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CMC campuses getting active for Earth Day

Suzie RomigColorado Mountain CollegePost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Students and employees at Colorado Mountain College will be marking the week of Earth Day 2010 with a variety of learning and service events, including opportunities for the public to get involved. Community members can attend documentary screenings and discussions, or participate in cleanup days at some campuses.”The Earth Day week events at the campuses are another example of the college’s awareness of the need to not only teach about sustainability issues, but to practice them internally as well,” said Lynne Cassidy, the college’s part-time sustainability coordinator.”Each campus is really focused on projects and learning opportunities on the environment and how we as global citizens can make a difference,” said Nancy Genova, a college vice president and the West Garfield Campus CEO, who also oversees collegewide sustainability efforts.Cassidy said college employees have been working hard to promote sustainable practices and implement energy- and cost-saving solutions throughout the college, such as conducting energy audits at campuses, building energy-efficient new structures, expanding recycling efforts and introducing renewable energy sources where appropriate. The guiding principle behind current sustainability measures is the college’s participation in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which president Dr. Stan Jensen signed in September.Across the college’s 11 sites, instructors are being asked to pledge to teach without using paper for Earth Day on April 22 or one day during that week, and staff members are being asked to get by without using paper for a day. “As the CMC committee gathered suggestions for Earth Day activities, the idea of teaching paperless came up. We liked it because the practice could be immediately put into action,” explained Dr. Alice Bedard-Voorhees, director of innovations for teaching and learning at the college. “Some may say doing this for a day is only a symbolic gesture, but it does follow the old saying, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.'”

In the Roaring Fork Valley, the public is invited to free screenings of different environmental documentaries April 21. The Oscar-nominated documentary feature “Food, Inc.,” which examines the corporate-controlled food industry in America, will show at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at the Glenwood Center on Blake Avenue.The discussion at the ongoing Socrates Caf at the library at Spring Valley will focus on environmental ethics at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 21.The public is invited to assist students and staff with an Earth Day community service xeriscaping project and a trash cleanup event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, at the Spring Valley Center. A trash sculpture competition also is planned. To get involved, contact Johann Aberger at 947-8237. People interested in helping from the start can meet at 9 a.m. at the gazebo near the student center.

Other activities for students and employees at Spring Valley during the week of Earth Day include the construction of bird houses, the presentation of an environmental carnival with educational booths, and the student evaluation of faculty and staff’s goals for the week. Activities for students and employees at the West Garfield Campus in Rifle will include a cleanup on public land behind the campus, informational tables in the lobby on Earth Day and a display of environmental artwork by the children at the Early Learners’ Center on campus. Anyone who donates $5 to the West Garfield Green Fund will receive a seedling to plant, as well as be able to participate in a drawing to win Colorado Mountain College prizes.At the Aspen Campus, employees will participate in a trash cleanup near the campus, and students who take alternative transportation such as carpooling, biking or riding the bus during the week can enter to win prizes – such as a certificate for a three-credit course. Employees at the college’s district offices in Glenwood Springs will be conducting a river trail cleanup. Similar activities for the public, students and employees will take place at the college’s other locations in Edwards, Breckenridge, Dillon, Leadville and Steamboat Springs.


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