Environmental groups host Halloween community event

By Miranda Parrish

Elm Staff Writer

Washington College hosted another event in its Friday at the Garden series on Oct. 21 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the campus garden. The event was a collaboration between the campus garden club, composting team, and outside groups such as New Grounds Composting and ShoreRivers.

From 3 to 5 p.m., New Grounds Composting led a workshop with trail mix and gluten free snacks from Figg’s Ordinary in Chestertown.

Porter Harrington, owner of New Grounds Composting, is collaborating with the Campus Garden and composting team this fall semester to bring awareness to composting.

“We own a composting company in Easton and the goal is to help spread the word of composting,” Harrington said. “The College has the same set up as I operate, and we figured we’d be the best people to come over and help the college get off the ground…when I moved back to the shore there was nothing available, so I was inspired to bring it to the shore.”

A goal for the garden event was to set up and start the process of breaking down food scraps through the garden’s new aerated static box.

According to Harrington, this type of composting is “becoming pretty popular.” A motor at the back pushes air into the pile and fuels air to the bacteria, which breaks down the food. Overall, this type of processing takes little effort.

Maura Collins, a first-year student at the College, attended the event as a Permaculture intern.

“Permaculture is based on three main foundations: earth care, people care and fair share,” Collins said. “So, just thinking how the systems around us interact and how we can interact better by existing in a sustainable way.”

The second part of the event spanned from 5 to 7 p.m. It featured live music by Gerry Werner and the Old School Band. The Jefas Mexican Grill and Walker Family Deep Fried Seafood also provided food trucks.

Anyone who arrived in a costume had the chance to win a healthy lifestyle prize.

The Bayside H.OY.A.S., or Helping Our Youth Achieve Success,  sponsored the event and Interim Director of Sustainability and Regenerative Living Shane Brill ‘03 coordinated it.

President of Kappa Alpha Omicron, Environmental Honors Society and Co-President of the Compost Club senior Hannah McCarthy said that she hopes students will feel more inclined to visit the garden due to the event series.

“I just want people to know that the garden is a place for everyone,” McCarthy said. “I think people think they’re not allowed to come here, or they don’t know it exists. And it’s a place to study, and just hang out, or have hammock time, or just learn about anything related to permaculture or gardening.”

Reflecting on the event as a whole, Brill said that soil and the potential of student food scraps have an important effect on WC’s ecosystem.

“Health starts and ends with the soil and how we treat soil ultimately affects vitality of us as individuals and the community,” Brill said. “And so composting is really central to restoring our place in the natural world.”

Photo by Miranda Parrish.

Photo Caption: Multiple off-campus organizations were involved with the composting workshop and live entertainment.

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