Another year at Ripon College has come to a close and the amount of work our students, staff and faculty have done to serve others has been amazing. We are hard at work planning for next year and will have so many opportunities through our new Center for Social Responsibilty. It is now time for us to spend some time in the community ourselves so our blog will be on hold until August 15th. Until then, join us in spending the summer working toward social justice--and being more, together.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
2. Food: non-perishable food items can be taken to the Habitat ReStore Truck at the CLC from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until May 4th or to the Ripon Community Thrift Store and Food Pantry at 102 W. Jackson Street in Ripon (within walking distance from campus)
3. School Supplies: pencils, pens, internet routers, notecards, etc. can be dropped off for the Blue Mountain Project at the OCE until May 9th (second floor of the Union)
4. Household items: lamps, pictures, x-mas lights, etc. can be taken to the Habitat ReStore Truck at the CLC from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until May 4th or to the Ripon Community Thrift Store and Food Pantry at 102 W. Jackson Street in Ripon (within walking distance from campus)
Please think of donating items instead of throwing them away! Thank you!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Ripon College students attended the CISA Conference at Lawrence University and brought back so many ideas for campus. Read a personal reflection below:
On Friday I attended a panel focusing on forms of student engagement in the classroom, and promoting agriculture and food related studies. After a quick introduction by a grad student at the University of Minnesota, we split into groups to discuss ways in which we either have been engaged as students or events that we have planned to encourage student involvement. The main focuses of our conversations were about promoting experiential learning opportunities. We all agreed that typically students learn best when they are actually doing something that involves the real world application of the things they are trying to understand. In terms of promoting an increased understanding about food and healthy eating, we talked about creating campus gardens, working with food services, establishing internship or volunteer programs with local farms, and petitioning for courses that relate to food and how different countries approach feeding their populations. After this general discussion, we worked on generating specific plans for how we could build and promote new experiential learning opportunities in students and youth in general. My group focused on co-opting Montessori ideals to promote spaces or periods in the day in which students could feel more involved in their education through a more self-guided open form of learning experience. Specifically in terms of food, we thought we could design curriculums that engage kids, young adults, and college students in things such as maintaining a garden, preparing “real” food, and maybe even selling produce at a farmers market. Eventually perhaps these curriculums could extend to topics such as bee keeping, brewing processes, and composting. All in all, the session was a lot of fun and pretty interesting. It was great mingling with and bouncing ideas off of students and other adults from different universities and backgrounds.
On Friday we had the opportunity to tour Riverview gardens in inner city Appleton. Once a country club for over 100 years with a green golf course, now set to become a prairie, forest, orchard, greenhouse, garden, and recreational area. Their goal as a nonprofit is to help support the community, give jobs to people who otherwise may not have work, and produce local organic, sustainably produced food for community members. Their mission says it all:
A socially innovative, self-supporting venture utilizing community green space to cultivate and market locally-grown produce to help fight the root causes of poverty, homelessness and unemployment in our community.
Through hiring people who may have a slightly troubled past, disabled employees, or people who have been laid off; the nonprofit hopes to provide work for people to support their families while becoming stewards of the land. The project is only in year three, but already they have planted over 30 acres of prairie, planted over 1000 trees including hardwoods and hundreds of fruit trees which will ultimately produce fruit for the community. They already have built 10 large hoop houses and hope to plan 30-40 more to extend the growing season to all year. Using compost, aquaponics, and new sustainable techniques, they will keep the green house style buildings warm year round to grow crops in the middle of winter. They hope to become completely sustainable financially through selling the produce to pay their employees to tend the land. The group has various nature trails and is working with many other nonprofits on this massive team effort. They even partnered with the Fox Valley area mountain biking association to build a bike trail through some of the already established woods.
Obviously there are many roadblocks in the way of such an endeavor. From irrigated fairways and greens that were poured with chemicals for decades, to possible financial troubles along the way; the group has a plan to overcome and be a large asset to the community. The nonprofit has both personal and business support. Instead of becoming a multimillion dollar real estate area with hundreds of single family homes, this old country club is becoming a natural wonder in the middle of the city for Appleton area residents. What a wonderful deal!