Green Action Fund approves first fall proposals

Oct. 13, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
[email protected]

A hydrations station, 5K and a possible commuter bike program are the first projects to go through the Green Action Fund proposal process this semester.

Vanessa Ferona, the project coordinator for GAF, explained the funding goals and costs for this semester of projects.

The Ulrich House hydration station, a continuation of one of GAF’s most well-known projects, was approved for $2,812. The Trek the Trail 5K was approved for $400, with $300 going toward reusable water bottles and $100 going towards sustainable food for the runners.

“The Trek the Trail 5K is happening this month, and the Ulrich [station] is in the works,” Ferona explained. “It will be this semester, but I’ll say that it will probably be installed next month.”

“We’re having a meeting next month to plan out the installation and everything. Usually it takes about 30 days once everything is said and done.” Ferona anticipates the bike program will be successful.

“The commuter bike program is probably going to be a pretty cool project that we’re looking at doing,” Ferona said. “It’s going to be great.”

Created in fall 2011, The Green Action Fund accepts and evaluates student-driven ideas to increase sustainable efforts on campus. The committee first approved projects in spring 2012.

Any student at UCCS can submit an application. In addition, the student is required to also turn in a project proposal budget which details the costs of the materials, labor and marketing required for the project.

Small grants for projects cost between $1 and $15,000, and large grants cost $15,001 or more. According to Ferona, approval is based on the proposed project meeting several different criteria-driven objectives.

These objectives include the reduction of the ecological footprint of the campus, increased student involvement, education and outreach potential of the project, long term feasibility, and the scope of impact on UCCS from the project.

GAF approves two groups of projects per school year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The committee has approved and implemented 32 projects since its creation. Projects include initiatives ranging from the recent greenhouse expansion to toilet retrofits in summit village.

The “Take Back the Tap” project aimed to reduce bottle waste throughout the campus by eliminating the sale of bottled water throughout the school and adding tap stations for the purpose of refilling re-usable bottles.

GAF is also responsible for the new solar tables seen in several plazas throughout the campus. AC and USB outlets are on the tables for general use and are powered by the solar panels on top of the table.