California State U Northridge Purchases Electric Grounds Equipment
The university's Grounds Shop has switched to all-electric equipment, such as blowers and hedge trimmers, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions on campus. Making the transition to electric, energy-efficient equipment will reduce fuel consumption and gas emissions, increase air quality, benefit employees’ health and reduce noise on campus. The university's president signed Second Nature's Climate Commitment about one year ago, a pledge to make the campus climate neutral by the year 2040.
Suffolk County CC Earns Tree Campus USA Recognition
The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Suffolk County Community Colleges Eastern Campus as a Tree Campus USA, a national program that honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. The community college achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
U Louisville Taps Campus Maple Trees for Syrup
A biology class successfully tapped campus maple trees to offer a workshop to the campus and surrounding community about how to make syrup from urban maple trees. The initiative attempts to teach students that they don't have to be science majors to do science.
U Georgia Moves to Clean Polluted Campus Lake
The university has announced a plan to clean a polluted campus lake, whose waters have been off limits to the public since a 2002 algae bloom vividly showed off the lake’s high pollution load. The university has contracted with design firms to restore the lake, with final design plans ready around March. Construction is set to begin fall 2017.
U North Carolina Greensboro to Construct Two Wetlands
In an effort to improve diversity of plants and animals, enhance water quality, and provide educational and research opportunities, the university will build two wetlands on a 34-acre tract of land in spring 2017. The wetlands will be maintained by students, professors and other university employees. The project is a collaboration between numerous UNCG departments and the Greensboro Science Center.
U Maryland Students Say 'No' to New Parking Lot
Students struck down a resolution supporting the construction of a 1,000 space, permeable-pavement parking lot on what is currently a wooded area on campus. Members of the student Residence Hall Association expressed concerns that the new lot would jeopardize the environment and weren't in line with the university's sustainability goals. One student was quoted as saying, "Green spaces are increasingly rare and increasingly more beneficial to mental health."
U Kentucky Students Plant Native Species as Monarch Habitat
Conceived and managed by a graduate student pursuing his doctorate in agricultural economics, the project entails two plots that each have 300 native plants upon which monarch butterflies can rely as they make their journey between Mexico and Canada.
Raritan Valley CC Earns Bee Campus USA Designation
In recognition of its commitment to raise awareness and enhance a habitat for pollinators, the community college has been certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate. It is first college in New Jersey, and the 15th in the country, to receive this designation.
North Carolina State U Student Creates Campus Pollinator Garden
Thanks to a partnership between a graduate student and the university’s Grounds Management department, a large pollinator-friendly garden is both managing stormwater and providing habitat on campus. The project was funded through the NC State Sustainability Fund, a student sustainability fee of $1.50 per semester.
Iona College Completes Green Roof Installation
The result of approximately two years of planning resulted in planters set up on the college's student union roof filled with varietals of Sedums, which are plants well suited to rooftop gardens. The planters are supposed to absorb heat and ease the thermal load of the building.
Michigan State U Implements Campus-Wide Tobacco Ban
The campus-wide ban on the use of tobacco products, to begin mid-August, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the community can enjoy the healthiest campus possible, which includes not only immediate physical health of humans, but the health of waterways. Cigarette butts release pollutants into the ecosystem as they break down.
U Texas El Paso Earns GBCI Sustainability Award
Achieving Green Business Certification Inc.'s SITES Silver Award for achievement in sustainability, the university recently transformed its 11-acre, campus center into a large grass oval surrounded by multi-textured walking paths, shade trees, drought-resistant shrubs, concrete benches, water fountains, rock-strewn arroyos and a 130-seat amphitheater. SITES is a rating system designed to distinguish sustainable landscapes.
Roosevelt U Houses New Apiary for 60,000 Bees
Installed on July 15, two hives containing more than 60,000 honey bees are expected to contribute to healthy growth and sustainability of the campus’ prairie and community garden. The new bee apiary is being tended by a beekeeper from a social enterprise Chicago company called Sweet Beginnings, LLC, which has been providing ex-offenders with job opportunities in raising bees and collecting and selling honey since 2005.
U California San Diego Installs Student-Developed Solar Charging Station
The student-engineered project is a spot for students to unwind and charge electronic devices from solar energy. Inspired by a trip to Costa Rica, the site features a 1.5 kilowatt solar tree and two benches. The benches have electrical ports for charging multiple devices and a LED light fixture.
North Carolina State U Tests Battery-Powered Lawn Equipment
New electric weed and hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and a lawn mower are now part of a pilot program to evaluate the equipment’s productivity, safety and cost-effectiveness. Air quality and noise reduction benefits are the driving motivators for the product testing.
U California Merced Installs Hydrogel Into Soil
In an effort to conserve water and maintain an attractive landscape, the university uses a hydrogel system, which acts as a water and nutrient reservoir, allowing water to be released slowly into the soil and roots.
North Carolina State U Creates Pollinator-Friendly Areas
Horticulture professor Dennis Werner, in collaboration with Grounds Management, spent a year planning and preparing the sites to become meadows of pollinator-friendly plants. In spring 2016, Werner, horticulture students and Grounds Management installed more than 600 plants.
U Saskatchewan Plants Rooftop Garden
The urban garden project currently underway is part of the university's Department of Plant Sciences, through which a class on urban food production is offered. The food is sold to Culinary Services, who supplies food waste back to the university's compost that is used in the garden to create a closed loop.
Loyola U Chicago Installs Decals to Reduce Avian Collisions with Buildings
Over the last several years the Student Operation for Avian Relief (SOAR) project has identified the large east facing windows of the university's Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics as being particularly dangerous for migrating birds. As a result, the Facilities Department worked with Athletics to design and install a decal that should reduce bird collisions. SOAR will monitor avian impact during the upcoming fall migration period.
Portland State U Claims Bee Campus USA Designation
The university was named this spring as the 10th Bee Campus USA campus in the nation by Bee City USA for its commitment to minimize the use of harmful chemical pesticides and raise awareness of the plight of pollinators, including bees, which have suffered from colony collapse and die-offs in recent years due to chemicals in the environment. In an effort to improve the university’s urban ecosystem and provide an educational opportunity for the community, the Student Sustainability Center has installed two hives with as many as 100,000 honeybees near a community garden and orchard at the edge of campus.
Furman U Receives $95K Grant for Waterways
The new $95,000 grant from Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund will help the university to protect and enhance the region’s waterways and environment. With the funds, Furman will restore a wetland habitat and build floating marsh islands. The project will be the basis for student-faculty ecological research and community education. Matching funds from the university will construct a pedestrian bridge and provide educational signage. The grant is part of Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund, a $10 million, multiyear commitment to improve water quality and conservation in the North and South Carolina and neighboring regions.
Indiana U Completes Student-Funded Rain Garden
The newly completed rain garden installation was funded by the Student Sustainability Council and facilitated by one of the working groups of the Office of Sustainability. The garden was conceptualized, proposed, funded and installed by students.
Northern Arizona U Becomes a Tree Campus
The university's Office of Sustainability recently announced the 2015 Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. As part of the designation, the university's campus landscape inventory is about 40 percent complete and will be enlisting the aid of students to finalize.
California State U Monterey Bay Uses Falcons in Demolitions
As the university prepares for demolition of some buildings, it is using a technique called bird abatement where birds of prey, in this case falcons, are used with handlers to deter other avian friends from making homes in the vacant, soon-to-be torn down structures. Simulating hunting patterns, the falcons do not hunt the other birds, their presence provides enough of a threat to warn other birds not to nest. If a nest is completed or found with eggs in or near any of the buildings, the demolition will have to be halted until the eggs hatch and the birds mature enough to fly on their own.
U Illinois Chicago Announces Four Climate Commitments
In a campus-wide ceremony, the university's chancellor presented four climate commitment action items that were developed by the university's Committee on Sustainability and Energy. The commitments include reducing carbon emissions yielding to a carbon-neutral campus, reducing, reusing and recycling material leading to a 90 percent waste diversion rate, increasing water efficiency to an amount equal to or less than what falls within the university's boundaries, and creating a resilient campus landscape that supports a biodiverse plant and animal ecosystem.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Welcomes Tree Campus USA Honor
The university recently accepted the Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation for its efforts and commitment to effectively manage its urban forest. The university established a Campus Tree Advisory Committee in 2015 that acts as an advisory body to Facilities and Services, which is responsible for maintaining more than 20,000 trees on campus.
U Connecticut Converts Acreage to Farmland
After approximately 35 acres of farmland were used for new apartments, the university identified nearly 40 acres of wooded university property that will be converted to farmland in an effort to assure that the total amount of land dedicated to agricultural use is maintained.
Villanova U Receives 'BEE Protective' Recognition
The university recently signed a pledge to continue its commitment to using neonicotinoid-free insecticides, a product with harmful environmental impacts. The pledge, called BEE Protective, is a national campaign organized through the Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides and works with campuses to adopt policies that protect pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides.
U Nebraska-Lincoln to Upgrade Irrigation System
A new campus-wide upgrade to irrigation piping is underway and projected to decrease campus water use by 20 percent annually. The new system allows employees to control and monitor watering from a centralized location.
Morehead State U Obtains Bee Campus Honor
A Bee Campus USA certification now adorns the university after the campus developed a Pollinator Protection Plan for its 1,200-acre landscape that includes locally native and pollinator friendly plants.
U Missouri to House Two Beehives
With planning that began over one year ago, Sustain Mizzou wants to install the beehives to teach students about bee behavior and the importance of bees for food production.
Portland CC Earns Bee Campus USA Status
The community college recently announced its acquisition of the Bee Campus USA certification. In keeping with certification, the campus implements an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, staff are regularly trained on best IPM practices and chemical use, and the college is expected to use signage in appropriate places that explain the role of pollinators. There are currently plans to develop a Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan.
U Alberta Installs Solar-Powered Street Fixture
As a solution to lighting a dark area on campus where connecting with grid power isn't feasible, the first solar-powered street lamp at the university was installed on the Augustana campus this past month.
Houston Universities Participate in Fundraiser for Native Prairie Parks
The Katy Prairie Conservancy recently launched a fundraiser, called Grassroots for Change, to build pocket prairies at Houston-area universities, including the University of Houston, Rice University and the University of St. Thomas. The funding will be used to install and maintain native plant areas on campus.
Michigan State U Applies Organic-Based Liquid to Combat Ice & Snow
In alignment with the university's strategic framework, Landscape Services recently began using a liquid deicer derived from beet juice in an effort to reduce chlorides in the environment. Sidewalk snow removal teams are also equipped with special brooms that are now used during lighter snow events, which has helped cut down on salt use as well.
U Connecticut Constructs Wildlife Corridor
A new road that links the Storrs campus to a local route was engineered with a wildlife corridor that enables critters as small as salamanders to larger ones such as white-tailed deer to cross the road without danger from vehicular traffic. Further, the path of the road was designed to minimize destruction of surrounding wetlands.
Smith College Students Test Permeable Surface
A student design will transform a 12-car parking area into a laboratory to test the effectiveness and effects of permeable pavement. Instrumentation will collect data from runoff and compare water quality between the permeable asphalt and traditional asphalt surface.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College Partners for Tree Planting Event
The college and Trees Atlanta teamed up to plant 30 trees across one of its campuses in an effort to make the college a more environmentally-friendly and beautiful place for the campus community. Planted species include hornbeam, ginkgo, crape myrtle, cypress, linden, oak and blackgum trees.
U Colorado Boulder Expands Pollinator-Friendly Landscaping
The specialized landscaping across campus, totaling about 10,000-square-feet of land, is pollinator-friendly, can withstand heavy heat and minimal water, and enables pesticide-free practices to continue. The project was funded by the campus' sustainability fund and involved students from the university's Environmental Center and permaculture class.
Edge Hill U Earns Keep Britain Tidy Green Flag Award
(U.K.): The award recognizes the university’s efforts in minimizing the environmental impact of its activities, maintaining natural habitats through its commitment to biodiversity, and developing a sustainable campus for the enjoyment of students, staff and the local community.
Pennsylvania State U Students Plan Student Farm
Dozens of students are now involved in planning a student-centered farm initiative that includes plans for a new minor in sustainable food systems. Students are involved in strategy for the future farm including what farming techniques will be deployed, research about financial resources and workforce of other student farms, and fundraising.
North Carolina State U Students Establish Bee Habitat & Garden
This year students from the university's College of Veterinary Medicine have been busy as bees establishing a habitat for bees and a community garden on campus with the help of a $7,000 grant from the NC State Sustainability Fund. Featuring an assortment of pollinator-friendly and native plants, the garden is an educational space for future vets to learn about medicinal & toxic plants.
San Francisco State U Showcases Water-Efficient Irrigation System
The campus recently installed a centrally-controlled irrigation system that reduced water consumption on athletic fields by 30 percent by calculating the amount of moisture in the air and soil to determine water needs. The system will be expanded to help the campus meet the governor's 25 percent water-reduction mandate.
Rice U Earns Tree Campus USA Honor
Arbor Day Foundation recently granted the university Tree Campus USA designation for its commitment to managing campus trees, developing connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests, and striving to engage their students and community in forestry efforts.