A green convert

You know me. I am the type of UVM student that you love to hate. I’m from out-of-state, I’m here to ski and I wear my bug-eyed sunglasses rain or shine. I am a registered Republican. My first car got 11 miles to the gallon. I scraped my plate at the dining hall, but only when other people were watching. My blood could probably be marketed as a vaccine for Obama Fever. I think you get the idea, so hold onto that heart-warming image as you picture me arriving at Intervale Compost Products last winter to begin a semester-long service-learning project. As my communications major is a part of Community Development and Applied Economics, I have sat through my fair share of classes about sustainability and general tree-hugging. I was exasperated that afternoon, to say the least. Driving through the fields to ICP, the stench hit me faster than you can say “rotting organic material.” It was nearly enough to send me straight back to civilization for some good-natured consumption. Despite my reluctance, I took a deep breath (through my mouth), and unknowingly turned over the leaf of my college career. We worked closely with the staff at Intervale Compost Products, learning firsthand about the organization, its waste-processing activities and the resources it offers to our beloved Burlington. I soon realized that the smell was not the only thing resonating each time we left the Intervale; the ICP staff has an enthusiasm and a dedication to the agricultural wellness of Burlington that is contagiously inspiring. Not only did I finish the semester with a smile on my face and biodegration in my daydreams, I’m also working with ICP this fall as it faces its shi – I mean, manure – storm of a controversy in the local news. As ICP handles the issues surrounding its land use, let me express my sincere faith that this organization’s utmost priority is nurturing our community and its resources. Burlington is the tallest and greenest tree in a forest of cities aching to be sustainable, but our city’s identity as a leading supporter of agricultural health has its strongest roots in Intervale Compost and the Center. Though it appears to be a long road to the resolution of the controversy, I know that ICP has the spirit to prevail. After all, Intervale Compost achieved nothing short of a miracle when my iron heart started pumping green.Sincerely, Hayley Duval, class of 2008