Sustainability at Culver

Conserve – Reduce – Educate

Summer Sustainability @Culver


Hard to believe Culver’s Summer Camp is half way over!  Pleased to share that our sustainability program is going strong.  Apologies for the long post, but there have been lots of cool things happening!  The images below will give you some idea of what our students, campers and staff have been up to.  Safe to say there’s nothing like #CulverSummer !

Recycle Relay — The girls of Butterfly Wing 2 helped get Woodcraft off to a great start with the first ever Recycle Relay.  Following the relay, the girls produced some excellent recycling graphic posters.


Community Sustainability

Lots of exciting sustainability events throughout our community in the past few weeks.   Culver campers and staff have participated in several informative and forward looking events.

Ancilla College cut the ribbon on their new 80 Kw solar facility last month.  Pictured below are members of Culver’s staff, including Dr. Power, listening to Dr. Michele Dvorak, President of the College, connect the benefits of this renewable energy source to the mission of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.  Culver will be inaugurating its new solar system later this summer.

solar panel power

Another  informative event was the Climate Change and Indiana discussion which took place in Plymouth at Opie’s Deli on June 28th.  More than 40 community members listened to Purdue climate expert Melissa Widhalm describe how Indiana’s climate is expected to change over the coming decades.  Melissa shared lots of interesting information — worthy of a separate post — but as just a teaser, the average number of days above 90 degrees in northern Indiana is expected to rise from the current 16 days/year to 65 days/year by 2050.


Community Service

Thoughtful, sustainable programs continue to take place on campus.  Pictured below are  Upper School campers and Culver Sustainability Interns working with Winter School rising seniors, Jack Schmiedlin and Amanda Kurteff sorting uniforms collected at the end of the 2017-18 school year.  Jack’s and Amanda’s service project will help ensure these uniforms don’t end up in the landfill and will be made available to incoming 2018-19 Academy students.  Dozens and dozens of bags of clothes have been collected and sorted.  This project would not be happening without the excellent support and cooperation of Culver staff, particularly Facilities Department Manager, Estill Rice, and Uniform Manager, Matt White and their teams.  This project illustrates the “reuse” aspect of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra.

Culver’s Food Recovery Program continues into its 7th month of operation with the strong support of Culver’s Dining Staff members, Lee Willhite and Amy Collins.  Pictured below are community members and Sustainability Interns packing meals for delivery.  We continue to average more than 200 meals/week donated to local charities which serve our community.

meal packing

Another important aspect of Culver’s Sustainability Program is our food waste program.  Food scraps (about 1,000 pounds/week) from our dining hall are transported to Homestead Dairy south of Plymouth which operates a large methane digester.  The facility converts organic material, including cow manure and food scraps, into electricity — enough to supply about 1,000 homes.  The Culver Upper Camp Sustainability Class and Interns paid a visit to this innovative clean energy operation.  Many thanks to Ryan Rogers for his tour!

Save the Turtles!

Always important to help protect wildlife.  Pictured below are Culver summer staff flagging a turtle nesting site adjacent to Lake Maxinkuckee.  If you look closely near the red flag at the bottom right of the picture, you will see a few of the more than 2 dozen turtle eggs in this area.  Several days later the turtles hatched.


turtle nest

Pollinator Prairie in Full Bloom

Culver’s pollinator prairie is in spectacular display this month with bergamot, coneflower, false sunflower, black-eyed susan, milkweed, butterfly weed and other native forbs in full bloom.   This 4.5 acre prairie will continue to attract a diverse array of pollinator species throughout the summer and fall.


5 thoughts on “Summer Sustainability @Culver

  1. this is awesome – you do such a nice job with this!

    Tracy Fox, MPH, RD Wellness Consultant 301-922-3570 Culver Academies

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loving all of this! If you want more prairie species, come bring some kids over this fall and we’ll see what we can find! Can’t wait to see the solar install.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris — you should feel very very good about your position and how much you are accomplishing there.. Keep at it!

    Kathleen Daly Kline Indiana Wellness Consultants, LLC 574.933.4455 Kathleen@indianawellnessconsultant



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