By Kylie Brown
Coalition for Conservation, an emerging club, is making major strides towards creating a sustainable campus.
The club began last fall as the brainchild of Erica Ferrara. Ferrara is a current junior studying geology and environmental sustainability, so sharing her passion for the planet is a natural extension of her talents. She hopes to provide a space for students to express creativity and learn about environmental sustainability. “I especially want students to see how an individual can have an extensive impact on the planet,” Ferrara said. She pursues this mission by organizing upcycling craft events, service activities and contacting representative from the field of sustainability to speak campus. Experimental art projects throughout her dorm room attest to Ferrara’s commitment to finding engaging ways to spread environmental awareness.
Last semester, the club hosted a variety of sustainability-themed events. Ferrara cites to Earth Day Festival as one of the most successful. Students participated in environmentally-friendly activities like tie-dyeing recycled t-shirts, cleaning up the campus, and playing in a drum circle. On March 22, which is World Water Day, the club hosted special guest Peter Miniscalco, who conducted a traditional water ceremony. This event also featured a strong focus on local environmental issues with a segment specifically on Long Island water.
Already, the Coalition for Conservation has planned for a busy semester of campus engagement. To help support the victims of hurricane Irma, a succulent sale will take place in late September. A “Halfway to Earth Day” event, a guest speaker, and a film showing are also planned for the coming months. Most notably, though, Ferrara will be focused on expanding the campus farm. Currently, Post is home to an impressive farm that yields carrots, radishes, kale, romaine lettuce, arugula, mesclun and mustard. But Ferrara has much bigger plans for the future. “Short term, I’d like to extend the farm by two rows each year, but eventually I’m hoping for a one-or two-acre farm on campus.”
Through such ambitious involvement on campus, Ferrara hopes to draw even more students to the club and spread awareness of current environmental issues. “I hope to get more students involved and environmentally conscious,” she said. In addition to the club, Ferrara is also working for the College of Management to build a living-learning community with a focus on sustainability. Eventually, an entire floor or even residence hall will be devoted to students who share a passion for long-term environmental change.