Sustainability Fund awards $179,000 in campus grants

Students Ryan Kilgore (left) and Liz Wallner, two of the members of NC State’s Sustainability Fund board, announce 2017-2018 winners of grant funding during the Celebration of NC State Sustainability event on April 20.

Thirteen sustainability projects will be implemented on campus over the next year thanks to $179,000 in grants recently awarded by the student-led advisory board of NC State’s Sustainability Fund.

Generated by a $2.50 per semester student fee that students voted to create in 2012, grant funding is available to NC State students, faculty and staff who submit proposals for sustainability projects that improve campus or promote awareness.

“This is the fourth round of projects funded by the Sustainability Fund and is our largest disbursement of funds yet. The impacts of the Sustainability Fund continue to grow as it provides feeder dollars for innovation,” said engineering student Ryan Kilgore, who chairs the fund’s board.

Selected from a pool of 27 applications totaling a request of $532,000 in funding, the 13 projects will be completed by July 1, 2018, and will specifically fund:

  • The completion of a roof-top garden on Talley Student Union, which will expand research, education and production of local food in an urban campus environment
  • Installation of solar-powered scoreboards in University Recreation’s Method Road Field Complex
  • Installation of a campus aerated static pile (ASP) composting system, which will become the largest ASP system on a university campus in the Southeast, as well as one of the largest in the country
  • Creation of a composting program in Wolf Village Apartments that will reduce waste while also educating residents about composting
  • Support for the student-led development of a solar-powered vehicle prototype that would seat four people and weigh under 900 pounds
  • Campus installation of “bee hotels,” a series of solitary bee nesting habitats, along with signs to educate the public about the importance of these pollinators
  • Improvements and expansion of the student-built aquaponics system that is in On the Oval restaurant on Centennial Campus
  • Research on healthy urban trees, which will maximize campus tree health while educating the public about best practices in tree care
  • Make-a-thon, a four-day challenge during which student teams research, design, prototype and build a new solution that addresses a sustainability challenge
  • Installation of a campus bin for safe, responsible disposal of prescription medications at Student Health Services pharmacy
  • New vegetables and infrastructure to deter deer at the student-led SOUL Garden on Centennial Campus
  • Installation of a water-efficient drip irrigation system for garden beds at SOUL Garden
  • Educational campaign in NC State dining halls about food sustainability

“I hope the Sustainability Fund will continue to grow so it can increasingly deliver unparalleled and unique opportunities for students while improving campus with cutting-edge installations and modeling the way for our peer institutions,” Kilgore said.

Updates on previous projects funded by the Sustainability Fund are available at