Most everyone is thinking green these days as winter landscapes continue to transform with the arrival of spring. At Austin College, however, Thinking Green means action. The Thinking Green Initiative, the campus sustainability and environmental awareness program, sends a new call to action this spring in conjunction with Earth Day.
The College’s third annual GreenServe, co-sponsored by Thinking Green and the Austin College Service Station, will be held Saturday, April 21, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, with students heading to several campus and community locations to volunteer with projects focused on environmental responsibility and sustainability.
Thinking Green also will be represented in Earth Day Dallas at Fair Park on Saturday and Sunday, with both students and alumni on hand.
The Alumni Board also has encouraged all alumni to take part in—or create—Earth Day volunteer activities in their city. Alumni already are reporting plans for events in Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Austin, Texas. Amity Overall Laib, Austin College Class of 2001, asks that any alumni who volunteer for Earth Day report that to her so that it can be recorded for the effort.
In 2012, GreenServe generally will focus on one main event, repair and maintenance improvement of bike and hike trails at Eisenhower State Park at Lake Texoma. The project will involve repair, grooming, and improvement of up to five miles of trails. TAPS transportation service will provide bus students to the site.
On campus, a group of political science students will coordinate a letter-writing campaign regarding environmental and sustainability issues to government representatives and representatives of Rotaract will coordinate placement of “Think” stickers on light switches in residence halls and campus buildings. Also, on campus, faculty will be assisting in planting of some native plant species.
Projects also will be held at Sneed Environmental Research Lab with the Prairie Restoration project and at Buckner Biology Field Lab. Students also will take on cleanup and prep work at the Sherman Community Garden, with coordination by the Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS). Another group of ECOS students will assist at the Texoma Earth Day event at the Sherman Municipal Building grounds.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.