The University of Lynchburg has planned a series of events aimed at educating the campus community about sustainability issues and the College Lake dam removal project. The events will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays.
The series is co-hosted by the University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
In February 2021, Lynchburg became the first university in Virginia to go carbon-neutral. Most food served in its Green Restaurant-certified dining hall is locally grown, and the University composts all of its food waste. Electricity is purchased from landfill gas. The hope is that the series will further promote campus sustainability.
“We want to encourage sustainability across the campus community,” said PRSSA Chapter President Hannah Belayachi ’22, adding that students and student groups are encouraged to attend. “The point is to take the ideas and thoughts presented and integrate them into campus organizations’ service goals, philanthropy, etc. Make it more a part of campus culture.”
On Jan. 26, in Schewel 217, there will be a panel discussion about “fast fashion” and commerce with the Lynchburg Environmental Sustainability Society. LESS is a student organization that seeks to promote sustainability on campus through collaborative projects and activism.
The panel discussion will focus on individual lifestyle choices for sustainability, and the session also will include a hands-on activity focused on individual sustainability.
On Feb. 2, Danielle Racke, education coordinator at the University’s Claytor Nature Center, will lead a session focusing on how Claytor integrates with campus sustainability and College Lake. During the session, which will be held in Drysdale Student Center’s West Room, student input will be solicited about ways they’d like to see Claytor used.
On Feb. 9, Dr. Laura Henry-Stone, director of sustainability, will talk about designing a “sustainability think tank” at Lynchburg. The conversation, held in Hopwood Auditorium, will involve Lindsey Van Zile ’17, graduate assistant for campus sustainability, and Dr. Jeremy Welsh, chief innovation officer and executive director of Lynchburg’s Center for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships.
The series culminates Feb. 16 with a forum about College Lake and Blackwater Creek, “Restore, Remove, and Reconnect — the College Lake Dam Removal Project.” Held in Hall Campus Center’s Memorial Ballroom, the forum is presented by the city of Lynchburg’s Department of Water Resources, which is leading the dam removal project. It is the only event in the series open to the general public.
More information about the city of Lynchburg’s plans for the College Lake dam can be found here.