Sustainability Grant Recipients
We are pleased to announce the Sustainability Grant Recipients for 2007-2008. Our community looks forward to seeing these projects implemented and we hope to offer these grants again next year. We would also like to thank everyone for their applications and participation and we look forward to seeing the results.
Bring the Bike Home
Andy Myer & the Bike Shop
In 2006, using grants obtained through Willamette’s Sustainability Council and the Oregon Department of Transportation, an initiative was begun to make bikes accessible to the Willamette Community through free bike rentals. Over the past year this program has obtained over 15 bikes, as well as helmets, safety lights and locks, and put together the renting infrastructure to turn this project into reality. However, due to the limited amount of centrally located bike racks on campus, it quickly became apparent that more bike rack space would be needed to house this new program. This project aims to construct a new bike rack to provide a space for the rental bike program.
Christianity & the Environment
This sustainability grant would be used to create, supply, and facilitate a half day conference and workshop on the topic of Christianity & the Environment. Speakers from the Portland/Salem area would address the Biblical basis for environmental protection and the current debates over the environment among Evangelicals, as well as offer trainings for students to more effectively advocate on the issue. At the end of the conference students would be both better informed and more likely to actively embody and advocate ecological sustainability.
The Landscapes Class
We propose the installation of a communal raised bed produce garden on campus in the area between the sky bridge and the TIUA building—a second, less desirable location would be behind the home run fence of the softball field. Both locations are being discussed with TIUA and Willamette administrators and we hope to reach a decision regarding location soon. We feel this community garden would not only serve as yet another representation of our dedication to the health of our habitat, but as a valuable educational opportunity, a supplement to our produce consumption, and wonderful chance to strengthen our ties with the surrounding community. In doing so, such a garden would come to embody the very values upon which Willamette is established.
Continued Growth of Sustainability at TIUA
This project will promote the ongoing interest in sustainability at TIUA, by helping students to understand the effect they have on the environment on campus. TIUA has had a representative on the Sustainability Council since its inception and has increasingly become involved in sustainability issues at Willamette. Last year 24 students participated in the Northwest Conference on Sustainability by giving poster presentations on the four E’s of sustainability. This year we have 20 students enrolled in a class on sustainability. There is a growing interest among the faculty and students in this area. This project will ask the students to make a commitment to reducing waste on campus by using a refillable mug, educate them about recycling programs on campus, and develop an awareness of sustainability issues that they can take with them when they leave Willamette.
Focus the Nation: Climate Change Symposium
Natalie Sashkin, Chelsea Robinson
The Focus the Nation Group on the Willamette campus proposes to hold a Climate Change Solutions symposium on the 29th of January 2008. As the student coordinators of the Willamette group, we are one of hundreds of similar FTN organizations across the nation mostly in academic settings, but also in those civil, corporate and religious. At the end of January, each group will hold its own symposium addressing solutions to climate change, and reaping the rewards of debate between policy makers and community members.
A garden is like a kitchen. It is a place where people congregate, where they can share stories with each other, and where they can refuel. It is a place that can draw together people of different ages and cultures. It is a place that can fuel discussions on topics such as herbicides, pesticides, composting- all issues of sustainability. Kaneko Commons has dedicated itself to sustainability, community service, and to Japanese Heritage. As both a Kaneko Faculty Associate and a TIUA faculty member, I view a garden as a place where these three areas of interest could converge with one another. I imagine a garden as a place for TIUA students, WU students, and students from Bush Elementary School to work, learn and interact. I see the garden as a visible and tangible symbol of the commitment that WU, Kaneko Commons, and TIUA have made to sustainability. In partnership with the students in Joe Bowersox’s Landscapes Course and Kehla Singer-Adams, the director of Community Service Learning, I would like to use a sustainability grant to purchase gardening tools that will be used to help establish and run an organic vegetable garden on campus to further learning, to connect community members, and to foster sustainable living.
Paperless Bike Shop
Andy Myer and the Bike Shop
The Bike Shop began as an idea in 2006 to help promote and enable sustainable transportation on Willamette’s campus. As the shop begins to realize these goals and establish itself as a regular presence, it seeks also to be an example of sustainable behavior in a business setting. Whether by reusing old bike parts, saving electricity by limiting overhead light use or recycling unusable metal, the Bike Shop would like to continue to serve as a center for sustainability in both practice and application. This year the Bike Shop is preparing to enter a second phase, and incorporate the Borrow-a-Bike Rental Program into its operation. Because of the nature of the rental program however, a certain degree of paperwork will be required, including how and when the rentals are maintained, whether fees are assessed or appealed, and who rents the bikes and when. When combined with the Shop’s usage forms (necessary to track usage and accountability), an exorbitant amount of paper would be required. This project aims at solving this problem in a relatively simple and straightforward manner by adding a computer to the Bike Shop. Almost all record keeping could be done using Microsoft Excel and Word, leaving the shop uncluttered and free of excess paper use.
Pedals and Pizza Workshops
Andy Myer and the Bike Shop
As a student driven initiative to bring bicycle awareness to the forefront of Willamette’s campus, the Bike Shop is looking to continue to fulfill its goals as a center of education and empowerment for increased bike use. To that end, this proposal aims at holding a series of monthly workshops open to the Willamette community on basic bike maintenance and repair.
Reducing Clubs' Paper Waste on Campus
Jennifer Mckenzie, Alia Paget, Lisa Emori and Elizabeth Holt
The goal of our project is to reduce the paper waste that the clubs Strength, Health and Equality (SHE) and the Sexual Assault Response Allies (SARA) produce to promote our events. We will also provide leadership to other clubs on campus so we can collectively demand additional resources from ASWU to help all clubs reduce their yearly output of paper waste for advertising.
The Value of Trees
This project is designed to discern and analyze the potential effects of Willamette University on the Mill Creek Watershed. As a major land owner of much of the area surrounding the creek, Willamette's actions influence the health and quality of this resource. Since Willamette shares this watershed with other community members it is important to act as stewards of the creek and set an example of benevolence for our community. My project will analyze the significance of green tree canopy cover to the health of the Mill Creek Watershed, and possibly other areas of interest as large as The Willamette Valley. In order to complete this assessment I will need to utilize software from the manufacturer American Forests in conjunction with GIS software currently available at Willamette University. The software, called Citygreen, will analyze the benefits of canopy cover in terms of economic value. These values include but are not limited to economic benefits from air quality increase, stormwater management, and carbon storage.
Westside Paper Control
This project is focused on promoting sustainability on the Westside by encouraging reduction of the use of paper towels in the restrooms, and recycling in the rooms. Before considering this grant, I want to make clear that I am asking on behalf of the entire Westside residence area. I am the recycling representative for Lausanne and have been working with hall council as well as the area coordinator for the past few weeks to create this grant proposal. I understand that what I am asking is almost twice as much as is usually granted. I would like to split this into two grant requests – one for recycling bins and one for hand towel promotion – but I feel that there’s no reason to try and make this seem like two different projects when really they are both part of the same goal: reducing the use and promoting the recycling of paper products in two of the largest dorms on campus.
Wireless Water Quality Sensors
The purpose of my project is to develop a network of wirelessly mesh-networked (wireless units that are capable of talking to each other) sensors that can be deployed in water systems (streams, rivers, storm ducts, etc) to monitor water quality issues. These sensors (known as motes) have both short and long-term impacts, offering early contaminant identification, and the ability to track seasonal, annual, and even longer changes in water systems. Motes are just slightly bigger than a can of soda, and completely self contained, so unless you are actively looking for one, you are unlikely to notice them. The goals of my project are to construct and deploy such a system in the Mill Stream to track its quality and test the viability of such a system in a real world setting.