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E.C.O. Center Helps Trine Go Green and Make Volunteering Fun

By: Ryan Miller

Trine University has always offered students many different opportunities to get involved, whether it be within the school, or within the Angola community.  One of these clubs, called S.P.E.A.K., has been a great way for students to volunteer. Through this club and organization, there have been multiple volunteers who have contributed many hours to help make the community a better place. However, due to the success of S.P.E.A.K. within the area, they have been flooded with requests for volunteers. In order to help satisfy this overflow of requests for volunteers, the Trine ECO Center was created.

Dr. Brandy DePriest, a professor in the Humanities Department at Trine University, decided that creating the E.C.O. Center was a great way to help take some of the burden off of S.P.E.A.K. Having these two groups working together has been a great way to give volunteers a chance to dedicate time and effort to the community in which they live. The E.C.O. Center was developed in 2016, and has served as a “hub” for volunteers from Trine and the Angola community. While the E.C.O. Center was developed in 2017, the history of this group dates back all the way to 1970, when former Tri-State professor Art Eberhardt hosted the first every Earth Day event on campus.  

Earthfest, 2018

When talking with Dr. DePriest about the E.C.O. Center, she wanted to emphasize the impact Professor Eberhardt had on her passion for volunteering. Without his influence, and her passion for the community, the E.C.O. Center, and S.P.E.A.K., wouldn’t exist.  In fact, his impact was so strong that the official name of the center is called the Art Eberhardt Environmental and Community Outreach Center, hence why it is shortened to the title of E.C.O. Center.

The group not only organizes volunteering efforts in the community, they have also made efforts to help make Trine more eco-friendly. The biggest example of this can be seen with the recycling bins located in some of the academic buildings. With the help of S.P.E.A.K., the E.C.O. Center is trying its best to not only make the community better, but also to make the environment better, one recycling bin at a time.  

If you are looking to volunteer, check out what the E.C.O. Center has to offer. Volunteering is always important, and the local community could always use more support from members of the Trine family. The E.C.O. Center continues to help people on campus, and in Angola, and is a great way to give back to the place where we live and go to school.

If you want more information about the Trine E.C.O. Center, contact Brandy DePriest at depriestb@trine.edu or check out https://www.trine.edu/academics/academic-programs/eco-center.aspx.