January 26, 2016

Deadline approaches for Green Fund applications

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The deadline is fast approaching for members of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus community to apply for Green Fund grants to cover costs of enhancing sustainability at SIU. 

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to apply no later than March 1. Grant recipients will be announced on April 22, Earth Day 2016. 

“The Green Fund has been an essential resource in the development of sustainable systems at SIU Carbondale. The fund also helps make it possible for innovative research in sustainable practices to continue at the university,” Austin Little said. 

Little, a master’s student in plant, soil and agricultural systems, is a previous grant recipient. He received $4,139 in funding for porous pavement for the green roof on the Agriculture Building and has been involved in other projects, including the initial green roof installation and the living (green) wall at the Agriculture Building. 

A $10 per-semester student Green Fee, adopted in 2009 as the result of a student-led initiative, provides funding for the grants. Since that time, 133 “green” projects have received $1.8 million in grant awards. This is the only time during the 2015-16 academic year that green fund monies will be presented. 

Proposals can come from individuals or groups affiliated with the university, but all projects must advance sustainability on the campus. Preference is given to ideas that incorporate educational, outreach and research components and those that take into account the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, societal and economic concerns in one or more areas. The areas include energy, water, waste, buildings, transportation, purchasing, grounds, food and dining, outreach, research and social equity. All funding requests must be approved by the campus units or departments they involve prior to receiving a grant. 

The Green Fund grant application and additional information about the Green Fund grants and SIU’s sustainability commitment and initiatives are available at www.sustainability.siu.edu. Or, find out more by calling 618/453-2846 or emailing Geory Kurtzhals, sustainability coordinator, at glkurtzhals@siu.edu

The Sustainability Office is also sponsoring a series of “green” workshops this spring. Green Fund Workshops are scheduled at noon on Feb. 8 and at 5 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the Mississippi Room of the Student Center. During the workshops, representatives of the Sustainability Office will review the grant application process, answer questions and offer time for individual feedback and discussions.