Friday, April 19, 2013

The Bittle Tree

RC Electric

We went down to the garage recently to fix the bumper brackets and to finish painting the floor boards and the rims for the car so that they'll be ready for graduation. The headlights are finished long with the tail lights. We are planning on installing a grip tape on the running boards. Paint that was accidentally sprayed on the dash window and the door frame has been removed and the car was wiped down. We are hoping to acquire wood from the  Legendary BiddleTree of Roanoke College tree for the construction of a steering wheel and shifter knob in memory of its footprint on campus.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RC Electric

We will be attending Oliver's Garage tomorrow to work on installing the chrome trim hopefully with the grills, running boards and installing the white walled tires. We recently had contact with alumni stating that their is a good chance we may be able to obtain bumpers as a donation for the vehicle. We are still struggling to find the noticeable "Silver Streak" piece that is important to the full appearance of the car.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Last Week Until Elizabeth Campus Tree Planting!

Things are coming together nicely for the tree planting! We will have representatives from our capstone class, Earthbound, alumni from the Lutheran Orphanage, and grounds crew present at the event. All interested students and faculty are also encouraged to come help out with the planting!

Save the date:
Saturday April 20th at 12pm
Meet by Elizabeth Hall. 
Snacks and drinks will be provided by Earthbound!

As for recent updates:

  • We presented our poster on the project at RC's Showcase of Research and Creativity on Friday, April 16th . The poster was a success, with students and faculty showing interest in the project. 
  • We were also lucky enough to have our project covered by the PR department! They did a great job with the article, check it out here.
  • We have received the last of our tree orders, two copper beech trees that will frame Elizabeth Hall nicely. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Staunton Review

I do believe that a BIG "Thank you" is due to ALL of those who traveled to Staunton to help with the Community Garden Work Day!
The trip was nothing short of a huge success! The community garden, which originally had three raised beds, was successfully expanded to THIRTEEN raised beds. 
The members of Transition Staunton and the Community Garden Organizers were very appreciative of all the work we could contribute to their cause. 

We also paid a visit to Sunspots Glass Studio. There I was able to share the fantastic experience i had last semester with everyone who was with me. Our gardening group soon became as enthusiastic about the trip next semester as i am.

THANK YOU all again for making this trip such a success!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lets get ready to GAAAAAaaaarden! In Staunton!

The building of the lasagna beds in Staunton Virginia at the community garden site is ready to finally begin! This Saturday, our environmental capstone class will join the heads of the Transition Staunton organization and begin the construction and filling of the raised lasagna beds. Our class is also fortunate enough to be able to provide the Transition Staunton group with a modest monetary donation that will now allow the number of the beds to double from the original amount, four, to between eight and ten. This is excellent news as this will now allow them to implement their Noon Lunch Program, which according to Lindsay Curren, one of the leaders in the Transition Staunton organization, “is a free weekday feeding program for the hungry”. We are more than pleased to hear that this is program, for the benefit of the less fortunate, is being sped up due to the generosity and efforts put forth by our class and Roanoke College.

Joseph Lombard, of the Local Food Task Force in Staunton, has been working on the Elizabethan apple planting project, which are still scheduled to be planted on April 9th. Additionally he has been aiding us in gathering food waste from venues in downtown Staunton to supply the beds with organic material. We are more than pleased to be a part of this amazing project in this transitioning town. Thank you to Lindsay Current for all her assistance as well as Joseph Lombard for giving us the Staunton perspective and acting as a liaison between our class and our Staunton associates! Can't wait to go garden on Saturday!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Staunton Update

The dates for our trip to help in the community garden in Staunton is still set for April 6th from 11am- 1pm (approx.)
In addition we would like to have some class representation at the planting of the Elizabethan apple trees a few days later, on the 9th of April.

We have recently gotten in contact with CAB, after receiving a positive response back from Sunspots Studios, and the idea for a student trip to the glass blowing shop was well received. The CAB representative we contacted was very receptive to the idea and said that they would bring it up in the next CAB meeting. We will be emailing Sunspots Studios to inform them of the welcome reception our idea has had thus far, and that we will contact them again with the name of the CAB member with whom they will continue to orchestrate the trip and the pricing. We will continue to be as involved as we can during the planning process of this trip.

Friday, March 22, 2013

RC Electric

After contacting our chroming company we have come to find that the distinct "Silver Streak" trim is beyond any form of repair or chroming. Due to this circumstance we are now in need of a new one. A few individuals have been contacted in regards towards a donation to purchase the hood trim. We are waiting to hear word back from them as to how much they would like to donate.

Ideas of Fundraising opportunities have been brought up in order to raise some money which is much needed after discovering that some of our items are beyond repair.

Here are some photos that show us what we will be looking at for a completed car.

Found at:

Monday, March 18, 2013

RC Electric

Currently we have the white papers completed and we will be printing them out and applying them to each of our grants.

We are going to send the grants out within the next couple weeks.

Our next step is to install the interior in the next few weeks.

Chrome should be finished within a week or two.

The running boards will be completed once we visit the garage to install the interior or the brakes.

Contact has been made with Electro Automotive and talked over what needs to be done with the conversion in order for a smooth development.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The group working with Transition Staunton has begun to communicate with Sunspot Studios, a glass shop based in Staunton, about potentially setting up a glass blowing session which would be open to all students on campus for what we hope will be a reduced group rate. The glass blowing session would potentially involve a beginners glass blowing class, a take home ornament designed by each participant,  and hopefully a more advanced demonstration. Ultimately the size of the trip WILL be limited. As we find out the terms, conditions, and pricing for this event we will provide updates on the trip's progress. Never fear, we will keep you as up-to-date as we can for this exciting and interesting trip!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RC Electric Update

 On Monday the 25th of February, A few of us including Joe Conner visited Oliver's Garage with intention to clean out the garage and install the headliner. Joe Conner will be aiding us in the installation of the headliner. He will teach us how to install and we all will gain a valuable skill. But when, we arrived those tasks were not able to be completed due to weather conditions and technical issues with design. Our visit wasn't a complete failure because we made dimensions for the Front and Rear Doors in order to make a template for our door panels. This will aid us in showing how the door panels will be installed but also make it able to put in the canals for the windows and help with the headliner installation. We are planning for another group to go up and clean out the garage and put in the headliner after spring break when weather won't be a factor and we have the right equipment.

Transition Staunton Project

With the poster completed, the Lasagna Bed group is looking to the future to establish dates to plan a trip to Staunton after spring break. The goals of this trip are to strengthen our ties with our groups in Staunton and familiarize our class with the garden site. What we are waiting for at the moment is a return dialogue from our friends in Staunton for ideas about dates and a final response to the Lasagna Bed Proposal.
Additionally there is hope to set up a separate trip to the local glass blowing shop in Staunton, which would be open to students at Roanoke college. This would be a day trip to have a basic glass blowing lesson with a potential,self made, souvenir.
The final task for our group is to determine the location of the Boar's Head Dinner, whether in Staunton or here in Salem , and send out necessary invitations. The emphasis of this dinner will be to stress the use of local products and produce.

The EC Tree planting is moving along nicely and it looks like we may have most of our trees ordered before Spring break. Last class we contacted highland Hill Farm about purchasing two copper beech trees. We discovered that they do not deliver to our region. Fortunately, Dr.Cawley is traveling in that direction over break and has offered to pick the trees up for us. Today I will be meeting with Bill Martin to discuss the budget for the project and to hopefully order the remainder of the trees (cherry and cedar).

I have been in contact with Earthbound and they have agreed to sponsor an event the day we plant the trees. We have proposed two possible dates: April 6th or April 20th. Once we have a date set we can begin inviting the orphans who planted the original trees on EC now and contacting PR to highlight the event.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

EC Tree Planting Updates

Our GIS map proposal was presented by Bill Martin to the board and was well received all around! We have also completed a poster on our project that gives background information on each of the trees we plan to plant this semester (cherry, cedar, and American chestnut) as well as the Southern Lutheran Orphanage, which used to be located on EC. We hope to present the poster during the colleges week of experiential learning.

In other news, Elizabeth Medical Parl LLC, has offered to be a sponsor for our project. They would like to purchase the cherry trees, given that the school will match their donation. They also suggested that we purchase two copper beech trees to plant in front of Elizabeth Hall. We have contacted Bill Martin regarding a budget for the project, and are waiting patiently to hear back. We have also reached out to Earthbound, asking if they would be interested in sponsoring an event centered around the planting of our trees during earth week. We hope that the event will be an opportunity to gather our campus community as well as alumni from the orphanage, who we will be inviting.

Staunton Poster Completion!

The poster for the Community Garden in Staunton VA was printed last week. Unfortunately, due to some type-spacing and spelling errors we were unable to claim that poster as a final product. Alterations have been made to correct these problems, and the poster is now complete! After it is printed in the print shop off of its new PDF format, to insure quality, it will be complete!

What we are working on now is getting in contact with personnel from Transition Staunton, the Local Food Task Force, and Mary Baldwin College in order to locate sources for biodegradable food material for the lasagna beds, establish a relationship with the Mary Baldwin College Community, and ultimately establish dates to visit and begin working on the additional raised lasagna beds.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Staunton Poster Update

Last week Clare Lloyd Owen and Sam Schultz worked on creating a poster to showcase the proposal, goals, and eventual implementation for the community garden project in Staunton Virginia. The poster should be completed by the end of this week, if not by Tuesday Feb 12. Its completion will be greatly sped up pending the review of Dr. Cawley of the information selected to be placed on the poster early in the week.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dunstan Chestnut Trees and GIS map Updates

Today we ordered ten chestnut trees from Chestut Hill Tree Farm. We chose Dunstan Chestnut trees because they are resistant to chestnut blight. The blight was introduced in 1904 and wiped out virtually all American chestnut trees on the east coast. The loss of the American chestnut tree was considered on of the worst ecological disasters in America, as we lost a mojor food source in our forest ecosystems. It also had an economic impact on the Appalachian region as its lumber was used for a wide variety of products. The Dunstan variety is a hybrid that can be traced back to American and Chinese lineage. A great history of the American Chestnut can be found on Chestnut Hill Tree Farm's Website. I was informed that our trees can be expected to arrive in late March or early April.

In addition to ordering the chestnut trees we were able to complete a GIS map showing the existing trees on EC as well as the planned locations for the chestnut, cherry, and cedar trees we plan on planting this year. We will be reviewing the map one last time with Dr. Cawley tomorrow in class and hopefully submitting it to Bill Martin for the board meeting later this week.

Lastly, we looked into what trees were available from Sharp Top, another nursery we may potentially be ordering from. They have a variety of cedars in stock, however they do not have beech. We may have to look into using an alternative such as birch, oak, maples, or elm.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Transition Town of Staunton Proposal

Print:    By Rob Hopkin. From The Transition Handbook
For the past week both Sam Schultz and Clare Lloyd Owen have been working on a proposal for the Transition Town of Staunton. The proposal entitled the “Proposal for lasagna bed composting of raised beds at Transition Town of Staunton Community Garden, Augusta County, Virginia" proposes the installation of lasagna bedding at the town garden. Lasagna bedding is a new type of gardening that utilizes layering both food and paper waste to enrich the soil with the addition of earth worms. This Transition Town hopes to become more sustainable with the production of food back to the local level it once was. This proposal will be brought down to the town of Staunton tomorrow to be proposed to the town by Dr. Cawley.

The following are the main steps of the transition movement:

Step 1: Set Up a Steer Group and Design its Demise from the Onset
Step 2: Awareness Raising
Step 3: Lay the Foundation
Step 4: Host an official “unleashing” event
Step 5: Form working groups around specific themes
Step 6: Facilitate community involvement
Step 7: Develop Visible Practical Manifestations of the Project
Step 8: Facilitate the Great Reskilling
Step 9: Build a Bridge to Local Government
Step 10: Honor the elders
Step 11: Let it go where it wants to go…
Step 12: Create an Energy Descent Plan

Sunday, February 3, 2013

According to our liason Joseph Lombard from Transition Staunton, Local foods are one of the hot-button items --with a Local Foods Task Force, which Joseph attends.  Hopefully he will be adding his own blog entries here on our site as well.  In the mean time, it seems appropriate to glance at where some of the more developed Transition Towns are on this topic. 

Although Roanoke College has done its February Boarshead Meal, and various 30-mile and Harvest Dinners for nearly a decade now, so far this year there has been no organization among the envi majors yet to make one happen this semester.  Perhaps this information below will inspire either Earthbound or Envi majors to put something together before we miss this spring entirely....

I will try to find some photos from earlier meals we have done for posting here in a bit. 
Transition Cities Somerset (UK)

"Food is often where Transition initiatives start, and it offers a great way of finding common ground, given that everyone interacts with food on a daily basis! Here is a taster (pardon the pun) of some of the varied projects under way. Some start by planting productive trees in urban spaces. Transition Town Finsbury Park planted fruit trees around their local train station, and Taunton Transition Town developed their ‘Tasty Borough’ scheme with the local council, planting traditional apple varieties around the town (leading to a dreadful pun on their website about wanting to ‘put Taunton Deane at the core of the apple country’). Transition City Lancaster’s urban tree-growing project is called ‘Fruity Corners’.

Transition Town Tooting’s annual Foodival is a great way of reaching people and bridging cultural divides. Growers from across the area bring their surplus produce, which is cooked by a range of local cooks in different ethnic styles. One of the intentions of the Foodival is to create new traditions, which was apparent at the 2010 event when two local people were overheard having a conversation: “Has this happened before?” The reply was, “Oh they do it every year”, in spite of its being only in its third year!

Some Transition initiatives, such as Tunbridge Wells, Bramcote and Wollaton, Ashtead and Forest Row, are creating community allotments, where people for whom a whole plot feels daunting get together and share one. One of the earliest incarnations of this idea was in Transition Canterbury, where they also keep a very informative blog about what they are learning and how it is progressing.

Other Transition communities, such as Wandsworth in London, Louth and Ashburton, have set up community gardens, where people learn to grow food together and support each other. Inspired by the Fife Diet, some places are experimenting with eating a seasonal and local diet. Transition groups in North Cornwall and in the New Forest are exploring the practicalities of eating a more local diet, and what this can teach us about food relocalisation.

Some places are setting up their own community-supported farms, for example Glastonbury, Matlock, Stroud and Kippax (near Leeds). Here the community owns shares in the farm and is involved in what it grows. Transition Town Kinsale set up a community supported agriculture scheme (CSA) with a local farmer to produce potatoes and oats for its members. Transition Town Dorchester are creating a two-acre community farm on land made available by the Duchy of Cornwall for a peppercorn rent. Many places produce a local food directory to help people source local produce: Forest Row, Glastonbury, South Kerrier in Cornwall and High Wycombe have done so, and Transition Cheltenham is going for an online rather than a printed version."

And this one : These are the sorts fo things that our neighbors in other places are concentrating on--it sounds like they are having a fair bit of fun.

The Transition Ipswich 30-Mile Food Challenge, September 2012

 by Lucy Drake, originally published by Transition Network  | Jan 23, 2013

Probably our most successful events, in terms of people clamouring for more, were four Cook Local evenings, held at the WI demonstration kitchen in Ipswich. This was a well-equipped venue with space for 12 people to cook and eat together. The first, pasta-making, gave everyone a chance to discover how easy it was with local flour, eggs and rape seed oil, especially if instructed by someone who knew what they were doing! [Image 3] An old-fashioned clothes airer proved perfect for drying the strips of pasta while we cooked up 5 or 6 sauces from local ingredients, then somehow found space for a damson and plum desserts.  Vegetarian, beef and game evenings were on successive weeks.
We are lucky in Suffolk to have a lot of excellent local food suppliers and almost everything we needed could be sourced within 10 miles, but for some things, and certainly for the best quality and choice, we had to drive out of Ipswich to get it. Most notably for butter – we were determined to make an apple pie! We really appreciated Marybelle at Halesworth as one of the very few remaining local suppliers of milk, cream and yoghurt.  They do doorstep deliveries in Ipswich but they didn’t do butter.  Through the wonders of the web we tracked down Domini Dairy a small family business, just over 30 miles away in Norfolk. Kirsty and I were heading north to pick up a selection of traditional apples from a grower and attend Sustainable Bungay’s Happy Mondays meal. A few phone calls led to an assignation on a village green in N Suffolk where blocks of frozen butter were transferred from one cool-bag to another. It certainly felt like precious contraband - and a lot of other people had put in orders once they had heard where we were going.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Joseph Lombard, liason with Transition Staunton, played banjo and sang wednesday evening from 9:00 to 10:30 PM in the Cavern in the Colket Center at Roanoke College. Joseph has been working with us on our projects. He is a member of the Local Food Task Force for Transition Staunton. We had very good reception despite torrential downpour that evening. Thursday night Joseph gave a jam session for our campus representatives and several alums at the Pompeii Room in Stauton. He presented the proposal posters for the Elizabethean Pocket Orchard and the video project. We look forward to having Joseph and the Winter Line back again, sponsored by Earthbound during Earth week April 2013.
From: Caitlin Mitchell []
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:47 AM
To: King, Kyle; Cawley, Jon
Subject: RC Electric--possible story, advising and funding
Dr. Cawley and Kyle,

I don't know if you recall, but I wrote a story about RC Electric early last semester for Roanoke College's Public Relations Office. In addition to working for Roanoke's Public Relations Office, I am also and intern at Neathawk, Dubuque & Packett, which is a PR agency in Downtown Roanoke.

At Neathawk, Dubuque & Packett, I am working on a possible opportunity for one of our clients, who specializes in electric cars, to help RC Electric with the classic car conversion. I am unable to tell you all of the details at this point until we confirm with our client, but this has the potential to be a great partnership between our client and RC Electric.

What I would need from you both is a list of services you might need. Beyond simply funding, what else could this electric car shop offer you? I know last time we met, you mentioned that your goal this year was to complete a lot of the smaller remodeling projects of the car this year (i.e. wiring and upholstery). Please let me know any other specific services that this car company could offer you, and I will work my magic on my end.

This has the potential to result in future media stories and a lot of benefits for RC Electric and its students, so your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time, and I am looking forward to working with you further.

Caitlin Mitchell
ND&P | Neathawk Dubuque & Packett
Richmond | Roanoke | Chattanooga | Charlotte | Tampa | Durham

410 South Jefferson Street, Roanoke, VA 24011

p 540.589.8653 | f 540.345.5414

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RC Electric's Progress

Tyler Poindexter
Holly Perkins

White Papers:

We are currently updating the dates and expectations for further work on the vehicle and the acquiring of the GM Grant and the Wells Fargo Grant. We will have the new White Papers complete within the next week or two and apply them to the grants and plan on sending out the Grant proposals once they are edited and complete.


GM Grant - We are currently consulting with Development in order to help modify the GM Grant proposal. We will meet with them until we have a solid Grant proposal and move towards sending it out for our $20,000. This particular grant will put us in line to finish much of what is seeking attention (interior, exterior, mechanics, etc).

Wells Fargo - We are currently waiting on contact back form the Branch Manager over at Wells Fargo in compliance with her contact with their National Marketing Department. We have left all of our information and our previous White Pages so that they can get a feel of what all is required in order to make noticeable progress on the conversion. We are continuing to stay in contact with them in order to seek proper approval of the Grant.


We are currently in contact with Jamestown Electro Plating in order to consult with them to acquire our chrome parts, so that we can finish off the exterior trim. Other than the chrome parts the running boards are set to be installed soon.


We are set to install the headliner, front seat, and door panels. The back seat is currently being upholstered and will be waiting installment.


Currently we are consulting with Officer Pruitt in order to install the disk breaks. we are just waiting on a time and place that we can set up an appointment to complete the break installment.


We will be talking with Development in order to set up contact with Alumni Relation. By setting this up we hope to set up a Paypal account to make progress towards Alumni Donations. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Progress on EC Tree Planting Project

The tree planting project is moving along and we seem to be making a good amount of progress. Last Friday our group and Dr.Cawley were able to meet with David Wiseman and Bill Martin, the manager of the grounds crew. We established that our goal for this semester will be to plant 6-10 cedar, 7-10 American Chestnut, and 10 cherry trees.We also decided that we need to create a GIS map of the existing trees, which will be presented to the board of the college in approximately two weeks.

Today, Travis and I went to the City of Salem Engineering Department.They were able to give us data to make our GIS map. We then went to talk to Dr. O'Neill. She teaches the GIS class for the environment program and will be a big help in this step of the project. After looking at the data  we decided that it would be best to mark the trees that are visable from the arial images. We will then do a walk through of EC and make any necessary corrections. We will need to put in a signifigant amount of time to make the map, but I believe we will be able to have it completed in time for the board meeting.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Elizabeth Campus Planting

On Friday four members, Carrie Carson, Clare Lloyd Owen, Travis McDaniels, and Phil Simpson, of the environmental capstone course met with David Wiseman who is heading RCsustain's effort on the Elizabeth Campus tree planting  project. The goal of the project is to establish a nursery of cherry trees as well as a long term landscaping plan.  The long term goal of the school is to establish 60 trees on Elizabeth Campus over 5-7 years. Our class will focus primarily on the cherry tree portion.

During the meeting we reviewed the initial map indicating the initial ideas. Moving forward we will be meeting with Bill Martin, head of grounds crew and collaborating with Dr. O'Neill to figure out the best method to map the trees using GPS.

Roanoke College and Transition Staunton

The Envi400 class is looking to reestablish contact with the Transition Staunton organization from last semester and begin talking about trip dates to Staunton as well as what we will focus our efforts on during our time there.

In addition we are working on retrieving the photographs from the INQ300 trip. Once obtained try will be moved to the Dropbox

RC Electric

RC Electric
Tyler Poindexter
Holly Perkins

GM Grant- Met with Grant Proffessional Ed Hamilton in regards to help revise the new 2013 GM grant. Further Meetings will conclude a new draft to be re-submitted.

Wells Fargo- Met over at local Wells Fargo to set up meeting to apply for a possible Community Grant to support the car. Left contact and White-paper for Branch Manager to review and consult with the National Marketing Branch.

Interior is underway with the front seat upholstered and ready to be installed along the headliner. We will be setting up a time with Joe Connor to go down and work on the interior. We are still waiting on the chrome to be returned and the running boards to be installed.