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Great Ideas for Earth Month from Sustainability Office

Students gardening on Community Service Day.
Students gardening on Community Service Day.

This Year, Earth Month Goes Online!

Want to learn how to cultivate a healthy, resilient, and beautiful outdoor space at home? Look no further: in honor of Earth Month, Keene State’s Office of Sustainability is sharing practical guidance about gardening, attracting pollinators, and other ways of connecting to the Earth. The office is also getting out the word about an exciting new fund that supports student centered projects.

The Student Sustainability Innovation Fund will provide up to three rising juniors or seniors a financial award of $500 toward a project that supports student-centered programs of the Office of Sustainability or other innovations that will help the College achieve its sustainability goals. The deadline to apply is April 29. Read about it and find an application here.

From the Sustainability Office: “One effective way to manage the uncertainty and challenges of these times to consider ways in which we might connect more deeply to our local natural places, from growing food to supporting wildlife/pollinators. We also share tips on how to mindfully ‘listen to the land’ as a way of making meaning.”

Here are some activities for the coming days!

Create Your Own Raised Bed Gardens:- Check out the Sustainability Office Facebook page for a great tutorial video on creating your own raised-bed vegetable garden. In these uncertain times, it can be helpful to consider how we can create more resilience for our homes and communities, and one important way is by growing our own food!

Hügelkultur: Have you ever heard of Hügelkultur? This time-honored gardening technique is an excellent way to enrich the soil in your garden, while also making use of dead trees or branches, compost, or other yard waste. Check out this video and this online primer.

Composting 101: Have you always wanted to learn how to compost at home, but haven’t figured out the best way to do it? We’ve got you covered! Check out these links for more information on implementing your own, at home compost system. If you really don’t have the outdoor space to store a compost bin, then you can adopt the strategy shown in this video. Elm City Compost, a new local business in Keene, offers compost pick-up services for both residents and businesses! Or, if you do have outdoor space, check out this great video for tips on outdoor compost for beginners.

Building a Hoop House for Raised Beds: Most places in the northeast United States have relatively short growing periods, due to our relatively short summers. A hoop house is an easy, innovative way to extend your growing season and create what is essentially a mini greenhouse in your yard! Check out this video to learn more.

Recycling 101: Now that most of us are home most of the time, we may not have access to the regular recycling systems that we are used to. Interested in starting a recycling process in your own home or apartment? Check out this video for the basics of recycling and this video to learn about how to create your own recycling space at home. It’s important to remember that different states and towns will have different recycling guidelines, so be sure to check out how your specific town or city processes recycling.

Growing a Pollinator Garden: Pollinators have recently been getting lots of buzz in the media, not only because they are facing a lot of human-caused challenges, but also because we are learning more and more about how important they are to a healthy, thriving food system. For more information about pollinators, and about how you can create a pollinator-friendly habitat at home, check out this webinar.

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