This spring semester in Professor Shannon Cannella’s Campus Sustainability class, there have been two big projects happening on campus. The first project is Team Farm and has been working with the Hamline MicroFarm and the SPROUT garden at Hamline Church and the Peace and Appreciation Gardens by Lot C and the Hamline School of Business. The second team is Team Free Store, which has been working with the Sustainability Office to clean up and collect items that can be redistributed to Hamline Students.
In addition, there is the Public Relations team of three students, who work to interview, share these projects on social media and document and create articles like this article about our class. These projects have become the main focus of this 3580-level Environmental Studies class that is taught each spring. Early on, this class looked into what sustainability is by looking at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and Socially Engaged Art, in addition to Native American history, culture and Land Acknowledgements. These projects encourage community service and volunteerism that will impact our Hamline community in a positive light.
Team Farm is renovating and preparing the Hamline Gardens for community groups that will take it over for the summer growing and fall harvesting periods. The produce grown is donated to community groups, including the Food Resource Center that you can access. The vision, design and scope Lead of Team Farm is Hannah Brauer, a junior. Brauer explains the research on specific plants designing signs and posters.
“The signs for plants include the English terms on top and the native Dakota terms to share more of the culture of the land that we occupy and put our Land Acknowledgement into practice,” Brauer said.
Team Farm has planted and began to grow “100+ different seedlings with around 20 types” that will be transplanted into the gardens as soon as it gets warmer.
Brauer and her team of six more Campus Sustainability students have hosted multiple events, such as a Tabling Event in Anderson sharing more about the gardens and an Earth Day Cleanup in partnership with Hamline Elementary to prepare the gardens for the upcoming growing season that took place on April 22.
On the other side of campus, Team Free Store has been working around the clock to clean up and reorganize the Free Store on campus, located in Drew Science Center 117. This project is working to collect and give items to students and Hamline community members who can use them. Team Free Store is collecting items from clean clothing to food, electronics, bedding, accessories and more. Students are encouraged to donate any items they no longer want and stop by to grab something you need.
Bao Chee Yang, a sophomore and the Project Logistics and Workflow Team Lead of Team Free Store, shared how her and her team of six classmates are looking forward to “holding an event that will increase traffic in the free store.”
This event is the Pop Up Free Store Event held on April 28th, which encourages donations and shares about the store. Yang mentions how they are learning “to get rid of all of the stuff we don’t want and get more stuff that people want.”
Their work cleaning and organizing will significantly help with the Pack and Give Back event taking place during move outs at the end of the semester.
“I’m amazed at how deeply our students care about the environment and the wellbeing of our community; their commitment and creativity really brought these projects to life,” Cannella said.
In the past, this class has worked on diverting and reducing waste and sorting recyclable materials.
“Every student is thinking about their place in the world and is feeling that we are at a turning point as a society of whether we are going to choose a sustainable future or continue on our current path,” said Professor Cannella when asked about the impact of this class on the lives of students.
Learn more about these projects by checking out the @hamlinesustainability Instagram page.