Committee on Sustainability announces Green Fee awards for fall 2012

The Committee on Sustainability (COS) at William & Mary has agreed to fund nine proposals from students, faculty and staff for a grand total of $47,600 this semester.

The proposals, which were approved in November and will be implemented throughout the upcoming months, represent many different aspects of sustainability on campus. In particular, the funded proposals from this semester feature improvements to facilities and operations, community outreach and joint student-faculty research.

The COS continues to support environmentally focused initiatives by funding proposals through the “Green Fees” application system. Its focus is how to best enhance the culture of sustainability on campus. 

Commons Dining Hall HVAC Controls- $5,000 to Dan Patterson, Associate Director of Utilities for Facilities Management

The Commons Dining Hall currently uses 100 percent outside air to ventilate the seating area for 20 hours each day. The current HVAC controls system requires vast amounts of energy to regulate internal temperature. This funding provides for the installation of new carbon dioxide sensors that lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption. The new system will save the university roughly $16,700 each year in energy costs and will pay for itself in a matter of months.

Exterior Recycling Bins- $14,690 to Robert J. Avalle, Director of Operations and Maintenance for Facilities ManagementBob Avalle

William & Mary has made a firm commitment to increased access to recycling on campus. As part of the new, single stream recycling program across campus, COS will provide 26 additional exterior recycling bins across high-traffic areas on campus. Many of the additional recycling containers will be located alongside trashcans. Placement of these cans alongside each other will give members of the university and visitors to the campus the ability to recycle goods, which would have previously gone into one of the trash receptacles.

Earth Week 2013- $6,000 to Blair Doucette ’13, Will Ozbun 13 and Advisor Patrick Foley, College Sustainability Fellow

Following the success of last year’s Earth Week celebration, the Committee on Sustainability is proud to support another great week of environmentally focused initiatives and events this April. The celebration this year will include speakers, panels and recreational events to encourage members of the university to get outside and enjoy nature. Blair Doucette and Will Ozbun, two EcoAmbassadors working on the Earth Week planning committee, also hope to encourage graduate schools and new departments to join the celebration as it expands to a campus-wide event.

The project promotes research between students, faculty while laying the groundwork for the construction of the EcoVillage.Equipment for EcoVillage Site Research and Analysis- $1,500 to Doug Deberry, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

In support of the W&M EcoVillage project, students are creating an overall Environmental Impact Analysis and Management Plan. Several students are presently working with faculty advisors to issue reports on the proposed EcoVillage site. Student research focuses on several dimensions of land management: plant and wildlife identification, geographic information surveys and hydrology. The additional funding allows for the purchase of supplementary equipment to aid in this baseline research. The project promotes research between students and faculty while laying the groundwork for the construction of the EcoVillage.

Crim Dell floating Wetland Treatment- $4,200 to Theresa Brown 15 and Advisor Randy Chambers, Director of the Keck Environmental Lab

Floating Treatment Wetlands are floating structures with wetland plants that filter water and improve water quality. The installation of a floating treatment wetland on the Crim Dell will improve the poor water quality caused by nutrient run-off from the Sunken Garden and other areas on campus. As one of the most iconic landmarks on campus, improving the appearance and wellbeing of the Crim Dell will provide high-profile research opportunity for students. The project also builds upon the success of the floating wetland treatment installed in the “Grim” Dell behind the Student Health Center.

Mountaintop Removal Documentary Screening and Panel- $250 to Sharon Hartzell 14 and Advisor Patrick Foley, College Sustainability FellowThe movie poster

This project aims to increase awareness of the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) by screening a movie about MTR, The Last Mountain, and holding an associated panel discussion. The panel will feature experts from the Environmental Science and Policy department at William & Mary. The documentary screening will also be a major part of the Student Environmental Action Coalition’s Energy Justice Campaign. 

Installation of Refillable Water Stations at Blow Memorial Hall and the Mason School of Business- $6,000 to Amy Sikes, Assistant Director of the Office of Financial Aid and $7,900 to Josh Andelin, Building Manager at the Mason School of Business   

In an ongoing effort to decrease plastic bottle use at William & Mary, COS will fund the installation of new refillable water stations in both Blow Memorial Hall and The Mason School of Business. These new refillable stations will provide filtered drinking water to members of the campus community in two highly visible parts on campus. Refillable water stations eliminate the taste issues some individuals have with tap water and encourage the use of reusable water bottles. Similar refillable stations have been successful at the Recreation Center, Sadler Center, Admissions Building and Marshall-Wythe School of Law.   

Installation of Raised Beds in the Campus Gardens- $2,060 to Will Ozbun ’13, Michael Curcio ’15 and advisor Patrick Foley, College Sustainability Fellow  

Following the success of the raised bed system designed by students at the Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS), undergraduates at William & Mary have chosen to adopt a similar model to optimize growing potential. The new raised-bed system is the first part of a two-part plan to renovate the campus gardens. The raised beds will protect the plants from storm water run-off. The Committee on Sustainability has also funded the construction of a solid deer fence to protect the produce from animals. Following the renovation, COS hopes to allow students to rent parcels of the garden each semester for their own use.