The NC State Sustainability Fund has awarded $165,000 in grants to 14 sustainability projects on campus.
Environmental engineering student Maddie Macmillan, the chairperson of the Fund’s Advisory Board, announced the grant winners during the NC State Celebration of Sustainability on April 3.
The Fund, which is generated by a $2.50 per semester student fee, is managed by a student-run Advisory Board that reviews grant proposals from the campus community twice annually. Grants are awarded to sustainability projects that have high student impact and help the university advance sustainability.
The projects selected for funding during the 2019-2020 academic year are:
- The establishment of an orchard on the Agroecology Education Farm. The orchard will grow diverse fruits for the NC State community and serve as a novel teaching tool for classes and workshops.
- Installation of a rainwater catchment system with water storage and a solar-powered irrigation system for the Agroecology Education Farm.
- Advancements of the aquaponics systems with a goal to ensure food safety and setting-up mobile table-top-sized aquaponics systems in high-trafficked areas for increase awareness and educational potential.
- Creation of new connections to the energy industry across the state and learning at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center through engaging field trips across the state, student internships and more.
- Technical and material support for Engineers Without Borders. The group plans to design and develop 18 water catchment systems that will provide a Guatemalan community with clean water.
- The establishment of monitoring protocols for multi-year studies across campus to ensure our infrastructure is green and to highlight potential areas for improvement.
- The implementation of a study to convert cars to hybrids on some of NC State’s fleet vehicles. This will reduce the school’s maintenance and fuel costs, as well as campus carbon footprint.
- A pilot program to reduce single-use plastic straws on campus by providing reusable metal straws.
- A concert by the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra highlighting social sustainability.
- The establishment of a club focused on an exciting fitness trend to pick up litter while jogging, otherwise known as plogging.
- Technical and material support for the solar-powered car development team on campus as the team finalizes its vehicle.
- The relocation of the NC State’s SOUL Garden to Parents Park to improve student accessibility.
- The establishment of the Student Energy Club, which will engage students in seminars with top leaders in the energy industry and connect undergraduates with research.
- The construction of sustainably-managed mini vertical ecosystems that will beautify campus and serve as a unique educational experience for students, particularly those in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department.
These grants are in addition to $1,000 FastTrack grants that were awarded in December. Since the first Sustainability Fund grant was awarded in 2014, the Fund has awarded $776,450 to 68 projects.
Students interested in being on the Advisory Board are welcome to apply online for open positions, including two undergraduate representatives, a treasurer and a graduate student representative.