Sustain-Ability and the First Year Experience

Griffy Woods, home to the IU Research and Teaching Preserve and site of the first-ever IUBeginnings program focused on sustainability.

My name is Bridget Flynn and this summer I am the Sustainability and First Year Experience Intern. I am working on many different projects this summer, including a Green Dorm Certification Program and research on how other universities integrate sustainability into their first year programming. One project that I am particularly excited about right now is the IUBeginnings trip that IOUS and the Office of First Year Experience have collaborated to put on. IUBeginnings are five-day long trips for first year students that occur right before Welcome Week at the beginning of the fall semester. They provide new students an opportunity to get acquainted with other incoming students while participating in interesting projects related to a central theme. There are different focuses of IUBeginnings trips, such as the arts, leadership skills, outdoor adventure, and service.

Our IUBeginnings trip is titled “Sustain-Ability” and falls under the IUEngaged category  (the service-based designation). The trip was envisioned by previous interns in my position, but had not yet come to fruition. I’m happy to announce that we are going to be able to carry out the trip this year, since there are already 6 students signed up out of a cap of 10! We have many exciting outings and learning experiences planned for this trip. Some highlights include volunteering at the 2nd Annual Hoosier-to-Hoosier Community Sale on Saturday, August 20th, training and serving at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, touring Upland Brewery’s Sustainable facilities, foraging in Griffy Woods, learning and serving at the Bloomington Bike Project, learning about campus sustainability via workshops and exploration, viewing interesting films, and eating at local restaurants! We will be staying at the IU Research and Teaching Preserve set in the magnificent Griffy Woods.

To view a description of the trip, as well as the itinerary, you can visit the webpage at the Office of First Year Experience’s site, here. If you know a new student that you think would be interested, you should also refer them to that site, but hurry as there are only four slots left!

If you have any suggestions for other interesting places to visit in Bloomington or any inquiries about the trip or my internship, you can e-mail me directly at or leave a comment below!

Check back near the end of August for an update on how the first Sustain-Ability trip went as well as view pictures from the trip!


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