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Four environmental projects awarded Sustainability Initiative Grant

Four environmental projects awarded Sustainability Initiative Grant

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Each year, the Sustainability Initiative Grant is awarded to projects that enhance sustainability on campus. The grant supports projects within academics and research, the physical campus and its structures, student leadership and campus culture, and planning and administration. Students, faculty, and staff are eligible to apply for up to $2,000 for their projects.

Grants for 2019 were awarded in the beginning of April to four projects. Check out www.fortlewis.edu/sustainability/SustainabilityInitiativeGrant to see what has been funded in the past and learn more about the application process.

2019 Sustainability Initiative Grant award recipients

“Maximizing peak food production at the Old Fort for the FLC dining hall,” by Beth LaShell, from the Old Fort at Hesperus

This project aims to maximize the amount of Old Fort vegetables delivered to Campus Dining Services during July, August, September, and October – months in which the academic year and the growing season overlap. Each year, Old Fort sales to Campus Dining Services have increased, and there is room for even more growth. The Old Fort will use the grant funds for materials that support high production and for a short-term staff person.

“Investing in soil: farming with a smaller footprint at the Old Fort,” by Elicia Whittlesey, from the Old Fort at Hesperus

This project aims to lower the carbon footprint of Old Fort farming activities and build healthier soils. Even organic farming can be fossil-fuel heavy, and this project will help staff take steps toward reducing the carbon footprint of day-to-day farm activities and increase soil health. The project involves utilizing a bicycle and garden cart, purchasing materials to enhance microbial activity specific cover crops to add nutrients to the soil, and tracking soil improvements. The grant would fund devoted Farmer-In-Training hours to irrigate, seed, weed, spread, track, observe, and otherwise manage soil-building activities to ensure success.

“Yellow Bags Go Green,” by Sydnie O’Connell, from the Admission Office

Prospective students each receive single-use yellow plastic bags when visiting FLC. This project replaces the yellow plastic bags with a sustainable, compostable bag.

“Zero Waste Team’s room-side recycling program,” by Amber Barbella and Marty Pool, from the Environmental Center

The Fort Lewis College Zero Waste Team designed a room-side recycling collection program with the intention of reducing recycling contamination on campus and implementing peer-led education. One paid student staff collects recycling from the students living on campus and educates students about how to recycle. Sorting correctly will be incentivized because if the bins are contaminated, they will not be picked up. Instead, they will be left with a note disclosing what was incorrect, so it can be improved the next week. The Zero Waste Team also created an education program for new student orientation.

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