Devin Rodgers: Living Simply and Sustainably

05/13/10 by Staff Writer

Devin in St. Luke's community garden
Devin Rodgers in St. Luke's community garden

Devin Rodgers loves plants and finds value in working together for a common purpose. That’s what motivated him to help out with St. Luke Episcopal Church’s community garden last year – a project that was inspired in part by the Center for the Environment’s 2008 Faith, Spirituality & Environment Conference. The fact that the produce went to a local shelter for the homeless was an added bonus.

“There’s an aesthetic value in doing labor outside,” the Catawba College junior says. “I find it therapeutic to work with plants.”

As a work-study student for the Center for the Environment, he tends plants in the gardens around the Center. He also helps set up for the Center’s many events and nearly always attends the presentations by thought leaders hosted by the Center. “It exposes me to a variety of topics,” he says. “I learn a lot.”

He was particularly interested in author and architect Sarah Susanka, who spoke on the Catawba campus in March. Her message reinforced his dedication to pursuing a life marked by happiness and sustainability. “Christianity perpetuates a message of simplicity that Sarah alluded to with her emphasis on spirituality,” he says. “The message of simplicity has yielded happiness for me because I can be personally at ease by my daily activity and introspection, and by my acceptance of a more sustainable lifestyle. If a philosophy mutually includes happiness and sustainability, I feel obligated to consider it myself, which I have done.”

An environmental science major, Rodgers worked in the summer of 2009 as an intern with the Department of Environmental Health, Safety and Fire Protection at Northrop Grumman in Baltimore near his home in Glen Burnie, Md. He will work as a botanical garden assistant this summer through an internship with Highlands Biological Station in western North Carolina.

Working with plants and living simply will be the bedrock of his summer life – a recipe, as far as he is concerned, for happiness.

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