Campus Sustainability Fund Announces Three Successful Proposals

The Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) is part of the university’s commitment to become climate neutral by 2035 as outlined by the UST Climate Action Plan. St. Thomas community members were invited earlier this fall to submit proposals for funds from the CSF to implement projects that address sustainability at University of St. Thomas campuses. Three projects were chosen from among several strong proposals to be funded by this year’s CSF budget of $50,000.

Winning proposals

“Student Restoration of Oak Forest: Analyzing Carbon Storage in a Recovering Landscape” was submitted by Simon Emms and Tim Lewis, both of the Biology Department, Paul Lorah, Geography Department, and student Theresa Wondra, and will receive $15,000. Students will work in partnership with Great River Greening to restore 10 acres of oak forest in the Fish Creek Natural Areas Greenway, located 20 minutes from the St. Paul campus. An outdoor lab will be created that will allow students to study and document the effectiveness of restoration efforts.

“Recycling Green” was submitted by Paul Hietpas, Physical Plant. This project will receive $21,202 to purchase an electric utility vehicle to be used for central receiving deliveries and daily pickups of recycling performed by the University of St. Thomas recycling team. Work-study students who support the central receiving-recycling area will be the primary users of this vehicle; they will keep records of its use and analyze the resulting data to measure its effectiveness at saving fuel and decreasing emissions.

“Hydration Stations Across UST” was submitted by students Josh Zahrbock and Ali Vandercook. The goal of this project is to install new water refill stations throughout campus so that the UST community has convenient access points to refill reusable water bottles. The project will receive up to $13,798 for the cost and installation of the hydration stations. It is hoped that promoting the use of reusable water bottles will reduce the number of plastic water bottles used on campus. The hydration stations funded by this proposal will be concentrated in academic classroom buildings.

The CSF evaluation committee would like to thank all applicants for their interest. New applications for funding will be accepted again in October 2012.