U Massachusetts Amherst Launches Student-Run Organic Vineyard
The new vineyard received an initial $3,000 grant from the university's Sustainability Innovation and Engagement Fund in spring 2017, which supported preparatory steps such as soil analysis and installing an irrigation system. The professor that teaches viticulture received a Sustainable Curriculum Initiative award from UMass Libraries to enhance the sustainability aspect of viticulture courses.
Hope College Student Completes Campus & City Tree Inventory
A Hope College sophomore student completed a summer research project that was a collaboration between the city of Holland, Hope College Biology Department, and the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute. Taking 10 weeks, 3,500 trees on public property in the city of Holland were inventoried. The inventoried trees are projected to provide more than $16,166 in environmental value annually, according to preliminary calculations that do not factor in electricity offset yet. Using information from the trees, a faculty member and two students of computer science released a phone app that helps users identify Holland trees.
Western Carolina U Students Develop Campus Tree App
Students from natural resources and conservation management classes, environmental science, computer information systems and graphic design, with the guidance of faculty and the assistance of an alumnus, have collaborated to produce a smartphone app called WCUTrees. The app allows users to view and identify nearly every tree on WCU’s developed campus. Users can search for them by name or by using the interactive map. The app also provides information on each species of tree.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Earns Bee Campus USA Certification
Making the world safer for pollinators through extensive habitat improvements, awareness efforts, and engagement strategies earned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recognition as a certified Bee Campus USA. The Bee Campus USA program is designed to amass the strengths of educational campuses across the country for the benefit of native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, bats, beetles and flies that 90 percent of the world's wild plant species rely on for pollination.
Mississippi State U Opens Community Garden
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place in mid-October for the MSU Community Garden. The garden includes eight accessible planters and 19 large raised planters. The garden also features two autonomous farming robots, or “Farmbots,” operated by the Students for Sustainable Campus organization and two 2,000-gallon cisterns that hold rain water and condensation from a nearby air conditioning unit. Compost for use in the garden is collected from dining halls and Campus Landscape.
U New Hampshire Opens Aquaponic Greenhouse Facility
Under construction for two years, the new aquaponics research facility at the university's Kingman Research Farm will allow scientists to evaluate hydroponic plants grown in a recirculating aquaculture system with nutrients from the food fed to fish. Using three identical greenhouses, researchers aim to develop an economically sustainable aquaculture production system design.
Cornell U Unveils Sustainable Landscapes Trail
The trail includes 20 stops that have sustainability features, including bioswales, rain gardens, green roofs, a climate change garden, stormwater control design, native plantings and pollinator habitat. Markers and an online walking map highlight how design, construction and the management of campus grounds can enhance and promote healthy landscape ecosystems.
Delta College Receives Bee Campus USA Certification
Campus ground crews have been steadily increasing wildflower-planted areas and native plant habitat, as well as designating pollinator habitat, that have enable the college to obtain the Bee Campus USA certification. The college undertook seven steps including establishing a committee, developing a plan, sponsoring student service-learning projects and installing signage around campus.
Washington Post Covers Rise of Campus Gardens
Citing a 2015 university food gardens study co-authored by a Southern Illinois University professor of geography and director of environmental studies, the article highlights a burgeoning trend over the past decade in which college students across the country volunteer their time to get back to the land or to forge a connection to the land for the first time.
Bucknell U Prepares 5-Acre Campus Garden
Preliminary construction and site preparation began this summer on a 5-acre campus garden that will provide a platform for academic collaborations, sustainable food production, student life and wellness, and community engagement.
Lehigh U Installs Solar-Powered Recycling & Trash Receptacles
The university is removing more than 150 open-top trash cans and replacing them with Bigbelly trash and recycle bins in an effort to cut labor and waste costs. The bins have a sensor and compactor mechanism powered by the sun that allows the material inside to be compressed when it senses the trash level is too high. Then when the bin is full, a red light blinks and trash collectors are notified through an app on their phones.
Susquehanna U Becomes Bee Campus USA Certified
The new certification signifies that the university has taken strides to support pollinators, which includes maintaining landscape spaces that attract pollinators, hosting educational events and keeping bee hives. Next steps include Susquehanna's Department of Facilities Management drafting an integrated pest management plan to govern the use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
U Texas Rio Grande Valley Attains Bee Campus USA Designation
The new certification as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program means that the university provides healthy habitats with a variety of native plants and free of pesticides. The Lower Rio Grande Valley is an area that can especially help with butterflies, as it is home to nearly 40 percent of the 700 species of butterflies found in the U.S. The university recently added a butterfly garden on its Brownsville Campus.
U Texas Austin Grounds Goes Nearly 100% Organic
The university's 431 acres are now organic thanks to ongoing effort to discontinue the use of chemicals to fertilize and control weeds. The university grounds team makes and uses 250 gallons of compost tea each week to enrich the soil and make plants healthier, which nearly eliminates the use of chemicals and reduces water use for irrigation. The tea is made from compost, coffee grounds, molasses and seaweed. Some limited chemical treatments are used to manage invasive plants and fire ants.
Danville Area CC Sustainability Land Learning Lab Receives Grant
The $20,000 gift from the Arconic Foundation includes funds to improve the honey bee project with new bees and hives, bee suits, and honey harvest equipment. Another portion of the funds will provide tools to aid in production and curriculum such as a solar powered remote weather station and agricultural drone. Finally, the grant provides funds for equipment to improve working conditions at the lab – a utility vehicle and gas generator.
Alabama State U to Build Teaching Garden
Thanks in part to funding by the the Mid-South Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., the university has plans to install a teaching garden and entomology lab on campus this fall to introduce students to the plant sciences and sustainable agricultural practices.
SUNY Fredonia Designates Low-Mow Zones
The university recently designated 10 acres of meadows as low-mow zones, meaning the meadows will only be mowed once a year. In addition to generating less noise and pollution, the university expects to see a cost savings on labor, chemicals and equipment use.
MacEwan U Expands Bee Hive Collection
After a successful trial project to keep bees and sell their honey, the university increased the hive count from four to six. Over the two years of the project, the resident beekeeper has engaged 12 students and gives tours to the community at-large who are interested in urban food production.
Texas A&M U to Open Teaching Garden
The garden is scheduled to open in mid-June and includes 21 themed garden "rooms" for teaching and research in food production and landscape management. Future phases include outdoor venues for performing arts, films, celebrations and social events. Other planned gardens include one for children, a rose garden and a feed-the-world themed courtyard.
Moraine Valley CC Welcomes Bees to Campus
Partnering with a local beekeeper to install an apiary in its Nature Study Area on campus, the university hopes the new bee hives will enhance their land conservation and restoration efforts and provide new living lab opportunities for different faculty groups on campus.
Central College Attains Bee Campus USA Certification
Recently certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, the college committed to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds and bats. Efforts that led to certification included constructing a bee hotel, planning a series of bee education events, developing policies restricting toxins for pest management and installing signs highlighting pollinator-friendly habitats on campus.
U Maryland Joins National Program Supporting Monarch Butterfly Populations
The university's Golf Course has joined a national program called Monarchs in the Rough, which provides milkweed seeds in an effort to help save the declining monarch butterfly population. In May, just under an acre of land between the golf course's first and 18th holes was cleared and milkweed seeds were planted.
North Carolina State U Installs Bee Hotels
New bee hotels on campus are providing vital habitat for North Carolina’s native bees, thanks to Jonathan and Sara June Giacomini, two N.C. State students who designed and built them for the campus community. Funding was provided by a grant from the NC State Sustainability Fund.
Emory U Opens Biking & Pedestrian Trail
Developed through a partnership with Emory and the Path Foundation and opened on Earth Day, a new, 12-foot wide, paved bicycle and pedestrian trail opened that will eventually link Emory’s Clairmont Campus to a scenic, off-road trail system. The new trail replaces a previous section of narrow sidewalk.
U Connecticut Expands Park Built on Landfill
The Hillside Environmental Education Park opened in 2008, following the remediation and closure of the former UComm landfill, which dates back at least 50 years. The park was recently expanded with the addition of land, trails, and more than a dozen trailhead and interpretive signs. The park is now 165 acres and includes three miles of trails through uplands, wetlands, meadows and woodlands.
U Richmond to Enlist Goats for Invasive Species Removal
Part of a four-part eco-corridor project, the goats will be used for 12 weeks to help remove invasive species. The full project includes the removal of invasive species, stormwater management, stream restoration and the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
EPA Announces Campus RainWorks Challenge Winners
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received first place in the Demonstration Project Category for integrating a variety of green infrastructure practices into a campus parking lot, while the University of New Mexico received second place. The University of California, Berkeley earned first place in the Master Plan Category for its commitment and vision in stormwater management, while the University of Maryland, College Park earned second place. The University of Arizona received an honorable mention in both the Demonstration Project and Master Plan categories.
American U Launches Local Carbon Offset Program
The new program aims to offset the carbon emissions caused by students, faculty and staff members who commute to campus by planting and nurturing 650 trees throughout the nation’s capital. The initiative will also provide students with access to the urban forestry data from this program to inform their own field studies in urban planning and other related fields.
U Illinois Chicago Releases Climate Action Implementation Plan
The new Climate Action Implementation Plan includes seven strategies that integrate the university's goals for carbon neutrality, zero waste, net zero water, and creating a biodiverse university. The strategies cover energy, transportation, natural systems and ecosystem services, materials and waste, curriculum and engagement, and climate resiliency. The portfolio of solutions will be implemented over the next 10 years through 2028.
U North Carolina Asheville Earns Tree Campus USA Recognition
The university recently earned the new designation by meeting five standards developed by the Arbor Day Foundation that promote healthy trees and student involvement on campus, including creating a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree plan, a campus tree program and a service learning project, and observing Arbor Day.
U Virginia Tests Compostable Bed Linens for Orientation
The university recently used compostable sheets and pillowcases for overnight freshman orientations. The material is made from plants and is chemical-free, hypoallergenic and USDA Certified Bio-Based. A local composting business that picks up the university's food scraps will also take the bedding and compost it, returning a portion of the resulting compost back to UVA for use in their campus garden.
Southern Illinois U Carbondale Funds Campus Lake Restoration
After spending over $400,000 to reduce cyanobacteria levels, the university's green fund allocated another $30,000 to implement features to help keep the lake healthy, including a solar-powered fountain and at least one stationary bike to help aerate the lake’s water.
Northern Arizona U Initiates Collaboration to Benefit Pollinators
The Office of Sustainability manages the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative, an initiative that promotes the creation, protection and registration of pollinator habitat across Northern Arizona. Two pollinator gardens have been installed–one on campus and one in the community. The program recently secured a grant that will pay wages to the part-time director and for the creation of a regional pollinator plan.
Moraine Valley CC Achieves Arboretum Accreditation
The community college was recently acknowledged with Arboretum Accreditation-Level I status through the ArbNet program. The accreditation acknowledges the school's effort to have a healthy and robust tree canopy, while providing educational opportunities about the trees. Thus far, 1,322 trees in 77 distinct species have been mapped while efforts are still underway to identify and map more area.
U Virginia Creates Online Solar Energy Tracker Tool
Multiple work groups at the university collaborated to develop and launch an online tool that displays real-time data on its renewable energy portfolio, which includes energy production on 1,700 panels installed in 2017. The goal of the tool is to raise awareness of the university’s investment in solar energy production and the environmental savings resulting from these initiatives, and to support learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
Johns Hopkins U Building Earns LEED Gold
Sustainability features of the university's Malone Hall are heat reutilization, an energy recovery wheel, radiant panels and LED lighting. Water conservation measures include low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets and electronic faucets that are estimated to reduce water consumption by 40 percent. The building landscape incorporates a bioretention swale, which is a shallow, vegetated, landscaped depression with sloped sides that manages storm water runoff.
Southern Oregon U Launches Botanical Tour
The tour includes GPS coordinates for trees located across the university’s 175-acre campus, along with a printed tour brochure and a web-based tour. The tour serves to educate southern Oregon residents about the campus' biodiversity, inspire people to expand sustainability efforts and foster engagement with groups throughout the community.
U Utah Announces LEED Gold Certification on Athletics Building
The 102,000-square-foot basketball facility was completed with over 23 percent of recycled materials and resources selected from the Utah region, and a stormwater management plan that resulted in a 25 percent decrease in the volume of stormwater runoff. All interior and exterior light fixtures are LEDs, and the HVAC systems, building insulation and windows were selected to minimize energy waste, which has resulted in exceeding the LEED baseline energy performance rating by 38 percent.
Northern Arizona U Installs Tree Education Project
In an effort to educate the community about the value of urban trees, this time-limited installation included 23 "price tags" in Wheeler Park and NAU’s North Quad that describe the financial contributions of the trees as a result of their various ecosystem services and health benefits.
Appalachian State U Installs Community Garden Space
A new garden space at the university brings together people from across campus and throughout the community to share knowledge about gardening, seed-saving, beekeeping and solar energy. Currently the gardening program has seven interns, who work to build, maintain, plan and educate.
Northern Kentucky U Establishes No-Mow Zones
No-mow zones are land that will be returned to a natural state. The university now has 4.8 acres designated as no-mow zones, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and soil erosion. Natural areas also create habitat for native species.
North Carolina State U Opens Edible Garden on Rooftop
The university's Student Union hosts a new rooftop garden with raised beds for planting herbs and vegetables that will be used by university dining facilities. The department of horticultural science will also use the garden for experimental pollinator plants and perennials.
Simon Fraser U Earns LEED Gold on Chemistry Building Renovation
The recently renovated building has new systems for water efficiency, optimized energy performance and waste management. Other achievements during the renovation included diverting at least 75 percent of construction waste from the landfill and installing new laboratory fume hoods that exhaust 50 percent less air when users close the sash.