Andrew Muir 301-405-7068
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland Office of Sustainability has announced the second and final set of Sustainability Fund projects approved for 2015. The Sustainability Fund allocates money for students, faculty and staff of the university to finance projects that will improve sustainability on campus.
The projects approved for funding by the Student Sustainability Subcommittee and the University Sustainability Council include:
- Bolstering Organics Collection Infrastructure: $50,400
- Real-time UMD Campus Energy Water Monitoring, Mapping, and Management (M-CUBE): $20,100
- Sustainability Mini-Grants Year 2: $10,000
- Small Scale Vertical Axis Wind Turbine for UMD: $7,400
- Center for Young Children Rain Garden: $6,975
- Greek Composting Initiative: $5,933
- Stamp Napkins - #UMDGreenHacks: $5,300
- Solar Power Charging and Study Station: $5,000
- Sustainable Tailgating: $2,130
- Small Footprint Pledge to Install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: $1,500
- Piezoelectric Sensing and Energy Harvesting in Touchscreens (Team PIEZO): $1,400
"This most recent allocation of the Sustainability Fund is really exciting,” said Ori Gutin, President of the Student Sustainability Committee, Student Government Association. “We challenged members of the university community to submit more projects, and seeing the great ideas they developed for environmental research, waste management, reducing energy use, and stormwater management shows that they really stepped up to the challenge. It’s inspiring to see how everyone can help transform our campus."
Composting and waste education projects are a popular theme for this year’s grants. The Solid Waste and Recycling Unit of Facilities Management is meeting an increasing demand on campus for more compost collection. Additional waste minimization projects include a Greek Life Composting Initiative, a Sustainable Tailgating initiative to encourage proper waste sorting in parking lots at athletic events, and the Stamp Napkins - #UMDGreenHacks project - aimed at raising awareness about composting and recycling at The Stamp Food Court.
“The support from our Student Sustainability Committee is fantastic,” said Bill Guididas, Head of Recycling & Waste Management. “It highlights our students’ interest and commitment to the continuous improvement of our recycling and compost collection program.”
Other project highlights for this round of funding include constructing a rain garden for the revamped Center for Young Children (CYC) playground. Renovations for the playground have received attention recently thanks to its LaunchUMD crowd funding initiative that helped to raise over $11,000.
“The rain garden project will alleviate a flooding problem that creates a safety hazard within the playground area,” said Steven Cohan, Professor of the Practice, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Department. “The rain garden will also provide a learning center for the classes to gain an understanding of how they filter stormwater runoff and how the plants play a role in this biological system.”
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) has made great strides in the first year of implementing its college-wide Sustainability Plan. The college received a grant to install a Solar Power Charging and Study Station that will allow members of the university community to charge their electronic devices at an outlet powered entirely by solar energy.
"As the BSOS Sustainability Task Force only began in fall 2014, we are incredibly pleased to have received funding for our project,” said Amee Bearne, Sustainability Coordinator, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. “Our purpose as a task force is to collaborate across disciplines over one project to understand how different knowledge bases and fields can work together to achieve a singular task. BSOS is committed to creating an atmosphere of innovation and problem solving for our 21st century sustainability issues."
The Sustainability Fund was created after 91 percent of undergraduate students voted in favor of increasing student fees to help fund sustainability projects on campus. Since 2011, the fund has granted more than $1,000,000 to 72 sustainability projects. The priority deadline for Sustainability Fund applications for the 2016 funding cycle is Thursday, October 15, with an extended deadline of Friday, January 15. There will be $400,000 in funding available next year.
For more information about the University Sustainability Fund, visit sustainability.umd.edu. For additional information on each 2015 Sustainability Project, visit sustainability.umd.edu/content/about/fund_recipients.php.