Friday, May 27, 2022
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Earth Day at COCC

COCC’s Planted Earth Garden Club held a seed swap and plant sale outside of Willie Hall as part of the first Earth Day celebration to happen at COCC.

The plant sale consisted of propagated greenery that was donated from students and other members of the COCC and Bend community. 

The ceramics department at COCC partnered with the Garden Club and donated extra student pieces for propagated plants to be placed in.

Photo by Tristan Hackbart

Cherie Swenson, the Planted Earth Garden Club creator, club mentor, and COCC Campus Safety Officer, shared more on the Planted Earth Garden Club’s role and vision at COCC. 

Swenson shared that the mission of the Garden Club is rooted in what the “community wants to happen,” stating that the flow of the process in working towards a common goal is found in moving towards the “communities vision.”

She spoke of this in regards to her leadership role and initiative in re-establishing the community garden on the Bend campus, which has been in need of TLC for quite some time.

Swenson conducted a “work-party” with various community folk and volunteers in December of last year, which kickstarted the community garden initiative, and led into the creation of the Planted Earth Garden Club in Winter of 2022. 

The Garden Club’s mission includes the community garden, a COCC greenhouse project and spreading greenery to buildings across the COCC Bend campus, represented by the plant sale and seed swap.

An Earth Day Fashion Show sponsored by the Clothing Connection was also held in Coats Campus Center yesterday, with lots of folks coming to spectate, participate and volunteer. 

The Clothing Connection is an OSU-Cascades and COCC partnership program that has been providing students access to free new and lightly used business casual clothing for job interviews and everyday needs.

Angie Cole, associate professor of education/early childhood education at COCC organized the fashion show event, and teamed up with COCC’s sustainability coordinator Noelle Bell Copley and OSU-Cascades sustainability staff members and volunteers from various departments of OSU-Cascades and COCC. 

Kimberly Vierra, the OSU-Cascades College of Business Student Engagement Program Manager was involved in the planning process as well, alongside OSU-Cascades business faculty and business club students.

The Clothing Connection’s story began when it was “Benny’s Closet” in 2016 at OSU-Corvallis. It has branched out to the COCC Bend and Redmond campuses to promote accessible and sustainable fashion for students at both universities. 

The clothing at the Clothing Connection is all donation based, coming from local businesses and individuals in Central Oregon. 

Harriet Langmas is one of the Bend community members who has donated thousands of clothing articles to the Clothing Connection.

Langmas helped women beginning in the 1960’s by starting a shop like that of the Clothing Connection called “Displaced Homemakers.” 

Langmas offered workplace clothing and styling for women in the community, and did so free of charge, running the shop out of her home for many years.  

She was honored during the Earth Day Fashion show for the donations she has given to the Clothing Closet, and for the positive impact she continues to have on the community for 50 years and counting.

The Clothing Connection has two current locations on COCC campuses. On the Bend campus, the Clothing Connection is located in Ochoco room 225 and is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 am to 2 pm. On the Redmond campus, the Clothing Connection is located in the RTEC building on the second floor. The shop is open while the building is open with two racks of clothing accessible. 

COCC and OSU-Cascades present the Clothing Connection for students

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