Canada’s Tar Sands Exposed: Exploring the Human and Environmental Costs

Orono, Maine

Wells Conference Center

Saturday February 1st 2:00-5:00pm

Departure time: 12:45pm


  • Garth Lenz: International award winning photojournalist.
  • Eriel Deranger: Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations (ACFN) Communities Coordinator.
  • Sherri Mitchell: Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation and Indigenous rights attorney. She will discuss the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), an international trade agreement, and how it is able to threaten local land use ordinances.

Visit this event on the website:

Canada's Tar Sands Exposed: Speakers Tour

Please e-mail by Thursday January 30th if you would like to attend!


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Veggies For All 2013: numbers and pictures

2013 was HUGE for Veggies For All.

We could go on and on, but we are so anxious to get on with 2014, that we are reporting out on 2013 report in numbers and pictures:

21,190 pounds of vegetables…More than any year in our  history!

1,500 people fed (about 800 in our local community and 700 in the wider region, through the VRFP)

412 volunteer hours

9 Unity College classes engaged in service and research with us this year

3 AMAZING volunteers who logged dozens of hours each as individuals  (You know who you are!)

2 events at which our students led worksongs while they helped out

1 great idea, that is still fresh after 7 years, and continues to fuel our collaboration: Our neighbors deserve access to healthy, wholesome food that was grown in their community.

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New Year, growing goats, eggs!

The word from Barn Manager, Meg A.Delaware

After a long, cold winter break the barn is thawing out as students return for spring semester. Our baby San Clemente Island Goats have transitioned from the heated living area to the ‘big kid’ stall and are loving the extra space, kicking up their heels and butting heads from dawn until dusk.

Our chickens have come out of a state of near hibernation and have produced their first few pullet eggs (small eggs laid at the beginning of production.) We hope to incorporate these eggs into our dining services and hatch our own chicks come spring.

On December 28th we welcomed Sylvie’s second litter of Silver Fox rabbit kits into the world. Her 6 squirmy puffballs now have their eyes open and are exploring their new surroundings with mom.

Stay tuned for lambs, chicks and the promise of greener pastures!

Kids Rock! more news from the barn

After many hours of cold days and sleepless nights, our San Clemente Island Goats (Minnie and Tazzy) finally delivered their kids at the Unity College Barn.  Magpie (Minnie’s daughter) came into the world on Friday November 29th – one of the coldest days we’ve had so far.  Loon (Tazzy’s daughter) joined her 5 days later and came into the world hollerin’!  Both Tazzy and Minnie have proven themselves as attentive mothers and required little assistance during the kidding process.

We are pleased to be able to dedicate space in our barn to the conservation and restoration of this lovely breed.  The births of these two SCI goats are significant as the population was recently recorded at approximately 600 registered animals worldwide.  We count Magpie and Loon as two great successes in the establishment of our campus animal facility.

Photo and videos updates of the girls can be found on the Unity College Sustainability Facebook page.  To schedule a visit, please contact Meg Anderson, Barn Manager, via email:

What’s up down at the barn?

Meg and Minnie.

Meg and Minnie.

As our animals have settled into their new home and student workers have gotten trained and fully integrated into barn work- Barn Manager, Meg Anderson, shares some details about the animals and humans who are making the barn a vibrant space for learning.

Exciting things are happening in and around the Unity College animal barn as the semester heats up and the weather cools down.  Currently, the barn houses seven Katahdin sheep (six ewes and Rocky the ram) four San Clemente Island goats, eleven Silver Fox rabbits and fifteen Delaware chickens.

On September 17th, our first litter of heritage-breed Silver Fox rabbits was born to our doe ‘Sylvie.’  One of the kits from the litter will be traveling to Capron Park Zoo in Massachusetts to be integrated into their hands-on animal program.

Three of our Katahdin Ewes will soon be joining Rocky the ram in an attempt to breed them for spring lambs.  We hope to use meat from our lambs in the campus’ food system in the future.

Our San Clemente Island goat ‘Tazzy’ is nearing the end of her gestation; we are expecting kid(s) on the ground very soon.  We are breeding our San Clemente Island goats as a conservation effort – the population of this heritage breed has dwindled to less than 500 animals worldwide.

Our hens and roosters are currently doing their part for the Veggies For All winter-squash field by integrating their own brand of fertilizer to the topsoil.  Using the chicken tractors constructed by the Unity College FFA, the barn crew is attempting to evenly distribute waste produced by the animals over the field.

The hens are still too young to be laying, but we are already planning an incubation schedule for spring chicks!  The chickens produced can be used as broilers or replacement layers.

Recently, we received confirmation from our vet – Dr. Matt Townsend DVM – that our hoofstock tested negative for the following diseases – Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE), Caseous Lymphandenitis (CL), Brucellosis, and Johne’s Disease.

Currently, our facility hosts the Animal Health, Animal Training, and Interpretive Methods classes regularly.  We also have an Intern that is focused on training our goats and Rocky to be easily handled by students and staff.

Our work-study barn crew has been doing a great job keeping our facility clean and ensuring that our animals are healthy and happy, we certainly could not do this without them!

Extreme Energy Immersion Launches this Weekend

The Extreme Energy Immersion leaves Boston Saturday morning with a load of Unity students and a dozen others.  Among them, the Natural Resources Defense Council‘s Rob Friedman (pictured) is on the bus and gave us this preview of the Immersion on his Switchboard blog over at NRDC.  Original post, October 11, 2013.

To Gas and Coal Country I Go


Tomorrow morning I will join 18 college and high school students on the Extreme Energy Immersion Tour, hosted by the Expedition Education Institute and Unity College. The purpose of the 10-day bus tour is to build experiential leadership amongst young people by visiting communities on the frontlines of extreme energy extraction in the northeast and Appalachia. I could not be more excited to be joining these young organizers and activists on this journey.


Over the course of the week, we’re going to be covering some serious ground, all the while witnessing some of the most environmentally devastated landscapes in the world. We’ll be visiting our friends at Catskill Mountainkeeper in upstate New York, where we’re fighting to keep fracking out of our state. We’ll be learning from a new hero of mine,Deirdre Lally, an organizer with the Shalefield Organizing Committee in Pennsylvania to learn about how fracking is assaulting her community and threatening the Loyalsock State Forest. We’ll be meeting with organizers from Swarthmore Mountain Justice, which has been working on the issue of divestment from the fossil fuel industry for many years.

From Pennsylvania, we’ll travel to West Virginia, where mountaintop removal and strip mining have devastated communities across the state.  Finally, we’ll duck back into Pennsylvania to meet with folks from the SW PA Environmental Health Clinic, which works on health-related anti-natural gas extraction advocacy and information sharing in Washington County, PA. And then it’s on to Power Shift, where I’ll be meeting up with 12 colleagues from NRDC as well as thousands of young movers and shakers from across the country.  We’re all coming together on the frontlines of the fight against fossil fuels to continue to build our movement and collective vision for a more just future for many generations to come.


It’s going to be a whirlwind of a week but I cannot imagine spending it any other way. For many of us, the fight against extreme energy extraction did not become real until seeing how these processes are ravaging our communities firsthand.  Experiential tours like this one are essential to building the movement against fossil fuels and for renewables.  In the coming months, we will be working to get even more young people out to the frontlines to continue to build the much needed groundswell around these issues.

I’ll be posting updates from the tour and Power Shift as is possible from our newly created NRDCYouth twitter account.

See you out there!

Photos courtesy of Expedition Education Institute and Energy Action Coalition

Animal Barn and Health Updates

Barn VisitorsThis update on barn goings-on is  from Barn Manager Meg Anderson.  Thanks to all of you for your interest in the campus livestock program.  Stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved.

*Note: For those of you with a special interest, you can read more about orf and our approach to addressing animal health issues in the barn online here.

The farm has been buzzing since the beginning of the semester! Our work-study students and animal training intern have been very busy ensuring that the barn stays clean, safe, and that all of our animals’ needs are being met. The following groups of students have already been involved with the barn and animals, whether just visiting or using the space as a learning tool, and we only expect the number of folks to grow in the future:

  • Interpretive Methods: Creating signage and multi-media presentations for the animals and fields
  • Unity Experience: fact-finding scavenger hunt at the barn
  • Animal Health: Parasite survey and animal husbandry on barn critters
  • Animal Training: Desensitization and stanchion training with the goats
  • Intro to CWCE: Introduction to the space and enrichment
  • Pasture Management: Field/Soil survey and animal handling techniques

We are off to a great start and can’t wait to expand our reach. We have hit some bumps in the road as the stress of integrating the animals into the college community has caused a flare-up in parasite levels as well as an outbreak of sore mouth or ‘Orf.’* After a visit from the vet we are on track to build our animals up to their fullest potential.

One more happy announcement is that on the 18th of September, our Silver Fox rabbit ‘Sylvie’ gave birth to a litter of 8 healthy, happy kits. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about goings-on in the barn, please feel free to contact me.



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