HCC instructor is environmental champion
CLYDE — Sara Martin, Haywood Community College biology instructor, was recognized for her efforts for a clean environment with a 2016 Community Pride Award from the Commission for a Clean County.
This recognition program honors businesses, individuals, schools, community organizations and civic groups that make an outstanding commitment to a clean environment during the year.
Martin shares her philosophy of protecting the environment with students in her environmental biology class on campus. Through the class, students designed and installed a Wetland Garden in the past. This garden is a habitat that filters and corrects the temperature of the water that flows into Jones Cove Creek. Current students maintain the garden throughout the year.
Martin is also an environmental champion in her personal life. Along with her husband, she manages her farm and property as a healthy ecosystem. The farm is almost completely solar powered and grows 60 to 70 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed by her family.
According to Martin, “We make a conscious effort to consume less. We use no single use products and if at all possible, we make the things we need ourselves.”
In addition, the couple raises and sells organic heirloom plant starts. They are involved with the Historic Haywood Farmers Market. Martin is a biologist for the Rough Creek Watershed where she maintains trails and conducts walks and talks for visitors. During the summer, she plans to use her farm to teach people about sustainable living, food preservation and garden design.
As an instructor, Martin explains that it is incredibly important to expose students to the idea of how their actions have a global effect. She practices what she teaches.
“Protecting the environment is the single most important thing we can do,” Martin says. “It directly affects humanity’s ability to survive. Earth is a sacred thing. It’s a great gift for all of us to have things like clean air and water. I want my daughter to inherit an Earth that’s worth having.”
Martin says without amazing community partners, she could not do her part to protect the environment. “Haywood County is full of people that work to make this a better place.”
Haywood Community College (HCC) is part of the North Carolina Community College System and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1965, it is an open-door institution with the mission to provide accessible and affordable high-quality education, workforce training and lifelong learning. This includes programs for Haywood County high school students through Career and College Promise and Haywood Early College. The college campus, a designated arboretum, boasts one of the most beautiful college campuses in the state with an iconic mill pond, productive greenhouses, a dahlia garden, an orchard garden, working vegetable gardens and a rhododendron garden.