“We try to do a campus cleanup
day every year, and we have multiple
volunteer workdays,” Cartwright says.
“We go out and pull garlic mustard,
collect seeds, and do physical, manual
labor. We installed a butterfly garden
on campus last year, and now the club is
Even students who aren’t routinely
active in the club have expressed inter-
est in learning about the college’s
commitment to greener living.
“Students are interested in what the
school is doing,” she says. “They want
to know if we have efficient energy,
for example. We have a very active
environmental action committee, and
students want information about what
they’re doing. In general, students are
more aware than they were in the past,
Sustainability is also evolving into
a potential career option for many
students, says Cartwright, and finding
a school that’s committed to environ-
mental causes can be an important part
of the college selection process.
“It’s a growing field, both for two-year career programs and those going
on to four-year programs. The average
college-age student now grew up with
recycling as part of their high school
curriculum. They’re very aware of
things like endangered species—this is
very tangible for them,” she says.
Stakeholders of all types are showing
a more acute interest in how nicely
colleges play with Mother Nature.
“Students, taxpayers, and our local
“I had no idea I’d be doing that level of work at
a community college. We had a lot of support
from administrators, which was important.”
—Jeremy Begley, student, Trinidad State Junior College
and state government all seem very
concerned,” says Bob Marietta, facility
renovations, sustainability, and safety
manager at Howard Community
College (HCC) in Columbia, Md. “They
expect us to be responsible stewards
of the resources we have here. And we
try and follow that.”
HCC involves students and faculty in
its Facilities and Sustainability Team.
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