Green Initiative Fund awards sustainability grants to students, staff

by University Communications,

From water bottle filling stations to an osprey nest with a camera, the new Green Initiative Fund (GIF) is sponsoring diverse projects proposed by students and employees. The projects — to improve facilities, reduce waste and promote education on sustainability — will be implemented this summer and in the coming academic year.

The inaugural committee of voting students and advising administrators awarded $63,580 in grants to 14 projects. The GIF program was established last year after undergraduate students voted in a referendum to create an optional fee of $25 per semester.

GIF Committee chairman Kurt Wade ’15 and Joe Abraham, who serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the committee, says the fund provides opportunities for students and employees to collaborate in making the campus more sustainable.

“The collaborations between individuals that play different roles in our community shows that Willamette is moving in the right direction,” Wade says.

Read more about the approved projects below:

Education and Research

Projects, ranging from supporting Salem’s wildlife to education at Zena Forest, create opportunities for service learning, undergraduate education and engagement, and local and statewide outreach.

Name: Michaela Freeby '15 and professor David Craig
Project: Osprey nest platform and pole with live-feed camera south of the softball field
Grant: $2,000 awarded in November

Name: Lauren Travis ’15
Project: Developing an educational program for the statewide Upcycle Oregon event at the Oregon State Capitol
Grant: $2,000 awarded in November

Name: Annette Marinello ’15 and Emma Pesis
Project: Informational and educational signs at Zena’s main entrance and along the oak loop trail. The signs will illustrate the four “ecological transitional zones” and several important species at Zena.
Grant: $2,000 awarded in November

Name: Evann Zuckerman ’16
Project: Transportation funding for larger student trips to Zena in 2015
Grant: $1,000 awarded in November

Name: Professor Sue Koger, psychology
Project: Service-learning projects involving sustainability education for Willamette students
Grant: $1,000 awarded in April

Facilities Improvements

The following projects help students and employees reduce their environmental impact:

Name: Tristan Orndoff ’18
Project: Install covered and lit bike racks at the University Center
Grant: $2,000 awarded in November

Name: Andie Dibiase 17
Project: Install water bottle filling stations in academic buildings across campus
Grant: $7,200 awarded in April

Waste Reduction

The following projects, which adopt and expand campus zero waste practices and policies, aim to engage students, employees and athletic fans:

Name: Lettajoe Gallup ’15
Project: Green kitchen in Alpha Chi Omega, including compost facilities to reduce waste
Grant: $530 awarded in November

Name: Tod Nakahira ’17
Project: Pilot East Side Residence Hall recycling competition
Grant: $850 awarded in November

Name: Abby Bernhard ’18 and Layla Flint ’18
Project: Pilot East Side Residence Hall composting program
Grant: $1,600 awarded in November

Name: Leslie Coop, chemical hygiene officer, chemistry department
Project: Assess and reduce waste and energy use in campus labs
Grant: $11,500 awarded in April

Name: Kristi Fukunaga ’17
Project: Implementing best practices and standards for recycle bins and signs in campus buildings
Grant: $15,000 awarded in April

Name: Abby Bernhard ’18
Project: Piloting residence hall composting campuswide
Grant: $2,900 awarded in April

Name: Rob Passage, assistant athletics director
Project: Implement zero waste practices and design at McCulloch Stadium
Grant: $14,000 awarded in April