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Mini-Grant Winners Look To Change Campus

This year, three Berea personnel, professors and students alike, were awarded winning proposals for the Spring 2008 Sustainability Mini-Grants competition. These winners were Jeff Hudson, Micah Johnson and Ron Spangler, each of which presented different projects that would tackle various problems related to being more sustainable on campus.

Jeff Hudson, a landscape specialist here at Berea, brought his own area of expertise to his proposal, which was comprised of three projects in one: A “corridor garden,” native prairie planting and a culinary garden. These projects are aimed at showing the benefits of sustainable horticulture, as well as exploring various options for maintained a better image of the surrounding landscape. These projects would be undertaken right down the road, in between the local high school and the Berea farm. Although all of three of these interrelated projects aim to beautify the campus, the culinary garden especially does this, as the expected location for the project is the Alumni patio, located right outside the dining hall. Once this set of projects eventually goes through, the results are sure to be noticeable.

The second winning proposal by student Micah Johnson turns its focus toward water instead of horticulture. In his proposal, Johnson sets up a $1000 budget to supply parts of the campus with low flow shower heads and faucet aerators. With these, the water usage of certain buildings will go down considerably, as will the cost of such an important utility. Certain dormitories such as Danforth have already been equipped with these devices, so this particular project is already in full swing.

Finally, the third proposal comes from an Associate Professor in the Technology department, Ron Spangler, and also focuses on water usage on campus, but differentiates itself by centering its attention on lab activities around campus, including such departments as Agriculture, Chemistry and Nursing. In particular, this study will zero in on how much excess hot water is being used in these various departments, and will then focus on those areas in order to limit this in the future. Being included in the relatively minimalist budget will be stop watches in order to time hot water use, as well as thermometers re-circulating pumps for temperature regulation and control.

Earlier this month, these three proposals were given the green light, and for good reason, as these projects give Berea College yet another step in the right direction towards sustainability and minimal environmental impact.

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