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Community Action


Sustainability Week
Students check out a solar-powered cart on display during Campus Sustainability Week 2006, co-sponsored by GREENetwork

GREENetwork, formerly the Committee for a Sustainable Campus, was established in August 2002 as a permanent body charged with assisting Illinois Wesleyan University in reducing its environmental footprint-- "greening the campus." Composed of students, staff, faculty and administrators, GREENetwork is the successor to the Green Task Force, which worked for two years to assess the ways in which Illinois Wesleyan's daily activities impact the environment and to propose and begin to implement change on campus. GREENetwork has focused most of its attention on improving the rate of recycling, encouraging energy efficiency and reducing paper and food waste on campus, as well as studying options for encouraging the purchase and use of recycled paper products.  Check out the GREENetwork website.

Ecology Action Center
The Ecology Action Center (EAC) is an outgrowth of Operation Recycle, a not-for-profit community recycling center which began as a volunteer effort in 1971.  Formally named the EAC in 1995, the Center provides the community with information and an array of educational programs about the environment aimed at all age levels, as well as monthly networking breakfasts, and meeting space for other local environmental organizations.  The EAC actively coordinates community evens such as community tree planting, America Recycles Day, and hazardous and electronic waste drop-off days. Most recently, they have been running an energy efficiency educational campaign in the community. Over the years, many Illinois Wesleyan students have interned or volunteered at the EAC, and many volunteers are needed each semester for the after-school education program. Check out EAC's website.

Funks Grove
Students tour the prairie at Funks Grove

Funk's Grove
A group of local volunteers are trying to restore woodlands and prairies at Funk's Grove, just south of town. They remove non-native vegetation, collect seeds, plant seeds and rootstock, conduct prescribed burns, pick up trash and more. To participate in a work day, contact Don Schmidt at (309) 828-5247 or To inquire about volunteering or interning at the Sugar Grove Nature Center at Funk's Grove see the website

The ParkLands Foundation
The ParkLands Foundation, founded in 1967, is a private, non-profit organization working to restore prairie and preserve habitat for wildlife and plants. Volunteers remove introduced species and plant native species.  Activities take place on the Merwin Nature Preserve and other lands that the organization has acquired.  Visit the website.

Sierra Student Coalition members spread woodchips at Hedge Apple Woods in Bloomington

Sierra Student Coalition
The Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) is a group of dedicated Illinois Wesleyan students interested in environmental sustainability on the campus, local and national levels. Since its inception in May 2005, the SSC has conducted numerous work projects at local parks, trails and organic farms. The SSC is constantly working to make IWU a more environmentally friendly campus and was the driving force behind IWU's adoption of the Talloires Declaration. The group also works to raise awareness of national and global issues through movie showings, petitions and other campaigns. If you are interested in the Sierra Student Coalition, feel free to come to a meeting. The SSC meets every Wednesday at 8:30 pm in The Underground, down the stairs from Starbuck's in the Memorial Center. For more information, visit the website or contact SSC at

IWU volunteers paint a barn during a workday for The Land Connection in May 2005

The Land Connection
The Land Connection is a young, active, and rapidly growing organization whose mission is to cultivate healthy farms, healthy food, and healthy communities. It saves farmland from housing development; promotes organic production to eliminate use of harmful pesticides; educates farmers and the public on the many environmental, health, and social benefits of production and consumption of local organic food; and facilitates direct rural-urban linkages between organic food growers and eaters to reduce the fossil-fuel costs to the environment of long distance transportation and to make organic food financially viable for a greater number of people. Several Illinois Wesleyan students have interned either with the Land Connection directly or with one of the several organic farms associated with it and have found the experience extremely rewarding. For more information, check out the website.

The John Wesley Powell Audubon Society
The John Wesley Powell Audubon Society is the McLean County chapter of the National Audubon Society. Named after the famous 19th Century explorer and naturalist, John Wesley Powell, this chapter views its mission as "promoting activities that foster an understanding and appreciation of the natural world" and encouraging others to join the cause of "restoring, maintaining, and managing our natural communities and ecosystems." The Society offers programs and field trips to learn about and enjoy nature, works on local ecosystem restoration projects, monitors the bird population of McLean County, and engages in campaigns such as the current "Yard Smart Campaign" to promote environmentally healthy, pesticide-free lawns. Visit the website.

Abigail Jahiel - Professor of Environmental and International Studies

Department - Environmental Studies