One of the major projects I’ve worked on this quarter was Earth Week. As a first-year VISTA at Ferris State University, I decided to make this my VISTA Year Initiative. I’ve had experience with running an Earth Week at Central Michigan University and I noticed a lack of sustainability at Ferris. With this in mind, I partnered with the Bulldog Sustainability Alliance to help them put on a week of sustainability-oriented programs and events.
The project that I put a lot of work into was bringing a speaker to campus. With the help of the president of the RSO (Registered Student Organization), I was able to bring Dan Phillips to campus. That was an amazing experience and the highlight of Earth Week. I also helped put together several service projects with money from the Global Youth Service Day mini-grant. The first project was a deer exclosure build with a local conservancy. After that, we had a project with the National Forest Service with some mountain bike trail maintenance. We also helped keep Ferris Fest green with the aid of the High Five Program. Finally I helped the local community with a garden for children.
Ferris State University has been a difficult site to work with mostly due to a lack of VISTAs over the years. With me trying to break-through and establish the program at Ferris, I have had many struggles with my site and my community partner, the Big Rapids Housing Commission. While these difficulties have been disheartening at times, I continue to work through the problems and setbacks with hopes that the next VISTA will have an easier time. I have helped with locating a new VISTA and continue to work on resources that will help him or her settle into the position.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!