Urban Sustainability Certificate Program: Icebergs, Community Gardens, and Earth Day

Ed. Note: In partnership with Sustainable JC, Lyndon Neal has agreed to report back on his experiences in the Urban Sustainability Certificate class.

It’s Week Two and I continue to be full of anxiety and excitement – although the levels fluctuate between the two. Going back to school after decades does that to a person.

What’s impressive about SJC’s Certificate Program in Urban Sustainability is the reach and depth they have in the community. SJC founder and fearless leader Deb Italiano has already given me ideas for Earth Day at my son’s school, so I’m now the unofficial Sustainability Dad for the preschool program.

Two new students attended the class this week – one being my neighbor & Riverview Community Garden board member. Her presence reminded me how much my kids love the garden and its kid-friendly spaces/activities. If you have a community garden nearby, look into it. Every garden is different and there are so many benefits to joining.

Instructor Ashwani Vasishth dove right into the week’s material. We completed an iceberg analysis of something close to us. We chose – you guessed it – the garden. We discussed the multiple inter-dependencies of whatever it was that we chose. The group discussions and the freedom to ask questions (or share views) remain refreshing and galvanizing.


It’s only the second week and already I am thinking in different ways. My mindset is veering towards sustainability. While I was already a believer, I quickly becoming a full convert.

Read more about SJC’s Certificate Program and my journey in the course:

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