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Harvest Festival at Top Ranked Farm Caps Sustainability Week

Sustainability Week concluded with a fall festival at the Ursinus Organic Farm, which was recently ranked 12 on a list of the top 30 sustainable college-run farms.

Sustainability Week included Green Fellows educating the campus community on various sustainability topics like organic foods, pollinators and recycling,” said coordinator Hannah Marshall. They spread their message through events such as a reading of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, a food tasting that pitted organic foods vs. non-organic foods, and a signing of a conservation pledge.

In an event sponsored by the Center for Science and the Common Good, Michael Cann, professor of chemistry and co-director of environmental science at the University of Scranton who is known for his expertise in “green” chemistry, presented a talk: “Developing Sustainable Technologies to Assist Us in Living Within Planetary Environmental Boundaries.”

Students were invited to share their own sustainability efforts by completing the sentence “I’m sustainable by…” on chalkboard signs in Lower Wismer,and create crafts using recyclables in a “Trash to Treasure” event (Friday in Lower Wismer, 12-1:30 p.m.).

The celebration continued through the weekend. Students who have attended at least two Sustainability Week events could join President Blomberg for a bike ride Saturday. A Harvest Festival with a moon bounce, face painting and pumpkins was held at the Organic Farm on Sunday. “I am very excited to get more of the campus involved in environmental issues,” said Sydney Godbey ’18, who is co-director of the farm, along with Alana Lorraine ’18.

The farm, which has been in operation since 2004, is listed as one of the Top 30 Sustainable College-Run Farms, ranking in the Top 12 with the likes of the University of California, the University of Massachusetts and Michigan State University. “College farms are no longer just research sites, but have evolved to become centers of student solidarity and community nutrition,” according to College Values Online. Sustainability was measured in terms of significant student involvement, environmentally friendly methods, diversity of production, connection with college instruction, and farm sales targeting both the college and surrounding community.

“The environmental department and the sustainability office were very glad to see how their hard work has paid off,” says Godbey. “It is such an interesting program and I hope the attention helps to improve it even further.” 

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