Conservation Council

Conservation Council Minutes

Conservation Council Meeting Notes Thursday 1/28 - 3-4 pm Memorial Hall 102

Attendees: Louise Gava, Rick Scott, Mary Kohnstamm, Lindsay Guerin, Molly Perrin, Mathias Nevins, Andrew Skaggs,  Amanda Lavigne

Absent: Brad Baldwin, Catherine Boulatoff

3:00 - Meeting began with introductions. 

3:15 - Louise gave a brief recap of the last CAP meeting wherein the secretariat piece for the CAP was discussed.  It was determined that any changes to the charge of CC relating to the CAP would not take effect until after this semester, so that the CC would continue on as it has been. 

3:30 - The projects that were left on the table at the end of last semester were discussed:

  • Brits Filter For Good green bikes grant submission - it was thought that Wes N. had heard that we had been awarded this grant, although official word from him has not been heard.

(UPDATE: we were not awarded the Brita grant, as per communication with Wes 2/3.)

  • draft anti-idle policy - it was suggested that this draft be the focus for the next meeting, as it is farthest along, and could be sent on for vetting in the immediate future.
  • draft grounds policy - much discussion of this policy draft. Thoughts about asking Marcus Sherburne to come to one of our upcoming meetings to discuss options/specifics, and get his input. Many ideas about possible approaches to take for this policy, driven by desire to not want to encroach on Buildings and Ground Committee work. A suggestion was made that CC reach out to B&G chair to enquire about scope of this policy proposal. Ideas for new focus included:

§  Perennials vs. Annuals - this was a focus of draft last semester but Louise reports that this is already being addressed

§  Tree maintenance/forest management plan for campus; possible cooperation with Paul Smith's College in exchange for library privileges; creation of a tree walk

§  Edible landscaping initiative/plan

§  Bee keeping on campus

3:45 - Mary and Lindsay discussed project on the EAO's horizon for the semester, including:

  • anti-idle policy,
  • Banning plastic water bottles from being sold in the Pub
  • Scheduling a film festival that will span a few days toward the end of the semester (Earth Week possibly) and the possibility to secure Mellon funding for this project.

Because of the multiple interest in the anti-idle policy, and the fact that it is near completion, this was identified as the focus for the next meeting.


All- Read CC charge, read policy drafts as they stand, come with final input on anti-idle policy

Amanda- contact Wes and Billy Mc. To find out about Brita grant award

Louise/Rick - contact Marcus Sherburne about joining for a meeting in the near future

Next meeting scheduled on Thursday 2/4 from 3-4 pm, Memorial Hall 102.

Autumn Festival

Come join in the celebration of Autumn.

The festival will feature a chainsaw art demonstration, apple cider
pressing workshop, pumpkin carving, log sawing and field games
including eating a donut of a string, a pumpkin seed spitting contest
and a nail pounding competition. 

Conservation Council will be sponsoring a crosscut log sawing contest. 350 pieces of firewood will be cut by hand to show what it takes to heat a home without fossil fuel. The wood will then be displayed on campus on Saturday as part of the 350 Day of Climate Action.

All events are free and will take place on the lawn between the WRC and the Java House on University Ave.

Sponsored by the Outing Club, Greenhouse, Women's Resource Center, Java, EAO, Lettuce Tunrip the Beet and Conservation Council

Contact for more information 

Barn Good Thrift Store


Fall Semester Store Hours:
Monday 4-6
Wednesday 1-2:30
Thursday 4-6

Did you upgrade to a suite and now you need some extra furniture? Don't like those overhead lights in your room and want something with a softer glow? Need to pick up some hangers, binders, mugs or other odds and ends for your new room?

Before you head to any other store...check out the Barn Good Thrift Store, located between 5 and 7 University Avenue.

In 2005 several students teamed up with the Conservation Council and Facilities Operations to create a Reuse Program. A group of hard working, environmentally aware students were responsible for the creation of the original "SLU Reuse Initiative" a program developed to prevent usable items from ending up in the dumpsters when students move out of their dorms at the end of the year.

While the Reuse Initiative started as a spring collection and single large fall sale, with storage of items in a trailer during the summer, interest has grown and the program has expanded.  The Initiative became so popular that it moved from its ephemeral home in first one and then two tractor trailers to the basement of one of the dorms. 

In previous years remaining items were donated to local charities however starting in 2008 the Reuse Initiative transitioned into a year round student run campus thrift store, the ReCellar.  Three students find jobs each semester collecting, cleaning, sorting and selling gently used and working items of furniture, small appliances, electronics, clothing, school supplies, amazing costumes for all your party needs and many other miscellaneous items that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill.

With an even greater increase in popularity, all those great gently used items collected when students move out can be found in the Barn between the Java Theme Cottage and the English Department Offices.  This move was made in the Spring and Summer of 2010 with the support of grant money and the kind staff of SLU's Facilities Operations Department.  With a fresh coat of paint, the installation of an energy efficient washing machine and the reconstruction of shelves from the old location the 'barn' is bigger and better than the 'basement'.  Among the gently used goodies you'll find a new mural on the wall, a piano waiting to be played and the occasional free hot beverage. 

Most items are sold for less than a dollar and even the highly coveted furniture and large electronics sell for less than twenty dollars. All funds from the sale go toward helping the program continue by paying employee salaries, advertising costs and other operating expenses.  Hopes for the future include making the upstairs of the barn a usable store space, fixing bikes in the barn during off hours and becoming an all-around 'eco-barn' including drying rack, room compost bucket and semester-long bicycle rentals.

What can you do to help the Barn Good Thrift Store thrive and promote sustainability initiatives at St. Lawrence?  Donate your gently used but unwanted items all year long (faculty and staff we'll take your items too as long as a college student is likely to use them) and come SHOP!  Remember to look for donation boxes in dorms during move out each spring and to contact volunteers to move larger items from your room to the Thrift Store.

E-mail for more information on donation details, employment, fall sale and spring collection.  Check SLUWire for hours.

Green Bikes - Trial Day

Come try one of the Green Bike trial models and tell us what you think. 

New Green Bikes Selected

Green BikeThanks to our many bike testers!

With your help we’ve selected the new cruiser style bike for our Green Bikes Program, the Kona Africa Bike One; the sleek black model with the front basket and convenient built-in lock. Smooth ride and a place to stash things and yet it gets even better, for every two bikes we ordered (and we have seven) one bike is donated to people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Check them out at ODY.

Happy Riding!

Green Bikes Program

Green BikeThe green bikes program was first initiated by students to provide the campus body with alternative transportation. We are at a point where demand is outpacing supply and we see the need to both continue and expand the current program and investigate the creation of a new program.

The current library rental program is working well. We just bought eight new bikes (bringing our total to eleven-money from the student government) and baskets for both the new and old bikes and we have purchased an impressive collection of tools and associated bike maintenance equipment (a gift of $2,500 was given to the program for tools/equipment). The largest issue with the current green bikes program is regular maintenance, we are working with the OP to determine if the gear room staff can do regular work on our entire bike fleet; this seems promising. The greatest issue with gear room staff would be finding someone who already has the knowledge to fix bikes or finding a way to train this employee. Another issue is respect to the bikes and return to the library on time/enforcement of late fines, while the new bikes seem to be being treated better, only time will tell if lack of respect and misuse will continue to be as great of an issue.

To get a semester long rental program off the ground we are in the process of finding a space on campus to store/maintain bikes that have been reclaimed by security. In the past we have run into issues finding a space that has enough room to fix bikes and is on the ground floor. There is a small possibility NOT to be missed that if the ReCellar moves to a new location (Old Java Barn on University Ave is being discussed) such a space could be shared with the bikes and maintenance done on store off hours.

Sign up to help

Short term goals: mechanic for the spring and future and finding a good space
Long term goals:
create a stronger bike culture on campus such that the combination of biking and other alternative transportation options can reduce the number of cars students bring to campus

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