Sustainability at Culver

Conserve – Reduce – Educate

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Bring SC3 back to Culver

Who knew 6 days could go by so quickly? The last two days of the Student Climate and Conservation Congress (SC3) have been incredibly memorable.

The last couple days were the culmination of the conference where we wrapped the projects that we’ve been working on. George & I gave a presentation on creating and maintaining environmentally sustainable economics to all the fellows at the event. Our presentation was in the form of a jeopardy game in order to engage the audience. Other groups presented on other environmental topics such as sustainable agriculture, and water conservation.

We also had the opportunity to listen to a few final speakers. Including Forest McCarthy who spoke to us about glacial science and climate change. Through our experiences here at Sc3 we are excited to bring new innovative ideas to our campus to help increase our sustainability. Hopefully we will be able to bring guest speakers to share their knowledge with the Culver community.

Signing off from SC3 for the last time,

Goldie (CGA ’18) & George  (CMA ’18)



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Update from SC3

Wow, it’s hard to believe that there’s only one full day left here at Student Climate and Conservation Congress (SC3). Over the past 5 days there has been so much to take in and learn.

On Wednesday we split into OST groups focusing on different environmental topics. My group focuses on sustainable economics. For the past 2 days we have worked on a newsletter and presentation to spread awareness and support sustainable economics practice. Throughout the week we’ve also been learning strategies to create and execute changes in our own communities.

We have  had the opportunity to listen to several speakers in various field from all over the country. Today we heard a plenary from student fellows who traveled to SC3 from India as well as a speech by author Amy Larkin. I even got a signed copy of Amy Larkin’s book!

George and I also did some community service today, working for several hours on restoring a trail that leads to the Potomac River. So far this week has been busy, transformative, but most of all rewarding.

Signing off from the second day of Sc3 at NCTC in West Virginia,

Goldie (CGA ’18)

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A Week at SC3


This week two Culver students (George Cruickshank CMA 18’ & Goldie Blackson CGA 18’ ) are spending the week at the Student Climate and Conservation Congress (SC3) at the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown West Virginia. Here we are participating in many hands on  activities to bring awareness and information concerning environmental issues like climate change back to the student body. We will be updating the sustainability blog with our experiences and learning opportunities from the conference.

Here’s George with his experience:

Words cannot express the beauty the US Fish and Wildlife Service offers with their conservation training facility here in West Virginia. Through all the opportunities any guest speakers I’ve had the opportunity to listen to on the first two days alone my perspective on climate change and how we are the ones who need to fix the mistakes of the past generations really blows me away. Today we were able to raft the Potomac River. The Potomac surprises me with how much history the water can display through the environment surrounding it. With gargantuan Sycamores and abundant wildlife the students were given the opportunity to reflect on our surroundings while drifting down the river. Our guest speakers have really opened my eyes personally to the vast array of information relating to climate change and the environment through their wealth of knowledge. The opportunities and knowledge already presented the first two days has widened my perspective and I am excited for what else the program has to offer.

Signing off from the second day of Sc3 at NCTC in West Virginia

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Who knew a rain garden could have so many rocks? Pictures from the trenches..

After several days of working the soil, we made big progress today; installing hundreds of native plants in the prepared beds of Culver’s first rain garden.

To prepare the rain garden, we removed a couple of inches of sod and then worked in several yards of composted leave mulch and top soil, both by hand and with a garden tiller.  We added a river stone channel and a couple of check dams of glacial stone to help slow the water as it moves through the garden.

Once the beds were prepared we installed several hundred native plants, forbs (wildflowers), grasses and sedges.  These plants will perform a number of functions in the garden, primarily through their extensive root systems.  The plants will help filter the stormwater run off from the adjacent parking lot.

Finally we added a layer of shredded hardwood mulch on top to help hold the soil and conserve moisture while the plants get established.

Huge credit goes to John Henderson (CMA ’17), Harrison Harm (CMA ’17), and Reeves McKenney (CMA’17) who have been working on this project for the better part of a year.  Extra special credit goes to Chris Chandler (CMA’17) and Zain Khodr (CMA’17), both of whom contributed much needed labor with great attitudes during critical phases of the project.

Last bit of planting  and mulching tomorrow.  Looks like rain on Friday!!!

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Culver Academies’ First Rain Garden is Coming!

The work of CMA First Classmen Harrison Harm, John Henderson and Reeves McKenney is coming to fruition as construction began today on Culver’s first rain garden.  For their Service Leadership Practicum (senior service project) the three students wanted to do something to improve the health of Lake Maxinkuckee and decided to tackle this ambitious project.

Located adjacent to an asphalt parking lot at Culver’s Woodcraft camp, the rain garden will filter stormwater run off which currently drains directly to the lake.  This project would not be possible without the excellent support, advice and effort from Culver’s Grounds Department, particularly Dave Blalock.  Another critical supporter is the Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District who is providing financial support for this project.  The students submitted a grant proposal to the SWCD which awarded monies through the Clean Water Indiana program.

Today’s work was to remove the turf grass sod from the area.  Check back at this blog throughout the week as we eventually will install more than 1,100 native plants provided by Cardno Native Plant Nursery.