When he participated in the very first Earth Day celebration in 1970 at his small college in northern Kentucky, George Schewe was a little unsure of just what it all meant. But he had a growing concern regarding the dark plumes from nearby smoke stacks, somewhat questionable water in the Ohio River, and mounds of garbage in the community, and had begun to consider their impact and the possibilities of a better way. A passion for earth care was born which fueled George's professional ambitions and personal lifestyle.
For most of the next 40 years, George's work has been focused on developing, applying, and training others on atmospheric dispersion modeling tools and theory to better estimate the ambient impacts of industrial, mobile, and agricultural air emissions. Following his initial years as a dispersion modeler for EPA and subsequent years in consulting, he is now a respected senior technical resource within Trinity who consults on complex air dispersion modeling studies and teaches modeling techniques both internally and to environmental professionals from other organizations.
Outside of Trinity-based work, George and his wife, Mary, own and operate Wind Dance Farm, a 24-acre parcel in rural Indiana where he practices permaculture methods in raising and nurturing fruit trees, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and annuals like tomatoes (250 in 2015), sweet corn, and peas. At Wind Dance Farm (listed in the Central Ohio River Valley local growers association), George takes pleasure in researching and applying techniques that minimize the environmental impact of his housing and farming processes.
Geothermal heating and cooling is utilized to minimize electricity and other fuel usage by using the earth's natural underground temperatures as a heat sink in summer and a source of heat in the winter. A windmill powers the aeration system for the small pond on the property, and he has created swales between his rows of grapes to optimize water conservation, drainage, and usage. George also nurses along Matilda, his 1955 Ford 800 tractor (still running smoothly) rather than casting it aside for a newer model. George's passion stems from his 10 years working on a vegetable truck-farm in the 60's, and more recently attending workshops on solar and wind power, food growers association meetings, beekeeping school, and a commitment to "good sense" stewardship of the land. One resource that keeps things in check is his son Ande, a permaculturalist who often challenges George to find alternative ways to control insects, hungry birds, and weeds. Japanese beetles, for example, are controlled by a light dusting of self-rising flour on grapes. Pyritherin (from a flower) is good for other insect pests, and pennyroyal makes an effective insecticide for dogs, horses, and other farm animals. George continues to learn and apply successful, eco-friendly methods to continue his stewardship of this small farm. George is proud of the progress we've made in protecting our environment, remains committed to doing his part to do the same, and challenges others to examine their lives and how they can help protect our common resources.
Trinity's Annual EARTH DAY Activities Recognize the Importance of Protecting our Environment
- Katie Pavlik serves up pancakes to benefit Houston area parks
- The Kansas City crew teamed up with the city of Lenexa to pick up trash at an area stream and surroundings
- In Phoenix, teams competed to build solar ovens out of materials in the office
- The Irvine, CA office participates in a bi-monthly beach clean up at Huntington Beach
- Mike Fawdry, Corpus Christi office manager, on beach patrol to protect Kemps Ridley sea turtles
- Employees in Philly potted plants to bring nature indoors and oxygenate their office