Maple sugaring on campus, low-mow habitats and continued support for Octopus’s Garden are the latest projects awarded Presidential Green Grants.
The grants, which support environmentally sustainable projects at Union, are open to faculty, staff and students. Since the initiative was launched 13 years ago, grants totaling more than $175,000 have supported 142 projects across campus.
“The recipe for our Green Grant program is simple: a little bit of funding, a lot of creativity and a lot of elbow grease,” said Jeff Corbin, professor of biology and coordinator of the initiative. He was the first to suggest the idea of an incentive program for environmental advocacy.
“All of our awardees have devoted precious time to making Union a more sustainable campus," he said. "Progress does not just happen, it comes from active choices and people who work to bring it about.”
This year’s grant winners were honored during a virtual ceremony Thursday with Corbin and President David R. Harris. The ceremony is typically held in January, but was delayed due to the pandemic.
Also in attendance were Lawrence Eisenberg ’64 and his wife, Ellen, whose gift helps support the program.
The 2019-20 Green Grant winners and their projects:
Andrew Nordell '23 and Hugh Jenkins, professor of English: The pair purchased equipment to tap maple trees on campus and produced their first batch of syrup.
Miles Ackerman '23, Nicole Cornell '21, Andrew Nordell ’23, Grace O'Hara '22 and Ashok Ramasubramanian, professor of mechanical engineering: Raised awareness about low-mow habitats on campus by purchasing signs to explain the benefits for pollinators and biodiversity.
Kayla Quarless '21: Despite the pandemic, Octopus's Garden was active this year. Seeds and supplies were purchased to help provide fresh food to Dining Services and the community.
Last fall, Union was again named one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges.”
Union is among the schools profiled in the 11th edition of the guide. The College has been included in each edition.
The College has garnered accolades for its Presidential Green Grants program, the U-Sustain committee and other initiatives.