Brookhaven grows sustainability efforts


Litter contaminates the Josey Ranch Lake Park in Carrollton, Texas , where Dallas College Brookhaven Campus Student Government Association members partnered with the Green Team Coalition to pick up litter.

Alondra Barajas Enriquez, Contributing Writer

With the help of the Green Team Coalition and the Brookhaven Student Government Association, Dallas College Brookhaven Campus students can actively engage and volunteer in environmentally friendly events.

“The SGA has volunteered at the Brookhaven Windmill Garden, done natural cleanups with the city of Carrollton and actively reposted what the Green Team posts on social media,” Gabriel Medina, Brookhaven SGA president, said. “It’s important to take care of the environment … as it helps us have a safe space to live in the future.”

Oriana Silva, Brookhaven SGA public relations coordinator, said, “SGA is trying to involve students to teach them how to preserve and to be more aware about how climate change or how our actions impact our environment.”

SGA is actively promoting and encouraging students to participate at their respective campuses and communities to improve the environment. “All the campuses have a green club … they may be doing some eco-friendly activities that may help to progress or to improve the environment,” Silva said. “In the case of Brookhaven, we commonly volunteer for the Windmill Garden, where naturalists teach us about caring for plant life, insects and animals.”

All Dallas College campuses have a sustainability officer or representative. At Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Sustainability Scholars program is a new initiative where students can earn a green cord for graduation regalia by completing coursework with sustainability assignments and volunteering for the betterment of the environment, according to the Dallas College website. For more information on the Brookhaven Sustainability Scholars program, contact Brandon Morton with Sustainable Brookhaven.

In an email to The Courier, Daniel Murphy, a geology professor at Dallas College Eastfield Campus, said the topic of littering and pollution is huge. “Because of littering and pollution, you are ingesting between 39,000-72,000 plastic particles per year, and there are microplastics found in every organ of your body,” Murphy said. “The impact of littering is beyond measure and the scope of the damage is incalculable.”

Murphy said students can take action on campus by picking up trash if they see it blowing around. “Don’t just leave it for someone else to get it,” he said. “Pick it up yourself. If you pick up 10 pieces of trash every day, that is 3,650 pieces of trash per year you are preventing getting into the streams, waterways and oceans. Multiply that over years, and you have made a very real difference with very little work.”

Last fall, Brookhaven virtually took part in Dallas College’s 10th annual Sustainability Summit. The event featured appearances from employees, students and staff, as well as special guest speakers such as Charles Hopkins, a founding developer of the UN University’s Regional Centres of Expertise. The summit’s theme was “Resilience for the Next 50 Years,” and speakers gave tips on helping viewers increase their sustainability with focus on the future.

Georgeann Elliott Moss, Dallas College executive administrator of sustainability outreach and initiatives, said the college plans on holding the summit in person this year, with a tentative date of Nov. 5. Moss said this year’s Sustainability Summit goal is to help viewers understand the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals. “If students are interested in volunteering for this event, they can contact Brandon Morton at [email protected],” Moss said.