A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
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Facilities Services is actually one of the largest departments on campus, but they are always working in the background, so few people actually realize how much work they do. The main office is underneath the music building, but Facilities tunnels and offices extend underneath the entire Janet Wallace Fine Arts complex.
Facilities has been running the recycling program for more than 30 years now! The custodians take pride in their work and are always looking for ways to be more sustainable while maintaining a high level of quality.
They have made green building practices a core part of planning for new buildings, which is exemplified in design of the Leonard Center and the Institute for Global Citizenship, which is seeking LEED Platinum certification.
Facilities has been a huge partner in the Clean Energy Revolving Fund (CERF) and have graciously made several donations to the fund. They have been very receptive to student concerns and have found opportunities for students to plug in to their work. My job was created specifically to give students an opportunity to get involved in the greening of Facilities.
Matt Kazinka, the student sustainability worker in facilities, is working on a large energy-efficiency project through CERF, the Clean Energy Revolving Fund. The goal is to replace all of the 32-watt 4-foot florescent light bulbs on campus with 25-watt versions, which will reap significant energy savings. Each light bulb pays back for itself through energy savings in less than two years. Of a projected 17,000 bulbs to install, they have installed roughly 14,000 of them. It is Kazinka’s goal to finish the project by spring break 2009.
Another initiative Kazinka is working on is to make the student move-out process in May more sustainable. Every year, students who are in a frenzy to finish finals and catch a plane home create massive amounts of waste, which is piled up in the residence halls and in outdoor dumpster bins. A lot of value is lost, because people simply do not have enough time to find a good home for their stuff. He is working with representatives from Recycling, Custodial, Campus Life, Habitat for Humanity, and the Sustainability Office to make sure that a well-coordinated program exists that can find good uses for all the stuff that is usually “wasted.”
Finally, Kazinka is focusing on building more opportunities for other students to get involved in sustainability efforts on campus, through volunteer jobs, internships, and work-study jobs. He thinks that the Sustainability Student Network is part of a great process of connecting students across campus to work on sustainability in their areas of interest, andhe am very interested in expanding that ability.
CERF, Macalester’s revolving fund, was a model that other campuses in Minnesota began using in the past few years. Carleton College in Northfield and St. Jonathan’s/St. Benedicts University in St. Cloud have now built revolving funds of their own and now building their capacity.
As for models in student sustainability networks, student workers at Carleton make up the backbone of their Sustainability Office, and have been able to do some impressive work. Similarly, students at Portland State University have set up a work-study program that is student-managed.
Kazinka is always looking for help! His capacity doesn’t begin to cover the opportunities for sustainability in Facilities and elsewhere on campus. He would like help developing the next big energy-efficiency project for CERF, and would love help with Move Out as well. But, more importantly, he’d like to hear what your ideas are for what can be done in Facilities. Please contact Kazinka if you’re interested in what he does so he can figure out where you can fit in.
FACILITIES COORDINATOR 2008-2009 Academic year: Matt Kazinka coordinated several volunteer installation days for light bulbs, arranged a light bulb installation crew over J-Term, worked with the Move Out waste reduction subcommittee, helped coordinate the Sustainability Student Network, crafted student responses around the chiller installation, worked on creating new sustainability-related positions in Facilities for the ‘09-‘10 academic year.
Welcome to Macalester Grounds Department, we specialize in keeping campus safe and beautiful! Jerry Nelson is our grounds manager and is responsible for the general upkeep of the campus grounds. He employs four full time groundspeople (Kurt, Gary, Sandy, and Jim) and 10 to 15 student workers each academic year.
Sustainability on Grounds
Because sustainability and grounds practices are mutually supportive, we are enthusiastic about incorporating more sustainable techniques into our daily maintenance routines. Currently, we are in the initial stages of planning for a new campus landscape master plan. The plan will employ sustainable landscape design as well incorporate aesthetic considerations. Fred Rozumalski, Landscape Ecologist at Barr Engineering, is facilitating the planning process and will be developing a first draft of the plan this summer with the intention of having a tangible plan for the campus to comment on in the fall. Revisions will follow until we develop a plan that best fits our goals. As the Macalester landscape is very important to all of us, we intend to make this process as inclusive as possible. To voice your question/concern about the landscape plan or for more information please contact Zoe (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As a department we are conscious of our inputs as they often entail high costs and labor, in addition to health and environmental impacts. Data on water use is currently available and we are currently developing a monitoring system for fertilizer, pesticide, and ice melt. If you have further questions about any of these aspects of grounds or our general process of keeping campus beautiful and safe, please contact Zoe Hastings (email@example.com).
- Water - Water usage data from 2005-2009 has been extracted from campus water bills.
- Fertilizer - We are currently developing a system of monitoring fertilizer use and will provide information when it becomes available.
- Pesticid - Approximately one time per year a broadleaf weed control is applied to turf. On average 2.5 gallons of Roundup is hand applied to particularly weedy areas.
- Ice Melt - The purchase, application, and run-off associated with ice melt have huge economic, social, and environmental impacts – but so do injuries from slipping on the ice! We have investigated and will continue to search for alternatives to traditional ice melt, including considering incorporating pavement design to improve traction in the upcoming sustainable landscape master plan, but for now we will carry on chipping as much ice as our shoulders will allow and apply ice melt when necessary!
- Biodiversity - Coming in fall 2010! If you are interested in assisting in plant identification, mapping, or any other aspect of biodiversity cataloging please contact Zoe Hastings (firstname.lastname@example.org).
GROUNDS 2008-2009 Academic year: Zoe Hastings researched grounds departments at other schools to determine what sustainable techniques they have incorporated, initiated and helped organize a facilitated discussion with the grounds department about how sustainability and the department are mutually supportive, institutionalized the grounds student sustainability worker position, acted as the liaison, advisor, and editor for the students in the Environmental Studies senior seminar writing the grounds portion of the carbon action plan, as well as explored planting a native plant garden and setting up a prairie workshop for the grounds employees.
GROUNDS Fall 2009: Zoë Campbell extracted and organized water use data from campus water bills, implemented a recycling program at the stadium, researched alternative de-icers, and started discussions about a campus sustainable landscape master plan.
GROUNDS Spring 2010: Zoe Hastings organized discussions about the campus sustainable landscape master plan, green roof updates, and campus composting, additionally in the process of developing a record keeping system for fertilizer and ice melt use, will be initiating a biodiversity survey in fall 2010.
RECYCLING COORDINATOR 2008-2009 Academic year: Austin Werth was the main liaison between the recycling manager and the recycling students and supervisors. He trained new students, coordinated scheduling of shifts, oversaw the effectiveness of the program, conducted audits of trash/recycling bin placement on campus, updated the job description, and created more specific jobs within the recycling program for the ’09-’10 academic year.