The William & Mary Committee on Sustainability has announced the spring and summer 2016 Green Fee Awards. A total of $92,432 has been dedicated to sustainability projects through faculty, students and staff working on campus and in the local community.
The Green Fee program began as a grassroots student initiative in 2008. Since then, it has funded over 200 sustainability projects led by students, faculty and staff around the William & Mary campuses. This semester saw a wide variety of proposals, from campus-wide initiatives to innovative sustainability research projects. Summaries of each of the projects are listed below.
Mom, Look, Birds - $530 to Ada Hao ’16, Lindsay Garcia, PhD Student, and advisor Dr. Alan C. Braddock, Ralph H. Wark, Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies
Mom, Look, Birds is a one-night-only exhibition of live performance, video, sculpture, photography, and other art, all of which engage with the topic of art and ecology. Due to the temporal and irreproducible nature of this event, the exhibition will take place after dark in the basement (including the classrooms, hallways, and Ornithology lab) of Millington Hall (to be demolished in May 2016). As a site of scientific production, deemed to have cultural-historical value, we expand conceptually to look at human-constructed sites that blur the borders between public and private space, between human and nonhuman nature.
- Where do you stand in the nature?
- Where does “nature” fit into this man-made architectural space?
- How do we function and move around institutions, physically and mentally?
- How can art be transformed into scientific research and vice versa?
Centered around the idea of hybrid research, underlining the openness and fluidity of the artistic disciplines, Mom, Look, Birds! owns the social and political implications of this intermingling and creates public understandability.
Improving Recycling Visibility on VIMS Campus - $7,629 to Kelley Uhlig, M.S. ‘17 & Chair, VIMS Green Team, and advisor Mark Brabham, Director of Facilities Management
This proposal seeks to increase recycling participation on VIMS campus through improving recycling receptacle visibility and prevalence. This includes adding receptacles to indoor areas on campus that currently lack recycling bins and installing receptacles for plastic and aluminum at the entrance of each major building. We expect replacing our current recycling receptacles will increase VIMS recycling as the new receptacles are clearly marked, and will increase the visibility of recycling options and reduce confusion regarding restrictions and limitations associated with split-stream recycling. The addition of recycling options in locations currently only providing trash cans will reduce the amount of recyclables that end up as waste, especially at the entrance of Waterman’s Hall, Chesapeake Bay Hall, Andrews Hall, and the Fisheries Science Laboratory/Nunnally Hall. Increasing the visibility of recycling options on VIMS campus not only improves sustainability on Gloucester Point, but also impacts the thousands of visitors to VIMS every year, from high-profile politicians to the general public and K-12 student groups, promoting a culture of sustainability to the wider community.
ELF Sustainable Vehicle - $1,860 to Lydia Francis ’17, SEAC, and advisor Calandra Waters Lake, Director of Sustainability
To promote sustainable transportation at William and Mary, COS will fund the purchase of an ELF, a solar powered electric vehicle. A checkout system will allow students access to the ELF and a chance to interact with new green technology. The ELF will also be showcased at sustainability events and activities. Cars can only access limited parts of campus, but the ELF can fit in a bike lane, making it an ideal cross-campus form of transportation. The small green vehicle will carry the W&M Sustainability logo and become a visible reminder to students of the efforts William and Mary is making to go green.
Day for Admitted Students (DFAS) Reusable Lunch Bags- $6,000 to Justine Okerson, Associate Dean of Admission
Day for Admitted Students is the marquee event for the Undergraduate Admission Office with 3500 total visitors (about 1200 admitted students). Each year we put on a lunch in the Sunken Garden with 2500 total people served, usually with brown paper lunch bags. This year we will save all 2500 bags from going straight into the trash after this lunch by giving all lunch participants a reusable lunch bag, that will remind them of William & Mary and sustainability even after Day for Admitted Students. This funding allows for visitors first introduction to the College of William & Mary to demonstrate exactly how much our campus and community values sustainability and the environment.
Reducing Bird Window Collisions on Campus - $678 to Megan Massa `18, Ohad Paris, Master’s Student `17, and advisor Dr. Dan Cristol, Professor of Biology
It is estimated that up to 988 million birds die each year from building collisions in the US alone. Birds of national conservation concern are among the many species especially vulnerable to collisions. Bird death data collected between 2013 and 2015 on the William and Mary campus have identified the windows on the southwest corner of Swem library as a serious hazard. Surveying the market for an effective and easy-to-install solution, the W&M bird club decided to recommend CollidEscape, a product tested by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the American Bird Conservancy that is up to 98% effective in reducing window collision deaths. Treating the most hazardous windows of the library could save dozens, if not hundreds, of protected migrating birds a year. We believe that our actions today will have a reverberating effect by preventing collisions year-round, every year, for years to come, thereby protecting countless birds well into the future, while setting an example for other college campuses in Virginia and nationwide.
Tribe Trash/Recycle Combo Bins In Dillard Complex - $5,836 to Londen Mance, Facilities & Operations Intern and advisors Michael Pritchett, Assistant Athletic Director of Facilities & Operations, and Vicki Collier, Coordinator of Facilities & Operations
In the continuous effort to increase sustainability on William & Mary’s campus, COS will fund the installation of 6 trash/recycle bins from Max-R at Martin Family Stadium and Plumeri Park. Giving both parks a cleaner and greener look while increasing access to recycling on campus. With the new combo bins in the athletic facilities it will save energy and reduce the amount of waste that comes from just a regular trash can. While improving the overall waste management within the facilities.
VIMS Community Garden Rain Barrel - $837 to Pamela Braff, PhD student, and advisors Scott Lerberg, Stewardship Coordinator, CBNERR, and Sarah Nuss, General Education and Outreach Coordinator, CBNERR
Since 2012 the VIMS Community Garden has provided VIMS students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to grow healthy food, recycle kitchen and garden scraps via composting, and build a sense of community outside of labs and classrooms. The COS will provide funds to support the construction of a 450 gallon rain barrel with a solar powered pump for the community garden. Currently, gardeners primarily use municipal water pumped to hydrants located within the garden. Harvesting rainwater with the newly constructed rain barrel will help reduce harmful stormwater runoff, conserve freshwater by reducing the garden’s dependence on municipal water supplies, and improve overall garden health. This project will set an example for the VIMS community and its many visitors about ways to conserve water and help prevent stormwater runoff in their own homes and communities.
Crim Dell Restoration - $11,498 to Jesse Smyth ‘18, Carolina May ‘18, and advisor Professor Linda Morse, Geology Department
The Crim Dell Bridge is a campus icon, but the area surrounding it has fallen into disrepair. This continuation of previous work in the area will move beyond efforts to remove non-native invasive plant species and will focus on improving the accessibility, safety, and aesthetics of the area. The green fee grant provided by COS will fund the installation of educational signs, structural trail improvements, new native plant species, and a rock garden planned in collaboration with the Geology department. The ultimate goal is to restore the area around the Crim Dell pond to an inviting place where students, faculty, and visitors can enjoy nature, relax, and learn about sustainability on campus.
Nature’s Oration/ Matoaka Art Installation- $1,250 to Lowry Palmer ’17, and Professor Alan Braddock, Art History & American Studies
Nature’s Oration is a campus-specific art installation project that focuses on the relationship of humans with nature and sustainability, as well as the persistence of nature in relation to manmade structures. The installation will consist of a spiraled, wire sculpture of an orator’s hand juxtaposed against the Cove Amphitheater at the Matoaka Woods, which is being taken back by nature. The main goal of the installation is to use the sculpture as a way to highlight the phenomenon of nature taking back the manmade infrastructure of the amphitheater by having the same thing happen to a distinctly human art form. The addition of an art installation in this unique area of campus will provide an opportunity for our community to create a dialogue about humans’ relationship with nature.
Common Area Recycling Bins - $7920 to Audrey Kriva, 2016 and COS Diversion Subcommittee
There continues to be inconsistency of style and ambiguity of information on the common-area recycling bins in academic and administrative buildings. Starting with three academic buildings as a test, this project will install consistent, ubiquitous, and clearly single-stream recycling receptacles. Data will be collected on the changes in trash & recycling quantities to determine the efficacy of this project. Through making recycling rules and receptacles more available and obvious to students, faculty, and staff, we hope to reduce some of the campus’ waste and associated hauling costs.
Sharpe Scholars Community Garden - $380 to Thomeka Watkins ‘19, and advisor Professor Dennis Taylor
In order to provide local Queens Lake Middle School students with a source of hands-on nutrition education and a chance to learn basic gardening skills, COS will provide funding for the materials to construct a community garden on Queens Lake Middle School grounds. Giving children a chance to develop these skills and take them home and start their own small garden can help offset grocery bills, helping to save fuel for trips to grocery stores, especially for those in low access areas who would have to take long rides to get to a store to begin with. It would also help offset food packaging waste, especially and encourage those with small gardens to compost scraps of food and material rather than simply throw it into a trash can.
Sponsorship of AASHE 2016 Conference - $1500 to Calandra Waters Lake, Director of Sustainability.
William & Mary will be an official sponsor of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2016 Conference, to take place October 9-12, 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland. This sponsorship includes 2 Student Summit passes, 1 full conference registration, and a display table in the expo hall. It demonstrates W&M’s commitment to sustainability and to collaborative events that educate and foster solutions to the many sustainability challenges we face on campuses, communities, and across the world.
Dining Sustainability team wins Grant for installation of an OZZI machine in Sadler - $ 15,889 to Stephen Moyer, Operations Manager, Dining Sustainability Chair
Dining Services is pleased to announce a grant that will allow it to purchase a new Ozzi machine for Sadler Center. The Ozzi machine is a state of the art system that allows students to return their eco-friendly reusable container, all the while tracking waste and usage throughout the year. The machine will dispense a token that can be used at any time for a new container eliminating the need to carry around used containers. Last year, W&M saved over $64,000 using eco-friendly to-go containers.
Updating VIMS Green House Gas Survey - $5,000 to Kelley Uhlig , VIMS Green Team Chair, SMS ‘17, and advisor Carl Hershner, Director, Center for Coastal Resources Management
Graduate students from the VIMS School of Marine Science will undertake an update of the VIMS campus greenhouse gas inventory, which was last updated in 2011. This project will generate a report of GHG emission generating activities at VIMS, heightening awareness of ways that individuals can modify their behaviors to reduce those emissions and contribute to long-term monitoring. The final survey will be posted to the VIMS website and distributed accordingly. This effort is also in support of William and Mary’s pursuit of AASHE STARS certification.