IHCC Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Trip
Service Trip

A service trip is a trip experience in which a group of college students engage in direct service, typically for a week.

Contact Information

Shannon Williams

College Center

VIBE Club Annual Service Trip
May 17-21, 2021

What is a service trip?

According to Break Away, "a service trip is a trip experience in which a group of college students engage in direct service, typically for a week. Each trip experience has a focus on a particular social issue, and immersion in that issue begins long before the week-long trip itself, through on-campus orientation meetings. Students educate themselves and each other, then do hands-on work with relevant community organizations. These experiences challenge students to think critically and compassionately--and to understand that there's no such thing as "not my problem." Upon return to campus, student participants are empowered to make more informed decisions and to take meaningful action that supports a greater good."

We can’t take our annual out-of-state service trip so we’re bringing the service trip home! Our service theme will be climate justice, which will allow us to work on projects that follow CDC recommendations for COVID safety – outside, physically distanced, and masked.

What is climate justice?

Climate justice is more than just global warming – it is the intersection of the environment and social justice. During this experience, our hands-on service projects will all take place on the Inver Hills campus, but we will complement this with guest speakers who will help us make the connections between our service and climate justice.

Watch this video to learn about climate justice - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEnpPC8pIkE

"At the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, the Principles of Environmental Justice were created. This grassroots Summit was a key moment in the struggle to acknowledge the racial and class problems of the mainstream environmental movement (http://ceed.org/section/ej-mapping/)". We will work with Inver's Native American Advisory Board to identify a guest speaker to talk about the indigenous roots of environmental justice.

What will we do?

  • Invasive species removal to prepare for installing a campus trail
  • Campus community garden projects
  • Developing pollinator habitat
  • Learn about climate justice from local organizations

What will the week look like?

The specific schedule will depend on guest speaker availability and weather. However, we ask participants to plan on 10a – 3p each day. Guest speakers could meet us in the outdoor classroom or over Zoom.

Here is an example of what the service week might look like. Guest speakers and specific dates for service projects are not confirmed; they are provided as examples:

Orientation/Prior to Service Week:

  • Meet over Zoom for introductions and ice breakers
  • Defining climate justice
  • Overview of the schedule and how to prepare


  • Team building
  • Speaker from Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy
  • Clear area for a pollinator garden


  • Reflection on Monday's work
  • TC Food Justice – organization that reduces food waste (one of largest components of landfills) by redirecting food to those who need it
  • Work in the campus/community garden


  • Reflection on Tuesday's work
  • Local speaker on connections between pollinators and climate justice
  • Learn about Inver's Bee Campus status and projects
  • Work on campus pollinator project


  • Reflect on Wednesday's work
  • Learn about the trail project on the Inver campus to honor indigenous land
  • Opinion article from Grist – "Acknowledging Indigenous land is the first step in taking better care of it"
  • Assist with invasive species removal or clearing in preparation for trail development


  • Continue trail work
  • What's next? – Advocacy for systemic change with MN350
  • Final reflection and evaluation

What are the expectations?

  • All participants and facilitators will follow current COVID safety guidelines, including wearing masks even outdoors, physically distancing, and completing the health screening prior to arriving on campus each day.
  • Please plan to participate fully in all activities.
  • Students must be in good standing and completed classes at Inver in spring 2021.
  • If you anticipate or experience barriers to your learning or full participation in this service learning trip based on a physical, learning, or mental health disability, please contact Randi Goettl in Accessibility Resources, located in the Learning Center, Room L207, or call 651-450-3884 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations.

This sounds interesting but I don’t feel comfortable participating in person.

If you'd like to learn more about environmental and climate justice but are unable to participate in the on-campus service projects, we have a remote option! You will be provided with service projects to do in your home and/or immediate neighborhood, invited to guest speakers over zoom, and check in with the group throughout the week to be part of the community.

How to apply:

Please fill out this interest form by Wednesday, April 28.

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