Lafayette envisions sustainability as a matter of environment, equity and economy; consequently, the basis of much of this work is community-based. The students, faculty and staff are part of the Easton, Lehigh Valley, and Delaware River basin communities.
By building relationships with our neighbors and ecosystems, we conduct research and develop curriculum that engages with and learns from the community.
Posing in a small greenhouse behind the Easton Area Community Center on Washington Street are, front to back: Julia Seidenstein ’14, Helen Xu ’14, Alexandra Behette ’13 and Asad Akram 13. These Lafayette students worked with young children at the center as the children created a bucket garden.
The College’s ongoing partnerships with local organizations, such as the West Ward Neighborhood Project (WWNP), Nurture Nature Center, and Easton Area Community Center, are examples where sustainability and community intersect. And the College’s community garden project, LaFarm, located off-campus in Forks Township adjacent to the Metzgar Field Athletic Complex, is naturally positioned not only as part of campus life but of regional food systems as well.
These issues are investigated in classes such as Sustainable Solutions and interdisciplinary projects such as Tech Clinic, both of which have worked in recent years with the City of Easton, the WWNP, 3rd Street Alliance and others to develop sustainable projects that simultaneously and necessarily consider the ecological health of the region and its people.
Vegetables in the Community
Vegetables in the Community: This project is a collaboration between the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, Lafayette College, the City of Easton, and a set of other regional contributors to cultivate more fresh produce from community gardens in town and distribute them to neighborhood residents as a way to increase access to and the availability.
Make a Difference Day
Each year the College's Landis Center organizes projects dedicated to environmental sustainability in Easton. In 2017, for example, students helped pick produce and clean up garden beds at the Juliana Street Community Garden.
This is a stormwater detention wetland constructed in response to Hurricane Ivan (2004) and stewarded by a collaboration between local and state political representatives and students in Prof. David Brandes' Civil and Environmental Engineering classes.
Karl Stirner Arts Trail
Faculty at the College have assisted city planners, the local arts community, and residents to help develop the KSAT as a walking trail and environmental corridor between downtown and 13th Street. Jim Toia, director of the community arts program, serves as the chairman of the Bushkill Creek Corridor Council of the Arts.