New York, New York City & Fordham

Blog: 8

New York city is an important city for the United States. It houses millions of people and generates billions in profit/tax revenue each and every year. Walking through New York city is a unique prospect, but its degrading to the environment. Looking back on Manhattan’s history and ecology is the Manhatta Project.

Projecting New York City’s early look shows a long wooded island, with wetlands and streams coming down from the shower. Beavers, river otters and other animals existed amongst these rivers and streams, and Manhattan then would be considered what Yellowstone is today. Speaking ecologically, Manhattan’s diversity was broad, befitting of most national parks. All of this started by looking back at past maps of the island, and the area; showing all the original landscape of Manhattan. Helping scientists learn about the geo-features of the island, what the Native Americans were doing, what species existed and what the soil was like. The landscape was recreated.

All of this fits in with New York’s Planyc. This project will lead the way forward to creating the first sustainable city in America. Planning to change its transportation systems, help maximize clean air and minimize carbon, and air pollution. Developing air initiatives, looking at alternative fuel vehicles and clean burning materials for energy and how to reduce the waste produced within the city.

This can stem back into the Bronx River restoration project, a project trying to fix the environmental degradation that has occurred along its banks for decades. Reconstructing from the bottom up will take decades but it reconstruction is working. People are restoring habitat, removing invasive species, fixing erosion all by looking at historical maps of the Bronx River. One can even look at the older maps of Fordham’s campus to see what has happened over the past decades degrading our schools landscape, soil, water and air.

Fordham is all about flashiness. Flashing its credentials is priority number one, of course. However, factoring Fordham’s recent sustainability report card Fordham fails to impress and flash its larger than life credentials. Yes, I love my school; but sometimes the ostentatiousness surrounding its every move gets quite annoying, actually really annoying.

Breaking away from this behavior would be beneficial, and it would actually show off Fordham’s sustainability plan. I mean other schools are doing the same so why not play up the plan? Receiving a B, NYU beat us with its sustainability plan, whereas we received a C+. Come on Fordham, we need to get everyone involved, students and all. Student body needs to become more consensus about this plan/environmental problem.

It is for all our futures, so lets move forward, help living sustainable gain traction amongst students, professors and parents. Lets beat other schools and become a green triumphant example of sustainability amongst top-tier schools

Categories: Environmental Policy, Fordham, New York City, Priorities, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

St. Rose’s Garden, Practicum

Blog: 2

St. Roses Garden, is a recent development here at Fordham University, at Rose Hill. Rose Hill, the Bronx campus, his home to 85 square acres of green space. Situated on the southeastern corner of Southern Boulevard and East Fordham road is a newly reinvigorated plot of land on

the Rose Hill campus, St. Rose’s Garden. St. Rose’s Garden is an organic miniature farm with 8 raised beds designed to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. It will serve as an outdoor laboratory, classroom, and social space for all students/volunteers.

Organic farms such as St. Rose’s Garden are becoming a common place amongst universities, like Clemson. At Clemson University, a farm: Organic Farm Project, was started in 2001 and currently uses 15 acres of land; and OFP is dedicated to similar purposes like Saint Rose’s Garden here at Fordham, to teach and provide research.

Both organic gardens grow tons of varieties of vegetables and fruit. However, these two gardens are not enough to feed an entire community like Clemson or Fordham. Therefore, a CSA is created in partnership with that community to provide organic fruits and vegetables to the community.

What is a CSA you ask? Well, a CSA is community supported agriculture. Here at Fordham, we are doing a CSA, together with St. Roses and Norwich Meadows Farms. For the mere price of 16 dollars a week one would get a share of the CSA. This share consists of a delivery of 6-8 lbs of vegetables/fruits per week for 10 straight weeks from mid-September to mid-November. CSAs are becoming quite popular here in the states, in fact:

“the first year there were any CSA farms listed in the state’s Minnesota Grown Directory was in 1996, Hugunin said. That grew to more than 20 by 2008 and this year, there are 87 CSA farms in the directory”.

CSA popularity around the nation is booming, it is quickly becoming a top choice amongst consumers who want farm fresh produce. Produce, as well as agriculture, is once again becoming popular within our society, and is building its importance. We no longer need just produce but fresh/organic produce.

However, there still is one major problem: transportation. Transportation of these organic goods produce externalities. Externalities are costs which remain unaccounted for in the price of a product. For example, the delivery truck’s green house gas emissions, and its degradation of the environment, are not factored into the final market price of the delivered produce. If the price reflected these environmental damages the prices may sky-rocket; thus consumers may not buy the products which would leave wholesalers with large quantities of produce leftover. Then, how do we eliminate these environmental externalities without angering consumers?

There could be many different solutions to this particular problem, which mostly involve moving agriculture closure to the urban areas. This idea is feasible. However, this idea does show how agriculture has changed since its inceptions. This can be connected to the idea of agrarian philosophy and environmental ethics. According to the dictionary, agrarian as an adjective means, “of or relating to cultivated land or the cultivation of the land”.

Basically, agrarian beliefs stresses the role of nature, climate, soil on how one forms his or her moral character; or, our environment shapes our very own moral behavior/beliefs. Our daily lives is shaped by nature, even in cities such as New York, and hopefully our morals will change and allow this problem to become solved. 

Categories: Environmental Policy, Fordham, Life, Organic Farming, Priorities, Urban agriculture | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Environmental Policy? Biophilia? No Child Left Inside?


Blog: 1

What is Environmental Policy? Well, according to Fordham University’s Environmental policy department the phrase/term is

“an academic discipline, is the interdisciplinary study of the creation, evolution, implementation and effectiveness of environmental policies and is often called Environmental Studies as opposed to Environmental Science”.

In general, Environmental Policy is the study of effective policies created by groups, organizations, and governments to help protect the environment, its evolutionary processes, and natural systems; but also, to help address environmental problems associated with big-business, consumption, and human-kind.

Thus, the major follows true to this definition. Therefore, there are many key environmental policy dimensions, world-views, values, policies, stakeholder groups, technology and design, and environmental problems. These dimensions in turn are affected by different disciplines practiced by students who major in Environmental Policy, due to its curriculum.

As a student who is minoring in the environmental policy I can attest to the use of the core curriculum. It is appropriately used. Starting freshman/sophomore year off with the basics has worked and I feel like I have grown in my love for the environment. Each class brings a new concept of the environment, and it helps the student grow/become ready for his/her future.

In fact, varying concepts of the environment can help anyone grow and by experiencing the nature for at least 20 minutes a day can be beneficial. Being a part of/within nature is encoded in our own DNA, this idea is called Biophilia. Biophilia is our innate love for the environment because it is built into our own DNA, or “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. Human interaction with the environment for a small amount of time has been found to lower cholesterol, increase cognitive though, and decrease chances of cancer, tumors, or heart disease. In fact, George Wright states that this hypothesis is unquestionable because the world of nature and the world of humans are deeply intertwined. Really, it is unfathomable how reliant we have become as a species on mother nature.

Wright goes on discussing this idea and mentions this idea of parks and our health, and this brings me back to the idea of the no child left inside act. The no child left inside act seeks to “provide funding for environmental education (wikipedia). This act moved me, and the line that really gets to me is the last,

“Developers and environmentalists, corporate CEOs and college professors, rock stars and ranchers, may agree on little else, but they agree on this: no one among us wants to be a member of the last generation to pass on to our children the joy of playing outside in nature.”

Our culture needs to educate our youth, younger generations, about nature. Increasingly, the idea of nature is dissipating. Parks are becoming weed-ridden deserted landscapes, and nobody cares too much about nature and the experiences it can bring… it is sad really. But, this article seeks to correct this problem. Because, the changes our world needs is a broader incorporation of the outside world, which involves today’s youth.

Categories: Environmental Policy, Fordham, Priorities | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Introductions are in Order…

Hi, let me introduce myself: my name is Connor Farrell and I am a Junior at Fordham College, at Rose Hill. I am a visual arts major, with a concentration in architecture with a minor in environmental policy. I grew up on Long Island, New York, in Sayville which is a town located in Suffolk county filled with tons of state parks, gardens, and wetlands; and growing up on Long Island was a great experience, and still is. I can remember spending hours in parks walking my dogs, laying out on the National Seashore, and exploring the wetlands of Nicoll Bay/Great River.

These explorations played a big role in creating the man I am today, because ever since I was young I have been surrounded by nature, and I cannot seem to escape. Escaping from nature is not an easy feat in the household I grew up in –mostly because my mother is professional landscaper and an avid gardener– thus, my life has been filled with greenery, plant talk, anti-pesticide talk, and a general-green-thumb-attitude. Proving to be enough persuasion for me, I started taking up an interest in protecting the environment globally and in my own backyard.

This interest, combined with my love for architecture, started to define me. Everywhere I went I would stare at building envisioning how I can improve it aesthetically and environmentally. I became obsessive.

In 2010, as I was awaiting to receive my high school diploma at graduation, I officially decided to major in visual arts, concentrating in architecture. However, I did not just want to become an architect, but a green architect. I love the environment and architecture, and both of which are parts of who I am today. I want to protect/change the Earth, one house or building at a time.

Categories: Environmental Policy, Fordham, Priorities | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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