The Office of Sustainability develops and facilitates a plethora of sustainability projects and programs both on campus and in collaboration with the local community. All projects supported by the Office of Sustainability have one or more students are their core, leading project development, implementation and assessment. Below are some of the many projects currently supported by the Office of Sustainability.
Children's Program Garden Project
A few years ago, the Children's Program at Connecticut College had a beautiful garden professionally designed and constructed on the southern side of their building. For a time after its construction, teachers, parents and students, maintained the garden and it was being used as part of the curriculum. Unfortunately, the garden has recently fallen out of use. Through a new collaboration between the Children’s School and the Office of Sustainability, it was decided that it would be beneficial to bring back this garden as an educational resource for the students in the Children’s Program. The garden will be incorporated back into the curriculum at the Children's Program, specifically serving as a resource to help teach the children about gardening and the importance of local food production. The Children's Program Garden Fellow will be the primary driver of this project, working in deep collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and the Children's Program.
Give N Go Program
Established in 2010, the Give N Go Program provides students the chance to give their gently used items a new life by donating them to a variety of local non-profit, human services organizations in the city of New London. It also reduces waste generated by the College by redirecting these items to those who need them. The Office of Sustainability now facilitates this annual program each May while students move out of their residence halls at the end of the academic year. Specifically, the Sustainable Waste Minimization Fellows are tasked with organizing this important program each year, with strong support from the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and Safe Futures.
Hodges Square Village Association Revitalization Project
Hodges Square is the portion of the New London community located immediately to the south of the College on Williams Street (heading toward the highway). The Hodges Square Village Association (HSVA) is made up of New London community members working to revitalize Hodges Square in order to build a more tight knit community and improve the economy. The Office of Sustainability has become an official partner of the HSVA, providing the College community the opportunity to work collaboratively with the local community toward a goal that will benefit everyone in the greater New London community. The Hodges Square Village Association Fellow serves as the primary liaison between the (HSVA), functioning as a member of the association and helping develop ways to involved the Connecticut College community more in the businesses and events in Hodges Square.
Lending Library Project
The Office of Sustainability collaborated with the Office of Residential Education & Living (REAL) to establish the Lending Library, which is located on the first floor of Katherine Blunt House. The Lending Library was created to provide textbooks free of charge to students on campus to students for a semester or a period of time. The books mainly come from the Give N Go Program (learn more about Give N Go above) and retired professors. The goals of the Lending Library are to help students save money by avoiding the purchase of expensive textbooks, as well as diverting usable books from the waste stream. The program's goals directly support College's commitment to holistic sustainability. The Office of Sustainability has developed a Lending Library Fellow, who is responsible for organizing and facilitating the Lending Library, with support from the Senior Fellow of Community Collaborations.
New London County Food Policy Council (NLCFPC)
The New London County Food Policy Council is made up of a group of community organizations that are working collaboratively to transform the region's food system for improved health outcomes through policy advocacy and program innovation, alignment and support. The NLCFPC collaborates with local farmers, community members, institutions and local businesses to increase food security by supporting sustainable agriculture in New London. The Office of Sustainability serves in a partnership with the NLCFPC to support the organization’s mission of developing a resilient local food system. A New London County Food Policy Council Fellow position was developed within the office to support the work of the NLCFPC’s three working groups: 1) Agriculture 2) Food Insecurity; and 3) Health and Nutrition. Additionally, the Sustainability Officer chairs the Agriculture Working Group of the NLCFPC.
Residential Sustainability Program
Living in a residence hall it can make it difficult to maintain sustainable living practices. In an effort to support students to adopt sustainable living practices while living on campus, the Office of Sustainability developed four Residential Sustainability Fellow positions to work closely with the Residential Education and Living (REAL) professional and student staff to educate students on how they can live more sustainably while they are living on campus. The Residential Sustainability Fellows plan and implement sustainability campaigns and programs within the residence halls. They also work with REAL staff to disseminate information about the latest sustainability projects and programs happening on campus and in the local community.