Summer Interns Focus on Higher Ed. Sustainability Collaboration and Organic Gardening

students in a garden
Posted on October 2, 2013

This summer, Leigh Anne Schriever ‘16 coordinated the Sustainability Research Collaborative, a team comprised primarily of Ivy+ college and university student and staff researchers exploring best sustainability practices, including greening labs and composting. In addition to facilitating collaboration among the schools to support their research, she organized a presentation of their work at the end of the summer. One team participating in the Collaborative, headed by our own Director Shana Weber, and MIT's Julie Newman, will present at a national conference in October preliminary results from a study of sustainability performance metrics across all of higher education. She also significantly contributed to communication projects at the Office. She participated in our new website design process by providing a student’s perspective on the layout, assisted in the curation of the new sustainable fashion and social innovation theme now featured at the Kiosk.

The student-run organic garden at Forbes College was also buzzing this summer, thanks to Lizzie Hutton ‘14 and Nick Lavrov ‘15, our summer Princeton Garden Project interns. Between planting blueberry bushes and installing a sprinkler system, Lizzie and Nick hosted the Planet Protectors, a group of 10 children in grades 1-4, who attend the Laurel School of Princeton. After touring the garden, the kids participated in hands-on activities, including harvesting beets and potatoes, and planting marigolds. Nick was really pleased with the level of interest the children showed. “I was surprised by how enthusiastic everyone was about the garden. The students loved planting the marigolds and digging for potatoes!” Lizzie added, “Sharing the garden with the kids is always fun. They are so proud when they dig up a potato, or plant a marigold all by themselves, or recognize a mint plant by its smell. There's something special about a garden that connects people with the outdoors.”

The Laurel School’s Science Teacher, Dr. Lorraine McKay, also felt the field trip really had an impact. “The students learned about sustainable living and organic farming in the best possible way during their visit,” she said. “By doing!”

 Lizzie and Nick also introduced the garden to children ages 2-5 on a visit to the UNow Day Nursery. To help illustrate basic gardening concepts, they brought along freshly harvest produce from the garden and read from the book Growing Vegetable Soup. “I'm glad these young kids found everything interesting, and I hope as they get older they can recognize the important role that local gardening plays in sustainability efforts,” Nick said.

If you would like to intern with the Office of Sustainability check out the many open positions on our website. We are hiring an Art Intern, Research Intern, Communications Intern and more!