Tag Archives: Environment
New & improved
Linfield is taking large steps in sustainability efforts, starting with the hiring of
Linfield’s new sustainability coordinator, alumnus Duncan Reid
Linfield alumnus Duncan Reid extends his arms, palms close and parallel to each other. He is describing the narrowness of a street in a snug Lake Oswego neighborhood and how plum trees line each side.
“Which are so beautiful in the summer,” Reid said, “and every house has one.”
Behind one of those plum trees sits a humble cottage with a generous yard— the place Reid spent most of his time romping around outdoors as a child.
“That’s still such a reminder for me, I get so busy with things here, which is great, but I need to get back out into the wilderness areas once a month,” Reid said. “When I’m there, I’m like, ‘oh my god, this is so rejuvenating and inspiring – this is why we’re doing this.”
Reid is speaking of the initiatives he is constructing with Linfield’s Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability (ACES) as the new environmental stewardship and sustainability assistant.
The new position requires Reid to work closely with the facilities staff to develop and maintain sustainable practices, as well as to work closely with students who wish to be involved in the emerging projects.
Although the position is new, Reid’s passion and endeavors to create and maintain sustainability within the community are not.
It wasn’t until after high school, however, that Reid developed interest in the field he now has expertise in.
“I was just a high school student, I wasn’t doing what I did in college,” Reid said. “I went to school, hung out with friends, and played golf.”
His interests in the natural world peaked during the summer before he would attend Linfield as a freshman, during which he worked as a canvasser for Environment Oregon’s environmental campaigns.
“I would go door to door and raise money for the campaigns,” Reid said.
His time as a canvasser sparked his growing captivation with matters of the environment and from then on, he began to eagerly self-educated himself on climate change.
“That was a real turning point for me,” Reid said. “I was starting to become aware of global issues and taking them seriously.”
However, his first day at Linfield brought him his first challenge.
“When I got to Linfield, there wasn’t a lot going on about environmental awareness,” Reid said.
Reid wasn’t disheartened by the shortfall.
“I recognized my role as a foundation builder,” Reid said.
Just four years later, Reid had built more than just a stable foundation.
Before graduating with a degree in environmental policy, Reid established the ever-growing Greenfield club, helped to found the bike co-op, led an alternative spring break program and wrote into legislation the Sustainability Grant Fund.
“I thought, okay, I have limited occupancy, so what kind of things can I put into place that will help students like me to be more effective?” Reid said.
Having built the foundation that is now quickly growing, Reid is excited about his return to his alma mater to continue the efforts.
Already, Reid has hired four students that make up the new Sustainability Team.
“There are so many ways to get involved,” Reid said. “It means a lot more if there are students behind something.”
Reid wants to be available as a resource to students and encourages those who have an interest to be actively involved.
“Students really do have the power,” Reid said, “but they have to go and do something about it.”
For more information about the sustainability efforts and how to get involved, Contact Duncan Reid at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call, (503) 883-2738 (ext. 2738)
This semester, there will be a meeting to implement a new Waste Task Force: It will be a campus effort to move towards a more sustainable waste relationship. Contact Duncan Reid for more information.
Earth Week is April 15-22. Keep an eye out for events and hands-on service. There will be education and awareness throughout that week.
Chrissy Shane/Features editor
Chrissy Shane can be reached at email@example.com
The Linfield Community Garden was scarcely more than a fenced-in plot of dirt and rolled-up sod when Linfield students packed up their rooms and left for summer vacation in June. But the 40-by-50-foot garden transformed during the summer. The barely blooming space that students may remember now stands
overgrown, green and flourishing – almost in mockery of the surrounding yellow grass of Renshaw Field.
Much of the credit goes to Gardening Club members who volunteered to water and weed the garden during their summer vacations.
“People came over on a daily basis to check on it, watering in the mornings, in the evenings, weeding when it was necessary,” senior club member Katie Kann said during a Sept. 3 walk-through of the garden.
This garden walk was an opportunity for students to explore the garden, pick produce and learn about the club and organic gardening, Kann said.
Junior Grace Beckett said she had just purchased vegetables from Albertsons to make a stir-fry dinner when a friend texted her about the free produce that evening.
“Just from my perspective, having that one walk through and getting a couple free meals worth of really good food — That’s really cool,” Beckett, who is not a member of the Gardening Club, said. “That’s like gold to a college student. I don’t know if other people realize there’s this stash of food there.” And it certainly is a large stash.
“We have so much produce; we need people to help us eat it,” Kann said. Students may have noticed the corn stocks reaching over the garden’s fence. Inside the barrier hides a myriad of edible flora. Hand-painted wood signs mark rows of strawberries, carrots, cherry tomatoes, onions and more. The zucchini plants’ leaves are easily as wide as basketballs, and big, round cantaloupes are almost ready for harvest.
“We kind of wanted the shock of it to get more recruitment [for the club],” freshman Robin Fahy said. Fahy and his brother, sophomore Lester Maxwell, are the Gardening Club’s co-presidents. Junior Lily Ratliff, who founded the club last fall, is studying abroad in Costa Rica for Fall Semester.
“When she [Ratliff] was thinking about passing on the leadership, she knew that Lester and I had pretty close ties with gardening in our past,” Fahy said, referring to their dad, Michael Fahy, who is a painter, carpenter and gardener in Facilities Services.
And the shock value worked. Maxwell said that between the walk through and the Activities Fair, the club’s e-mail list grew to 100 members. The freshmen common reading, Michael Pollen’s “In Defense of Food,” also sparked a wide interest in organic gardening and, thus, club membership, she said. The brothers have big plans for the garden this year. In the winter, Maxwell said the club will plant hearty crops, such as broccoli, garlic and winter lettuce that can endure cold weather. But the majority of the crops will be ground cover, such as clover and rye grasses, which release nutrients to help balance nitrogen in the soil, he said.
Fahy and Maxwell agreed that the garden needs to be more of an inviting, community space. “People are so scared by that fenced-off area,” Maxwell said, explaining that a lot of produce goes to waste because students are not harvesting and eating the garden’s crops. To make it more accessible and approachable, Fahy said one of his goals is to develop the architectural landscape of the garden to fashion an outdoor oasis where people can go to eat and socialize. And the brothers said they plan to again harness the talents of seniors Sammi Mack and Libby Wilcox, who helped write a grant proposal that profited the club $2,000 from the ACES (Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability) Committee’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund last year. The garden also houses a compost machine, purchased with a $750 grant that Kann received last year from the sustainability fund. Maxwell said Kann plans to bolster the campus’s composting efforts this year by distributing five-gallon buckets to residents of the Hewlett-Packard apartments. Students can store compostable waste in the buckets before dumping it in the garden’s compost pile.
“It feels amazing to be a part of that entire student operative on campus,” Maxwell said. “It just shows the power of the student body on campus and what they can do, what they’re capable of.” The Gardening Club will be hosting a work party at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the garden for people interested in harvesting, weeding or just eating food. For more information about the gardening club, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos and story by Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at email@example.com.
In a stunning reversal, the Associated Students of Linfield College Senate changed course Monday night and voted in support of a Greenfield resolution advocating for the closure of an Oregon coal plant by 2014 instead of 2020.
This result is in stark contrast to the vote a month ago, when senators nearly unanimously voted down the resolution.
At the May 17 ASLC Senate meeting, Greenfield, in conjunction with the Sierra Club, a national environmental group, presented its resolution for a second time to have the Boardman Power Plant, owned by Portland General Electric, cease energy operations involving coal by either closing down or switching to “green” energies, by 2014 instead of the stated date of 2020.
This push came after PGE said it would move the closing date from 2040 to 2020.
When Greenfield last came to request Senate’s support, it was unable to field in-depth questions regarding economic and environmental aspects, which, in great part, led the Senate to vote against the resolution.
This time, despite senators questioning the validity of having the same resolution appear on the agenda so quickly after it was dismissed, few questions were asked, and the motion to support the resolution passed overwhelmingly.
However, not 20 minutes later, discussion revved up again, as senators bickered whether defeated resolutions should be allowed on the agenda so soon after their defeat.
Senators in favor of the resolution, claimed that allowing the resolution back on the agenda enabled senators to make a more informed decision, as they understood the minutiae.
Other senators, however, bemoaned the act, saying that such allowances would set a negative precedence in which clubs that are dissatisfied with a Senate vote could simply request to be on the agenda until they obtain a more satisfactory answer.
Discussion continued for nearly 20 minutes as senators volleyed ideas and complaints back and forth.
Junior ASLC President Colin Jones even suggested that if senators were so distressed about the contentious issue, they could vote to rescind it.
But after all the vitriol, the issue fell to the wayside, and Senate went on with its business.
Freelancer Dominic Baez can be reached at