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Environment & Sustainability

planting a tree

Scientists have confirmed that human impact on global environments is not sustainable, making issues surrounding the environment and sustainability some of the most pressing of our time. Experts have proposed the term “Anthropocene” to describe a period of geologic time during which human beings’ effect on the planet and their environments have had a global impact. While individuals can make important strides toward sustainability through personal choices, only through collaboration and rapid change can we hope to build a sustainable relationship with our environments. The Lang Center offers a wide range of resources to help students explore these intersections such as our engaged scholarship courses, database of opportunities and clubs, and the President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship - a partnership with the President’s Office, the Office of Sustainability, and the Environmental Studies program.

Engaged Scholarship Examples for Environment & Sustainability

people talking

Campus Coalition Concerning Chester (C4) / Chester Road Collaborative

Project Pericles-Funded Initiatives 
Contact: Major Eason ‘23

The Campus Coalition Concerning Chester (C4) @ Swarthmore is a student-chapter organization dedicated to building alliances between local colleges and Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL). Through these relationships, we hope to collectively spearhead and support initiatives that promote environmental justice in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, we hope to interrogate our own college communities’ complicities and roles in this injustice and implement institutional-level solutions for equitable waste management. C-4 mobilizes community and empowers all citizens to contribute to a sustainably just society.

students planting

Crum Woods Restoration Project

President's Sustainability Research Fellowship Project 
Contact: Chelsea Semper '22 

The Crum Woods is an invaluable asset and resource to Swarthmore College due to its numerous uses for education, research, recreation, and relaxation. It is a part of Swarthmore College’s mission to promote stewardship of this land; however recent disturbances in the Crum have complicated the fulfillment of this goal. In 2011, the reinstallation of the CDCA Sewer Line, which runs in parallel to the Crum Creek through the middle of the woods, caused extensive damage and deforestation. In the decade since this ecological destruction, minimal restoration efforts have been executed to restore this area to the way it was before the reinstallation. Hence, the core mission of Chelsea Semper’s project was to improve the ecological functioning of the Crum Woods by creating a restoration plan for the Sewer Line Right of Way (ROW) that details how to successfully restore the ROW with native flora to recreate lost habitats. Another aspect of Chelsea’s project was community engagement, and pursuing ways to involve Swarthmore community members in this valuable restoration work. Chelsea fulfilled this goal by hosting a restoration tree planting in the Spring 2021 semester that garnered over 70 participants, and am currently continuing to work on ways to further include Swarthmore students, staff, and faculty in Crum Woods restoration efforts.

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