Sustainability Summit 2020

Join us at Merry Lea’s 7th Annual Sustainability Summit!


Seven years ago, the Sustainability Summit at Merry Lea was born out of a desire to raise up more sustainability leaders on college campuses in our region. The Summit has proven to be an energizing and refreshing venue for like-minded peers to network, get creative, eat good food and have fun.

This year, our theme is “Education“.  What is important to learn about sustainability? How can we acquire that knowledge? How can we effectively share what we know with others? We will dig into these questions and others as we draw on wisdom from Proverbs:

Anything you say to the wise will make them wiser.
Whatever you tell the righteous will add to their knowledge. (9:9)

Always remember what you have learned.
Your education is your life – guard it well. (4:13)

45 new friends from 11 different places at the 2019 Sustainability Summit

When: Friday, February 14th – Sunday, February 16th

Where: Rieth Village (4415 W 200 S, Albion, IN 46701)

Cost: $60 covers housing, meals, and activities (Scholarships available)

Attending the 2020 Summit provides an opportunity to:

  • Connect your faith with sustainability issues
  • Become a better learner and boost your sustainability literacy
  • Hike a 1200-acre nature sanctuary
  • Stay in LEED Platinum buildings
  • Network with peers from other colleges
  • Participate in skill-building workshops
  • Share your unique area of expertise
  • Interact with experts in the field

Key Events:

Customize your Summit experience! Saturday will consist of a variety of sessions to choose from, including guided hikes, hands-on workshops, and interactive discussions. These will be led by professionals from all across the sustainability field:

  • Environmental education
  • Recycling
  • Community organizing
  • Food systems
  • Land management
  • and more!

SEY What? a TED talk-style event

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks were created to provide a platform for “ideas worth sharing.” We’ll borrow that format for a night of SEY (Sustainability, Education, and You) talks. During this open mic time, anyone willing is invited to share a 5-10 minute talk on their own area of expertise. Whether you admit it openly or not, we are all experts on SOMETHING. Let’s celebrate and honor that by giving voice to our knowledge and experiences and sharing them in this safe and supportive space.


That’s right, a key part of sustainability is personal sustainability…which means we need to take time to rest and play! Explore the 8 miles of trails across Merry Lea’s 1189 acres, find a peaceful spot to sit and reflect, meditatively make your way through our labyrinth, or (ice-willing) join in a game of broomball – the official sport of Merry Lea.

Closing Address by Karl Duchmann, Jr. 

Karl serves as Development Coordinator for the Hoosier Environmental Council. In this role, he regularly draws upon his liberal arts education and seminary training to connect with donors and supporters, learn and educate about Indiana-specific environmental issues, and grow financial support for HEC’s vital mission. Before joining HEC, Karl worked as a product development specialist for an innovative technology and manufacturing start-up in Orlando, Florida, served as a pastoral resident in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and trained as a chaplain intern at University of Louisville Hospital. Karl graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he double-majored in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Additionally, he received a Masters of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Karl enjoys Pixar movies, Sabermetric baseball analysis, and losing to his small children in basketball. He also strongly believes that there is room at the table for anyone and everyone to join the environmental movement and bring their authentic gifts, perspectives, and human limitations to this noble and worthwhile cause!


Registration for the 2020 Sustainability Summit is now closed. For questions regarding the Summit, please contact Tom Hartzell at