"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead
As a means of providing a focus for our explorations in Environmental Studies, our introductory course (ENV 200) centers our readings, activities, and discussions about the concept of "place." By studying place--how we perceive it, how it is a part of us, how we shape it, and what a place really is--we may come to think more deeply about the relationships between nature and culture. Through the course, we analyze some of our cultural assumptions about what makes a place natural, about how nature affects us individually and culturally, and about what is the proper relationship between humans and their places. As part of the course, we do group projects on our "place," which we often define as the The College of Idaho campus or the City of Caldwell.
Indian Creek Community Clean-ups
On or near Earth Day each year, Environmental Studies students join in a community effort to pick up litter along the banks of Indian Creek, which runs through the City of Caldwell. This activity is just one aspect of the attention given to Indian Creek by our students and the community. Each fall, Caldwell hosts an Indian Creek Festival; C of I students regularly attend and help out with the festivities. In addition, Environmental Studies students have also assisted the City with planning efforts revitalize downtown Caldwell by day-lighting Indian Creek.
Indian Creek Restoration Project
The City of Caldwell undertook a downtown revitalization project centered on uncovering Indian Creek, which was covered in the downtown area by parking lots, streets, and sidewalks. Students have been involved in the project in several ways: water testing, recommending native plants for the creek's banks, and helping with the design and implementation.
Xeriscape Project 2003
Students in the ENV 402 class designed, prepared, and planted a xeriscape garden on a plot of ground near campus.