St. Lawrence University Receives Grant for Community Partnerships

CANTON - St. Lawrence University has received a grant of $25,000 from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation to support the community partnership component of its Sustainability Semester, which launches in the spring 2013 semester. Similar to the highly successful Adirondack Semester, students in the Sustainability Semester will live and take courses together that address themes of human sustainability such as land and water use and food production from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. The program will be located near the St. Lawrence campus on farm property owned by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and leased by the University.

Plans call for 15 to 20 students to live there, with an assistant program director on site, taking four courses that focus on sustainability from such disciplines as environmental studies, English, philosophy, psychology and geology. Students will also work on site to grow food, build and help renovate energy-efficient structures, and live as sustainably as possible. In addition, students will engage with local community organizations and individuals with special experiences in land use and food production.

Several local organizations and groups have agreed to be project collaborators in the program, including the St. Lawrence Land Trust, Traditional Arts of Upstate New York, North Country Grown Cooperative and GardenShare. Leaders at these organizations have volunteered to work with students participating in the Sustainability Semester through workshops and internships, and to include the students in their outreach and educational activities.

The foundation, which has made this award in support of the Sustainability Semester, is located in Auburn, N.Y., and has previously supported the University. In 2000, the foundation awarded a challenge grant to St. Lawrence to encourage additional private gifts to the University and, in 1984, established an endowed scholarship fund