Recently, two groups on campus have taken up the task of creating a culture of renewal at CCU.

While they are two separate entities, the CCU Go Green Initiative (GGI) and the new garden built by the England service learning team, are linked by this common goal.

GGI, led by Freshman Zoe Smith, is a student organization working to improve CCU’s education, attitude, and the accessibility to environmentally-friendly choices.

Beginning just one month ago, GGI has already sparked changes around campus.

GGI’s first action was to post signs on paper towel dispensers around campus reminding not to waste paper. Smith said they also plan to get new recycling bins and arrange events to educate students about recycling and sustainable living.

Professor Dave Farris, department chair for the School of Business, is faculty advisor to the Go Green Initiative. Farris has a long-held passion for renewing the things (and people) who are typically deemed “disposable.”

Farris and the 2017 England service learning team he led were inspired after working in a garden in front of a prison visitor’s center in Birmingham, England. The garden was constructed by Dr. Sam Ewell, a missionary working with Christian Missionary Fellowship.

On Community Service Day, a group of about 40 faculty, staff, and students worked together to build a similar garden at CCU, beside Parking Lot 2.

Like the garden in Birmingham, nearly all the materials used would have been thrown away. Many of these materials were collected on campus.

For one year, the garden will lie unplanted while the compost elements break down, after which Farris will plant flowers.

“This garden serves two purposes,” Farris wrote in a post on his blog, daf words. “The first is to finally make that connection between something that we learned in Birmingham and brought home with us. The second is to give ourselves a constant reminder of what it looks like to reincorporate people and things back into the world.”

Smith has agreed to construct a found-object art installation which will act as both a sign and a unique scarecrow for the garden.

“From start to finish, it’s a really hope-filled thing for me,” said Farris.

Farris, Smith, and GGI have many more ideas to build a culture of renewal at CCU.

“We’re just starting something. We’re really hoping this will be a long-term thing that sticks around at CCU and the community, to engage God’s creation,” said Smith.


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