The Sustainability Semester: Sense of Places

St. Lawrence’s new Sustainability Semester is deeply rooted in the North Country land it calls home. Inaugurated in spring 2013, the off-campus program offers students “the rare chance to help make their farmhouse sustainable” while living and learning on a farm, says St. Lawrence Sustainability Coordinator Louise Gava ’07. This entails building a chicken coop and root cellar, as well as working with the program’s Homesteader in Residence to prepare all their own meals.

Students further their local connections by learning from area artisans, such as local woodworkers and bison farmers, through classes and field trips. Students also intern for a portion of the semester with  local farmers, who provide everything from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share for student meals to guidance on maple sugaring, animal husbandry and vegetable garden planting. 

For the last part of the semester, students head to Boston for an urban component, to “set up a comparative study between urban and rural sustainability,” says Gava. This furthers a final goal of the semester: to connect sustainability with the wider world, and to provide life-long models for the much larger communities into which students will move after graduating from St. Lawrence.                                                                                           --Molly Lunn ’12