Luther College Launches Center for Sustainable CommunitiesPosted: February 22, 2013
The establishment of the Luther College Center for Sustainable Communities doesn't just consolidate all of the college's many sustainability efforts under one umbrella. It also will be a means of enhancing sustainability program outreach to Decorah and surrounding communities.
CSC Director Jon Jensen tells decorahnews.com, "We want to be able to say "If you're interested (in sustainability programs), can we help you?"
For instance, the Center will work closely with the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative and its dealings with school districts throughout the area. Jensen says one of the roles of the CSC will be to ask schools what they need--not just in terms of buying locally-grown food, but also in handling energy conservation projects, or a host of other "green" initiatives. The same type of approach will be made to area governments, churches and businesses.
A 36-member volunteer group will spend the next three months drafting a strategic plan for the CSC, then will ask for public input in April. Several Luther College students could do internships with local governments during the summer before the CSC becomes fully operational in the fall.
Jensen sees these college--community partnerships as "win-win" situations for both parties, giving local groups valuable expertise about sustainability programs, while giving Luther students valuable real-world experience. He's hoping to spread the word about the new Luther program to groups throughout Northeast Iowa. Anyone with suggestions or questions for him about the Center for Sustainable Communities can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org