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Published by the Environmental Program at the University of Vermont, The
153 So. Prospect Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401-3595. (802) 656-4055 http://www.uvm.edu/~envprog
Feedback, submissions to: Ibit Getchell, Student Services Coordinator.
Fathoming the changes the world and Earth have experienced in the last century is difficult at best, but to anticipate another 1000 years of human activity in this biosphere is virtually incomprehensible. Yet we now approach a calendar change that makes us ever more mindful of the task at hand. What will become of Earth in the next millennium? Or the next 100 or 50 years for that matter? The first of these questions borders on the rhetorical, but the last is our challenge. This is clearly understood by our students who take their futures across this symbolic threshold. In this issue of the Bittersweet Vine, read about the impact our core courses have as students ponder, then solidify their roles as change-makers. This year, seventy-nine seniors completed their theses and projects with themes spanning the usual unbelievable breadth of topics—from in-depth studies of the grass-roots movement opposing a radioactive waste dump in a Texas community, and the development of a local bicycle transportation policy, to the creation of elementary school activities for the celebration of the seasons, and a permaculture design for Slade Hall right here in the middle of the UVM campus.
In a year when we look ahead a thousand years, we have looked back just a few generations to the early days of Burlington and the Bittersweet. Finally, with the considerable patience and persistence of Colette, the Bittersweet has received its long-overdue exterior restoration. Through the hazards of modern paint stripping and the inconvenience of abandoning the building during the process, we discovered under 24 coats of paint the original, historic color scheme. Restored to those colors, the building is quietly resplendent in a deep red with black trim....and looking great once again! With the conclusion of Main Street renovations, landscaping will finally once again cloak our campus home in the natural greens of trees, shrubs and lawn. Restoration alone is no longer adequate for the centuries and millennia to come. Through emerging philosophies such as permaculture and ecological design, through local and international field courses, and through the awareness generated by art, literature, and the sense of place, today’s students will determine the world of the future. The tasks are daunting, but the energy and optimism of our students will surely bring goodness to this Earth, carrying on the fine works and successes of the environmental pioneers who have brought us to the end of this millennium with their energy, wisdom and undying optimism. ~ Ian