The UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition (SCC) is a group of students, faculty, staff, and community members who promote environmental, social and economic sustainability on campus and beyond. Founded in 2001, the SCC first focused on the green design of the Kalikow Education Center, a LEED certified building. Since then, the SCC’s mission has expanded to include: addressing food insecurity among UMF students and in the local community; promotion of composting and recycling; and public education and activism on issues related to sustainability. The SCC’s projects continue to be driven by the interests and priorities of UMF students who work in collaboration with committed faculty, staff, and community members. The SCC students meet weekly on Mondays at 11:45 in Education Center room 113, and the entire SCC community meets every third Friday of the month at the same time and location.
The Thrifty Beaver Co-op (TBC) is a student-run food pantry and clothing exchange aimed at supporting the campus community and combating food insecurity. Open to all UMF students, faculty, and staff, the TBC offers a variety of items including canned and fresh food, second-hand clothes, dishware, personal care items, books and much more! The TBC’s no-cost system ensures everyone on campus has access to whatever they might need, regardless of their financial status. Donations may be left in the bins at the entrance of the TBC and Mantor Library, or at the Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center in the Kalikow Education Center. The Thrifty Beaver is located on campus in the Fusion Building at the corner of South and High Streets in Room 004 (lower level).
Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter such as food scraps and animal waste. Composting is often used as a method to improve and fertilize soil for gardening. In 2014, UMF teamed with the Town of Farmington to form the Farmington Compost Cooperative (FCC) to compost food waste from UMF along with horse bedding from the Farmington Fairgrounds. The composted waste is then sold each year to local farmers and gardeners. The proceeds cover FCC’s expenses and fund paid internships for UMF students to work on the promotion of composting in our community. The goal of the FCC is to reduce food waste that would otherwise enter Farmington’s waste stream while creating a sustainable and valuable resource for the local community.
The UMF Community Garden is an experiential learning project and sustainable resource aimed at addressing food insecurity on campus and giving back to the Farmington community. The garden was designed, built, and currently maintained by UMF students. This gives them an opportunity to learn practical life skills with clear connections to academic disciplines across campus, from Environmental Science and Environmental Policy to Nature-Based Education and Creative Writing. The Garden has become an important resource for UMF students and area residents through the donation of produce to the Thrifty Beaver, local food banks, and other charitable organizations in the Farmington area. By both providing an experiential learning opportunity and sustainable way to combat food insecurity, the Garden is giving back to the UMF and Farmington communities one harvest at a time.
Each year on April 22nd, people around the world in over 190 countries celebrate Earth Day. UMF is no exception. In fact, the SCC extends the celebration to last an entire week with a variety of events and activities. UMF’s Earth Week includes community clean-ups, sustainability-themed films, live music, upcycling crafts, gardening, presentations and roundtables on important environmental issues. We hope you join us in celebrating our beautiful planet during the next Earth Week. Or better yet, join us for the next SCC meeting and become part of the Earth Week planning committee.