For the next couple of weeks, trees across the Wake Forest University campus will be sporting yellow tree tags. Some of the tags offer the calculated value of ecosystem services that the trees provide. Others offer the general positive benefits of trees in our landscape. Others are quotes collected from authors and figureheads about the incalculable value of our campus trees.
Celebrate our urban forests, waterways, and the landscapes that surround us during Earth Week at Wake Forest. Inspired by Terry Tempest Williams’ quote “finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find,” this week-long celebration will take place March 19-25 with a variety of events to connect the Wake Forest community to actions that will protect and heal the ecosystems that support life.
by Meghan Hurley
For citizen writer Terry Tempest Williams, the spiritual power of literature and storytelling has allowed her to resist prevalent social and environmental issues such as land deprivation.
Williams, a Guggenheim Fellow, traveled to Wake Forest for the week of Feb. 6 through 9. Throughout her stay, she has conducted a writing workshop entitled Writing Resistance: Sustainable Spiritualities in the Anthropocene. The class, made up of 24 Wake Forest students, ranges from freshmen undergraduates to senior graduate students.
Wake Forest University Athletics is helping to reduce the university’s carbon footprint by reducing energy use. A state-of-the-art LED lighting system in the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial (LJVM) Coliseum court cuts energy use by over 90% and offers a superior viewing experience both in person and on television.
“The updated lighting in the coliseum has greatly improved the fan experience during Wake Forest sporting events. The LED lights are much more versatile and allow Sports Marketing to use strobe effects and multiple colors during breaks in the action,” John Champlin, Assistant Director of the Professional Development Center and Wake Forest basketball fan, reported. “Overall, the entertainment factor has been greatly increased.”
Wake students are instrumental in crafting, launching, and nurturing campus-led sustainability initiatives. These efforts—both big and small—contribute greatly to creating a culture of sustainability at Wake Forest University.
To learn how you can be part of the action in 2017, browse our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Below are just a few examples of the many sustainable initiatives undertaken by students this past year.
From February 6-9, Terry Tempest Williams will visit Wake Forest University. Williams is a well-known writer, naturalist, and advocate for wild places. Throughout her life, Williams has published books of numerous genres, including poetry, nonfiction, documentary, essay collections, as well as children’s books. On top of this, Williams was a Guggenheim Fellow, and has won a number of prestigious conservation and literary awards.
During her visit, Williams will host a four-day writing workshop, deliver a public lecture and reading, and engage with interested faculty.
Noella Luka is adjusting to living life in a foreign land—Winston-Salem.
Luka, a documentary film student, recently made the move from her home in Kenya to her “home away from home” at Wake Forest University.
From over 7,700 miles away, Luka continues to seek creative means of communication to teach communities in Kenya, and around the globe, about conservation and environmental stewardship. She describes herself as a storyteller who crafts local stories with global resonance.
“Storytelling gives me an unnerving responsibility to be an opinion leader, to evoke reactions and stir up conversations,” Luka said. “Through words, sounds, and images I attempt to portray a reflection of society, the importance of our actions, and possible solutions.”
In 2015, Luka joined the Laikipian—a youth movement that uses creativity to highlight conservation solutions from an African perspective. Through art, the Laikipian seeks to inspire a generation of informed conservationists. With the primary audience of kids and youth in mind, the Laikipian has successfully fused conservation education into board games, educational posters, a comic book series, and even a coloring book.
by Office of Sustainability News Intern, Suzanne Mullins
Have you visited the Campus Garden? Located on Polo Road, the Campus Garden draws student, faculty, and staff volunteers to aid with crop cultivation and maintenance. Managing the garden are three Wake Forest students and Office of Sustainability interns—senior Akua Maat, junior Megan Blackstock, and junior Nick Judd.
But, what responsibilities come with being a Campus Garden intern? How does the Campus Garden aid in educating volunteers? And lastly, why are these three individuals so invested in a sustainable future? I sat down with each of them to find out.
by Kellie Shanaghan
Environmental studies and sustainability are fields that overlap with nearly every major, degree, and career. Improving Earth’s climate so that humans can continue to live here should be on the forefront of the minds of educators, politicians, students, and everyday citizens.
Yet, even at institutes of higher education, such as Wake Forest, a majority of the student body lacks both knowledge and initiative to make sustainability a priority.
“Even though I realize that climate has a large impact on the world, I as an individual do not feel as though I can help or harm the environment in any way,” said Sierra Burick, a sophomore pre-dental student.
On a campus where the general public shortsightedly lacks both knowledge and initiative to enact change, there are alumni from Wake Forest who have gone on to have significant roles in environmental protection and sustainability. There is also an increase in sustainability careers, as well as an increasing interdisciplinary application of the subject.