities for future generations.

The Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission consists of nine voting members including one representative each from the solid waste franchisee for the City, Southern Oregon University, and the Ashland School District, and six other voting members.

Powers and Duties Generally:
​Consistent with City policies and procedures, educate and advocate for Ashland's Community Climate Recovery Goals
Consistent with the Climate and Energy Action Plan, make recommendations on strategies, actions, and programs related to the wise and efficient use of resources by all Ashland citizens, including:
Consumption of goods and services;
Materials management, waste prevention, reduction, and recycling;
Conservation and efficient use of electricity, water, and natural resources;
Promotion of community, residential, and commercial renewable resources;
Air quality awareness; and
Climate resilience and preparedness.

Southern Oregon University appoints a staff member to serve on the Commission. The Commission meets for two hours every month, with subcommittees on current projects that meet more frequently. The university provides staff time and expertise on the Commission.

https://www.ashland.or.us/CCBindex.asp?CCBID=193


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Transportation Options Partnership with Rogue Valley Transportation District

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

SOU's Social Justice and Equity Center's Student Sustainability Team maintains a formal community partnership with the Rogue Valley Transportation District called the SOU Transportation Options Program. RVTD financially supports a paid student employee position whose purpose is to advocate and encourage students and employees to reduce their drive-alone trips. This partnership is financially supported by SOU through in-kind contributions of professional staff time to supervise the student and work on projects, and in material support through supplies and services purchases. The student employee and their supervisor organize a Transportation Options oversight committee that includes representatives from RVTD as well as campus representations from groups including the office of Diversity and Inclusion, student representation from the Multicultural Coalition, and non-traditional aged/returning students, SOU Housing, and Disability Resources office. This governing board helps identify priority projects and targets areas for more inclusive transportation advocacy. The committee meets twice per year.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Rogue Valley Farm to School, http://www.rvfarm2school.org, is a vital member of the Rogue Valley community. Their mission: Farm to school programs link local farmers with schools. They have expertise in hands-on programming that teaches public school students about healthy, sustainable food choices. The Farm at SOU is pleased to support these programs and provide a local, working farm to host their educational efforts. The program focuses on sustainable life choices; ecological farming practices and ways to support those with food insecurity. Students from the visiting schools are, on average, 45% food insecure.

Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S) has arrangements with five local farms that serve as educational farm sites, including the Farm at SOU. Each site is a working farm that opens its gates for local students to experience hands-on farm education. Farm sites are located throughout the Rogue Valley to allow easy access for the school districts in each region. Each farm site has outdoor kitchen facilities for harvesting meals.

RVF2S and SOU have a Facilities Use Agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of their partnership. As part of this partnership, SOU provides RVF2S with the use of the Farm at SOU for teaching space and vegetable produce for their programs. The university also provides a teaching staff person for each program - about 20 classes per season. The current agreement is for one year, with the option to renew the agreement thereafter by mutual written agreement of both parties for three additional one-year terms.


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

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