Commom Boston EventCommon Boston Event (June 2011)

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) was featured in the city-wide Common Boston Week 2011 festival (June 16-June 25) that celebrated the built environment – the streets, landscapes, buildings and neighborhoods unique to Boston. Featured neighborhoods included Beacon Hill/West End, Charlestown, Roslindale, Fenway and Mission Hill. BHCC's LEED Gold certified Health and Wellness Center was one of eight destinations featured on a day-long walking tour of the Charlestown neighborhood. As part of the activity, participants learned about the features that earned LEED Gold certification by visiting ten designated stops. The interactive event, billed as the "G-Tour," was developed by a team from BHCC that included Dr. Roxanne Mihal, Dean of Nurse Education, Nursing Laboratory Coordinator Dawn Monahan, Paul J. Wolff III, Director of Sustainability and BHCC student interns Brian Alves, Gardy Fortune and Ken Yuen.

Participants learned about features that helped to earn the LEED Gold certification such as exterior walls made of architectural pre-cast insulated sandwich panels with high insulation value and retention ponds that collect rainwater and reduce runoff. Highlights of the tour included demonstrations of day-lighting strategies that reduce energy usage and the buildings state-of-the-art acute skills laboratories which feature hi-fidelity adult simulation manikins which are sophisticated, computer driven, interactive models that talk and breathe, with pulses and pupils that constrict and dilate.

This event was the result of a first-ever collaboration between BHCC and Common Boston, a volunteer program of the Boston Society of Architects. Mary Hale, co-organizer of the event commented, "The tour of the Health and Wellness Center was excellent. Not only did we learn about green building, but we saw first-hand how students are engaged in learning about climate action planning at the school. It was very surprising to find this level of engagement in sustainability at a community college. I loved seeing the interns presenting, too; what a great leadership training moment."

Hale co-organized the walking tour of Charlestown with Jon Pate, landscape architect for Warner Larson (Boston) and Paul J. Wolff III; member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and graduate of the School of Design at Harvard University. Wolff commented, "It was a pleasure to support the AIA's mission to explore Boston neighborhoods and to promote community engagement with those who shape the city. This collaboration also supports BHCC's goals to develop and cultivate college-wide sustainability Initiatives and to foster wellness, growth and lifelong learning." As part of supporting the event, BHCC also donated approximately 22 boxes of used books to Common Boston that were used as part of a "topographic bookscape;" a sculpture designed by Hale that also served as the backdrop for a performance art installation by Emily Beattie, a Boston based choreographer and performer. The venue provided a creative opportunity to recycle the books which will be later donated to a charity. In recognition of BHCC's participation in this city-wide celebration of architecture, the College was recognized as an official sponsor.
Review the full program for the Common Boston event.


BHCC Garden PartyBHCC Garden Party
(May 2011)

Over 300 BHCC staff, faculty and students participated in an event that launched the first Urban Organic Garden Project at the college. The event also was designed to promote sustainable agriculture, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease meat consumption and prepare students for socially engaged leadership.  Participants enjoyed music, dancing, cookout food and student displays that promote local growing, water conservation awareness and healthy lifestyles.

Bob Steeper, Chair of Science Department and senior faculty member, led a crew of staff and students in building six raised bed garden plots measuring 8' x 12' each. Several college affiliated groups such as the Office of Community Engagement, the Nursing Department, the Veteran's Center, BHCC On-line Education, the student Sustainability Club and members from the President's Climate and Sustainability Committee have agreed to manage garden plots during the 2011 growing season.

Invited guests included the Four Seasons Nursery (Charlestown, MA) who donated several flats of marigolds for use in the gardens, and Pura Vida H20, a Massachusetts based company that promotes drinking water alternatives. Students from the Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Clubs also prepared water consumption surveys and petitions and conducted taste tests comparing bottled water and purified water. The Urban Organic Garden Project will ultimately bring together members of the community to raise awareness about the critical role that food plays in our environment and our health.


Sustainability Leadership ForumSustainability Leadership Forum (March 2011)

The Office of Sustainability Management sponsored a special lecture and discussion with Leith Sharp, founder of the Harvard Green Campus Initiative). The lecture focuses on her work with the successful Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), a dynamic partnership between 48 community colleges in Illinois. IGEN is leveraging their collective bargaining power to influence education-related legislation, to collaborate on large scale grant solicitations, to improve the performance of state owned buildings and to transform the delivery of trainings that expand employment opportunities and market competitiveness.

This venue recalls the concept of the artist salon in the 1920's. Back then it was common for artists, poets, musicians, writers, intellectuals, painters and philosophers to gather on a regular basis to share their work, to talk about ideas and the future, often in their own homes or apartments. The salon, by its very nature, was "interdisciplinary" and central to European and American culture of this time period.

Gertrude Stein, a well known American writer, held regular salons in her flat in Paris throughout the 1920s. Her salon on the Left Bank of Paris was like a clubhouse for modern thinkers and a place to go for people interested in new ideas. Artists, writers and others flocked to see her collections of paintings and to hear stories about her travels. It was a place where like-minded people could "find each other."


Farm Share Fair EventFarm Share Fair Event (February 2011)

The Office of Sustainability Management (OSM) collaborated with BHCC faculty, staff and students to create the college's first event dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Local farmers were invited to the college as special guests to promote the concept of "Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Other invited guests for the first BHCC Farm Share Fair event included the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, Slow Food Boston, Silverbrook Jams and Jellies and Taza Chocolate.

CSAs allow people to buy fresh foods directly from farmers. Typically, one may purchase "shares" that represent weekly boxes/bags of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats or fish. These are delivered to a specific location on a scheduled day each week. Shareholders purchase their shares before the season begins. A typical share lasts 20 weeks from June through October.

As part of the event, the BHCC Sustainability Club members distributed surveys to query attendees on their interest urban gardening and to increase awareness of the carbon emissions associated with food production. BHCC faculty brought their students as part of integrated assignments offered in the English as a Second Language (ESL) and Psychology courses offered at the College. The event helped to increase awareness of sustainable agriculture and the environmental benefits of eating fresh foods that are sourced from local farmers.

Boston Greenfest Boston Greenfest
(August 2010)

OSM sponsored participation in this city-wide event with over 55,000 attendees from Boston and surrounding areas. The event celebrates the benefits of greening our lives and our communities. BHCC's booth exhibit featured a working hydroponic garden with live plants and information about composting and recycling programs, farmers markets, renewable energy sources and new curriculum. Over a dozen students, staff and alumni volunteers distributed information about academic programs and cookies baked by the BHCC culinary department and wildflower seed packets.


Green ArrowBoston Greenfest.pdf download this pdf for more information.