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Welcoming Incoming First Years: Adventure Orientation & Green Classroom Farm

Date Released: 3 September 2015

The Office for Sustainability helped welcome first year students with both a Pre-Orientation Adventure and the Green Classroom Experience at the University Farm.

The Pre-Orientation Adventure introduced students to CWRU's green commitments, Cleveland, and many sustainable places and organizations around the city. During the Adventure, students toured the Colinwood Quasar Energy Group Bio-Digester, the Ohio City Farm, Mitchell’s Ice Cream Kitchen and the historic West Side Market, all featuring different aspects of our local food movement. The afternoon included a visit to the Upcycle Parts Shop, to learn about reuse and to flex their creative muscles designing flying machines out of reused “parts,” followed by a tour of Rustbelt Reclamation, a company started by CWRU grads who use materials harvested from old houses and buildings to design and create beautiful furniture. The second day of Adventuring took the students to the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, where they spent hours pulling invasive weeds from the wetlands, and back to campus for lunch in Uptown, a campus sustainability tour, and a presentation from a member of the Cleveland Office of Sustainability and a boat building exercise.  Participants went home with a beautiful farm CSA goodie bag, filled with gorgeous mini posters of farm sights, a calendar of up-coming farm events, and sporks form the Office for Sustainability. We loved getting to spend the weekend with a diverse and enthusiastic group of new students, introducing them to sustainability and our great city!

Incoming first years were also able to get engaged in sustainability topics early by participating in the second Green Classroom Experience program on the Friday morning of Orientation. Over 200 students came out to the Squire Valleevue Farm to enjoy breakfast with smoothies made from ingredients grown at the farm, lectures from farm staff and CWRU faculty on topics ranging from animal research to sustainable business practices and wellness as well as enjoy fun field game activities like giant parachute, volleyball, and even crafts. The farm was a picturesque backdrop for this event, and will hopefully encourage these students and others to visit the farm often. Participants went home with a beautiful farm CSA goodie bag, filled with gorgeous mini posters of farm sights, a calendar of up-coming farm events, and sporks form the Office for Sustainability.

Story by Erin Kollar