The Glynwood Institute works to shift the U.S. food supply to regional sustainable practices by raising public awareness through special projects and events, and by partnering with select groups to develop strategic marketing initiatives. Over the summer of 2012, CEEDS collaborated with Virginia Kasinski, director of Community-Based Programs for the Glynwood Institue and colleagues from Williams and Vassar Colleges and the Culinary Institute of America to plan an experiential fall weekend for students to explore regional food systems.
In September 2012, Paul Wetzel, co-director of the environmental concentration in sustainable food, travelled with students Nichole Calero '13, Eva McNamara '13, Gayelan Tietje-Ulrich '13, Julia Jones '14, Maya Kutz '15 and Flo MacGregor AC, as well as Fran Volkmann (professor emerita of psychology/Keep Farming Northampton community leader), to Glynwood Institute, a 225-acre farm in Cold Springs, NY. There they participated in an interactive farm and community connection workshop over a weekend. Students from the Culinary Institute of America, as well as Smith, Vassar and Williams Colleges toured the working farm at Glynwood, talked with local leaders in the regional food system and ended with a role-playing exercise. The experience provided a great way for Smith students to meet peers from other institutions who are equally committed to food system issues.
Over the summer of 2012, CEEDS staff member Reid Bertone-Johnson coordinated and co-led the Field Studies for Sustainable Futures program part of the Summer at Smith program for high school girls. The Field Studies for Sustainable Futures program afforded students the opportunity to explore the New England landscape, including hiking at local preserves, a night of camping at Smith's field station, a zip-line canopy tour, as well as time to enjoy the Smith campus and its surroundings: the botanic garden, the campus arboretum, the Mill River and Paradise Pond.
Reid co-led the summer program with Leslie King, associate professor of sociology; Julianne Busa, lecturer in the Environmental Science and Policy program; and Candace Salyers, lecturer in dance.
Joanne Benkley, assistant director of CEEDS, worked with Gaby Immerman, laboratory instructor in biological sciences; Lilly Lombard of Grow Food Northampton (GFN); and Valerie Schumacher in Student Financial Services to establish a new off-campus work-study position for Smith students with GFN. The new position, which is administered by CEEDS, continues to expand and is now entering its third year.
The Kestrel Land Trust is a collaboration of The Valley Land Fund and The Kestrel Trust. Together they work with landowners, governmental agencies, citizen groups, and other organizations to protect land, including farmland, woodlands, wildlands, wildlife habitat, water resources, historic landscapes, rare and endangered species habitat, and scenic vistas in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts.
In July 2013, Smith College and Kestrel Land Trust signed papers to officially register the placement of 190 of the 240 acres at the Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station into permanent conservation. The legal agreement permanently prohibits development and assures that Smith will conserve the land’s natural resources in perpetuity.
The Mill River Greenway Initiative is a working group of local citizens who aim to protect the Mill River watershed, preserve its cultural artifacts, enhance its biological health and encourage recreational activity. Their goal is to design and create a greenway along the river.
Reid Bertone-Johnson is working with a group of six students in the STRIDE (Student Research in Departments) and AEMES (Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences) programs on the Mill River Greenway project. The group has met with a newly formed committee of citizens in Williamsburg who are considering a multi-use connector path between the villages of Haydenville and Williamsburg. Smith's Mill River Group will work in geographic information systems and with GPS (global positioning system) cameras to gather data and build maps for the committee's use. Reid will also work with the Smith group on interpretation materials for areas of the Mill River near and on Smith's campus. This year's students are first-years Mara Keledei and Tam Nguyen; and sophomores EJ Wald, Laila Phillips, Catherine Campbell-Orrock, and Rebecca Wolfe.