UNC Student Leaf - Past Projects
- Wise Acres Student Run Farm
This project was proposed by Kevin Cody and Dr. Richard Jurin from the ENST Department. In February 2015, the UNC Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENST) Program was presented with a remarkable opportunity: to lease a pre-existing farm i n Northern Greeley for educational purposes. A seemingly modest proposal, UNC is now in a position to become part of a growing trend in higher education across the U.S. that incorporates experiential education with programs on sustainable food systems and agroecology. The farm owners are keen to develop a relationship with UNC and for their farm to become a model of organic and alternate farming education. The farm operator/manager is excited about the potential of working with students from UNC, and continuing to work with students from Alternative Homes for Youth which was been involved in previous growing seasons.
Student LEAF Partnered with University College to help fund the first season of the farm, and it was a huge success. The summer and fall classes offered at the farm and UNC helped provide food for a farm stand at Community Fest, and on several Fridays on campus. The ENST program is trying to use this farm to help introduce a new major to the university: Sustainable Food Systems.
- Varsity Bike Racks
This project was proposed by Daniel Lawrence, from UNCO Outdoor Pursuits. UNC is a certified Bronze Level Bike Friendly campus, in part because of our continued effort to provide bike-friendly infrastructure. This proposal was intended to improve upon existing bike racks on campus to help keep bikes secure as well as un-damaged. The design selected was Varsity Bike Racks, from the company Park-A-Bike, and it is intended to prevent bikes from falling over onto each other while providing easier access for locking a bike. The bike racks were also selected for their aesthetic, as they can be installed in favor of bulky, less attractive bike racks. Installation is scheduled for completion during the spring and summer of 2016.
- Big Ass Fans for Campus Rec Center
This project was proposed by Tori Peterson (Former LEAF president) and Scott Schuttenberg from the Campus Recreation Center in order to help the CRC save money and energy. The idea behind Big Ass Fans is using large fan blades to help keep buildings nearly 10 degrees cooler in the summer, and to help de-stratify warm air that rises in the winter to keep the building warmer in winter. One of the biggest complaints from students was that the gym was unbearably hot in the summer, even with the portable fans that were being used. Not only were these fans ineffective, they were also unsafe due to long extension cords, and not cost effective due to high electricity use. Big Ass Fans have made a tremendous impact on the overall comfort of students in the rec center, and have also reduced energy usage and utility bills.
- PowerSol Umbrellas
In the Spring 2015 Semester, Student LEAF funded a proposal submitted by a student to put in PowerSol Charging Stations around campus. PowerSol Umbrellas are outdoor patio umbrellas with solar panels on top that harness the power of the sun in order to charge portable devices. The grant was written for $38,000 to include purchasing of 19 umbrella units, 19 150lb bases, any marketing supplies, and shipping costs. The umbrellas were installed on the UNC campus at the University Center, Holmes and Tobey-Kendel Dining Halls, Arlington Park Apartments, and at several residence halls. The overall goals of the project were to engage students around campus and educate them on the benefits and possibilities of solar energy. Additionally, the umbrellas help foster one of LEAF’s main goals of creating a sustainable campus community by encouraging students to be outside on our beautiful campus.
The overall response to the PowerSol project was overwhelmingly positive. Not only were they incredibly popular amongst the students and staff, but the umbrellas had an added benefit of raising awareness for Student LEAF as an organization. Many students did not know what the umbrellas were or who put them in place until strategic labeling was put on each umbrella. As more and more students learned about the umbrellas, the more the umbrellas were used. The tables were in use far more often than they had been before. This furthers the goal of increasing the use of existing campus infrastructure through these improvements. Overall the project was a huge success, and many other departments have expressed interest in ordering more umbrellas.
Implementation: The five can crushers for the University center, Tobey Kendel and Holmes dining hall were ordered through Recycling Solutions out of Queensland Australia. The total cost for the units and shipping was $6,225.00. Due to the shipping coming from Australia, there was a slight delay on the arrival date. After about two months of waiting, the units were acquired by facilities and then delivered to dining services where they were installed.
- University Center Water Stations
In Spring of 2013 Jay Dinges (Director of University Center) proposed to the LEAF committee a project that would replace the five existing water fountains with Elkay Ez- H20 stations. The University Center see’s extreme amounts of foot traffic every day and there were complaints of not having places like this to refill water bottles. Not only have we heard people comment on the quality of the water, but the overall convenience of the units. It’s easy to go up to one of these stations and fill up your water bottle, which reduces the need or want to buy a plastic, disposable water bottles.
This particular project was started in early fall and was just recently finished at the end of October. Due to asbestos and replacing piping in the wall, the project turnaround ended up taking longer than we had originally estimated. Nonetheless, each station was properly installed and is being used. The stations themselves tally up the amount of water bottles that you are saving each time you fill up, which is great towards educating our campus on sustainability. Actually looking at the amount of water bottles that are saved is really quite remarkable and most students are pretty shocked at the numbers that they see around campus.
The initial grant was allocated funds up to the amount of $15,000.00. Each unit cost was about $890.00 per unit when they were sold separately. When the units were bought in groups of ten or more, the shipping was included making the price of each unit $840.00. There were five units installed at the University Center, replacing each older drinking fountain with the new Elkay water stations. Totaling costs for the units themselves was exactly $4,824.11 and labor totaled at $4,990.33. Having all of that said, the final total cost of the whole project ended up being $9,824.44. The estimated cost was a little high, so $5,185.56 will be transferred back into our funds. Overall, the project was a success and the stations are being used every day on campus.
- Student LEAF funded improvements to the UNC sprinkler system!
In the fall of 2012, Pat McDonald proposed a project that would centralize the university’s entire sprinkler system. An astounding number of students and staff would complain about having to dodge the sprinklers just on the way to class. This posed a problem for the people going to class and also was having an impact on the amount of water being used by the system. A flawed manual system of having to go to each zone and shut it off or provide maintenance was proving to be more of a hassle than anything. Pat proposed this idea to not only limit the amount of encounters with being sprayed, but also to increase water savings university wide.
The proposal was voted on and passed by the 2012-2013 committee that fall and was set to be installed in the spring on 2013. After ordering materials and plans to install came into action the deadline for the installation was pushed back towards the end of summer. On a meeting I had with Pat in late July he informed me that the system was having issues being hooked up through UNC’s IT department. As of today, (9/4/13) that problem has been figured out and the system is up and running. Pat is still figuring out the system and how it can be most efficiently managed. With the system now installed, there is a predicted water savings of 30% more in our irrigation system than the previous years. With that being said, the university will not have to pay for as much water consumption as they had in the past, while also cutting down on emissions.
COSTS: The original estimate for the entire system to be installed and purchased was $72,000. The final invoice came out to be: $63,914.39
- Student LEAF funded animal waste station
The animal waste station project was proposed by a student here on campus. Casey Stalker, proposed the project fall 2012 semester and the plan was put into place the following spring of 2013. Through the club, “Students for Environmental Action,” the proposal was submitted. Through Grant Coordinator William Woods and project manager Patrick McDonald, the proposal was filled out accordingly and agreed upon to purchase 10 animal waste stations.
The award amount was up to the amount of $3,000.00 which was used to purchase the units themselves and the materials that would need to be stocked throughout the lifetime of the units. Both large and small bags would need to be stocked by facilities which were purchased first by LEAF. 500 small bags and 200 large bags were initially purchased by LEAF, but through an agreement with facilities, the stocking and purchasing of the bags were up to them. The disposal units are checked weekly by facilities and emptied accordingly. The full amount granted to the project was not all used and there was a small return back into the fund from this project.
This project promotes sustainability, a cleaner campus and the fund itself with promotional signs that were also purchased with the units. Throughout the campus these waste units can be found and have seemed to gain a lot of attention with the pet owner community. Having a friendlier place to bring your pet brings people from all over the surrounding community. Providing a sanitary disposal system of waste, while cleaning up the campus at the same time.
- Student LEAF funded waste stations
Student LEAF helped to fund 25 of these attractive recycling stations, a project proposed by Facilities last spring. They can be found throughout campus!