October 19, 2015

Students, faculty, staff can apply for Green Fund grants

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Proposals for the next round of Green Fund grants are now being accepted at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Applications are due by March 1, 2016, and the grant recipients will be announced Earth Day 2016, which is April 22. 

The money comes from a $10 per-semester student Green Fee adopted due to a student-led initiative. Since the inception of the Green Fund in 2009, a total of 133 “green” projects have been funded to the tune of $1.8 million. 

Proposals are welcome from SIU students, faculty or staff, either working alone or in groups.  The focus must be on advancing sustainability on the campus. Preference is given to projects that incorporate educational, outreach and research components and also to those that consider the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, societal and economic concerns) in one or more of these areas: energy, water, waste, buildings, transportation, purchasing, grounds, food and dining, outreach, research and social equity. Funding requests should be approved by the campus units or departments they involve prior to receiving an award. 

“This is a great opportunity not only for students to have some influence on where their fees are going but also to leave a legacy behind when they depart the university. The council encourages students to use this opportunity to further collaboration with other departments and to work on their grant-writing skills,” Cami L. Sockow, Sustainability Council chair, said. 

The current application period is the only time funds will be awarded during the 2015-2016 academic year. Find the Green Fund grant application and additional information only at www.sustainability.siu.edu. Organizers will hold a workshop next spring, at a date to be announced, to provide additional information and support for fund applicants. 

The Sustainable Farm, which provides some of the produce used in campus dining halls, received funding each of the last five years. Previous grants helped to purchase electric vehicles for three campus units in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Also in prior years, the Green Fund supported installation of bicycle fix-it stations and new LED hallway signs at the Student Center. Workshops, special events, programming and numerous other projects have claimed a share of the funds as well. 

To learn more about SIU’s commitment to sustainability and the numerous green initiatives initiated on campus, visit www.sustainability.siu.edu or contact Geory Kurtzhals, sustainability coordinator, at glkurtzhals@siu.edu or 618/453-2846.