Vanderbilt U Buys Solar Trash Compactors & Electric Mowers

Starting fall 2018, students can enroll in designated courses that increase their knowledge of sustainability as reflected in the human and scientific dimensions as well as ethics and policy.

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 Five 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.

Princeton U Uses Sheep to Trim Plants at Solar Plant

Eliminating the need for toxic herbicides, gas-powered mowers or trimmers, 75 Katahdin sheep now graze at the Princeton University Solar Field thanks to a partnership with a local farmer.

South Dakota State U Becomes Bee Campus USA Affiliate

The Bee Campus USA program requires that the university promote pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and bats, and their habitats on campus.

Auburn U Students Create Games That Teach Campus Green Infrastructure

Landscape Architecture graduate students recently created and released interactive board games for the Office of Sustainability to teach students, faculty and visitors about the green infrastructure stormwater control measures that are integrated into the campus landscape.

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.

Pennsylvania State U Greater Allegheny Breaks Ground on Community Garden

In early September, a crew at the Greater Allegheny campus broke ground on a new community garden with the hopes of helping to combat food insecurity on campus and in the local neighborhoods.

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.

U British Columbia Students Design & Install Pollinator Homes

Working with biologists, zoologists and local planners, students in the UBC school of architecture and landscape architecture (SALA) designed, built and installed three pollinator homes for bees and bats. The project will provide the opportunity for students to study sharing spaces with species in urban environments.

U Texas Dallas Earns Tree Campus USA Designation

The university's Grounds department and the Office of Sustainability helped the university earn the certification from the Arbor Day Foundation by establishing a tree maintenance and management program, designating a budget for trees, and holding tree-related service projects and educational outreach on campus. The Tree Campus USA program helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests.

Duke U Removes Robert E. Lee Statue

After recent vandalization of a statue of Robert E. Lee at the entrance to the university's chapel, Duke University president recently authorized its removal after conferring with students, faculty, staff and alumni. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future. The president also announced that a commission will be assembled to understand how best to memorialize individuals on campus and recommend principles drawn from Duke’s core values as a guide when questions arise.

Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis Earns Bee Campus Designation

The university recently obtained Bee Campus USA certification for its activities designed to support pollinators. The designation was announced during the university's second year participating in Pollinator Count Week, a Keep Indianapolis Beautiful event that seeks to take inventory of pollinators and raise awareness of their role in the human food system.

Wilfrid Laurier U Receives $5K Grant for Planting Trees

Through a grant from Tree Canada, the university will be planting a small strand of mature trees on its Waterloo campus that will include national and provincial emblem trees, and symbolic First Nations trees. The tree-planting project commemorates the 150th anniversary of Canada.

Colgate U Students Place Two Honey Bee Hives

A collaboration between the university’s food service provider, Chartwells, and a group of students looking to support the local honey bee population led to the installation of two hives in a newly established apiary last month. The new endeavor also resulted in the creation of a student beekeeping club.

California State U San Marcos to Go Smoke/Tobacco-Free

In an effort to protect and promote the health and well-being of the campus community, the university will become a completely smoke- and tobacco-free campus beginning in fall 2017. Electronic cigarettes will also be banned. The effort will be aided by a $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, a $3.6 million effort to accelerate and expand smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. The funding will be used for educational material, supplies and personnel essential to implement and evaluate the initiative.

East Carolina U Receives Tree Campus USA Designation

The university has officially earned the Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the first time in university history. University staff worked over the past year to meet Tree Campus USA standards, which include having a Campus Tree Advisory Committee and a tree care plan.

SUNY New Paltz Earns Tree Campus USA Designation

The university has joined other U.S. colleges and universities that have met campus environment standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. A small group of students, faculty, staff and community members came together this year to work toward earning Tree Campus USA designation, an honor reserved for schools that meet five requirements focused on strategic and long-term plans to care for and manage trees on campus.

Indiana U Pennsylvania Receives $44K Grant for Watershed Management

Several university faculty will use the new funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to work with area agencies and schools to develop a water quality and stormwater monitoring plan. In addition to providing watershed educational experiences, the project will generate baseline water quality data for 12–15 key watershed locations that will be utilized to make governmental and environmental policy decisions.