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Community Engagement

Policy & Social Action

Swarthmore College is deeply committed to serving as a catalyst for sustainability change on and off campus.

We understand that institutions like ours must connect to the local community that houses them in order for deep transformation to occur. At Swarthmore, this is achieved by collaborating with community members from neighboring locations such as the Swarthmore Borough and the City of Chester through our President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship and Sustainability Advocates programs, as well as myriad partnerships in Philadelphia. Such community-centered projects have included:

  • Supporting more robust recycling and composting options among businesses within Swarthmore Borough;
  • Collaborating with the Swarthmore Senior’s Association and the Scott Arboretum to create simple, accessible trail maps so Swarthmore residents can explore the Crum Woods;
  • Working with the Swarthmore Centennial Committee to create a development plan for a more lively, community-centered, and sustainable Downtown Swarthmore;
  • Connecting with leaders in the City of Chester to advance Zero Waste initiatives and match motivated students with organizations seeking support;
  • Partnering for many years with Serenity House in Philadelphia on Serenity Soular, a non-profit with the missions of making solar energy affordable for North Philadelphia households and training local residents for green jobs; and
  • Offering courses on place-making, sustainability, and environmental justice through both ChesterSemesters and the Tri-Co Philly Program.