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Student Campus Greening Fund

The Student Campus Greening Fund (SCGF) is a student-run program designed to help put greening initiatives into action that increase awareness and decrease the school’s ecological impact. Every GMC student contributes to the fund through a $30 allocation from the college activities fee. Students design projects and submit proposals, and awards are based on a student vote.

The Green Mountain College Campus Greening Fund was one of three programs on North American campuses to receive a 2009 Sustainability Innovator Award from The Sustainable Endowments Institute. The institute publishes an online national report card designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example in their commitment to sustainability.

Application Process

Any current Green Mountain student may submit a Student Campus Greening Fund project proposal. Rolling Grants are accepted year round, and are constituted as anything under $2,500. You can download an application here.

Applications for fall grants (anything over $2,500) are accepted once a year, around late November. Voting then takes place online and on campus in December, and the chosen projects are announced shortly after voting ends. Fall grant applications are available for download here.

All grants are reviewed at weekly SCGF meetings. The grant is assigned to a grant officer who keeps in communication with the grant writer relaying to them anything the Fund Loving Committee would like clarified, changed, added, or removed from the grant before it can be approved.

Once a project is chosen, it is the student's responsibility to complete it. Every student who receives a SCGF grant works closely with their assigned grant officer and the Sustainability Coordinator to complete their project within the same academic year. When a project is complete relevant receipts and documentation are required to be presented to the Fund Loving Committee to prove completion of the project and proper use of allocated funds.

Fund Loving Committee
President: Kristen Friedel
Secretary: Connor Magnuson
Treasurer: Sharif Tarver
Public Relations Officer: Nicole Harman

Where does this money come from?
It comes out of the student's activities fee (about $30 per student). This isn't much per person, but it amounts to almost $35,000 a year. The actual fund depends on a number of factors, such as how many students enroll at the college or the percentage of the activities fee that is devoted to SCGF.

What kind of projects does SCGF fund?
The Student Campus Greening Fund is reserved for projects that will help "green" the GMC campus, and create a more sustainable community. Projects the benefit the greatest number of students receive priority. Scroll down to read about projects that have been funded in the past.

Where can I get a SCGF application?
Rolling grant applications (anything under $2,500) are accepted year round and can be downloaded here.
Fall grant applications (anything over $2,500) are accepted once a year, usually around late November, and can be downloaded here.
You can also get a hard copy of either application by contacting any member of the Fund Loving Committee or stopping by the Sustainability Office in Terrace 125.

How can I get involved in SCGF?
SCGF relies heavily on student involvement- we would love to have your support and help! Talk to either director, the Sustainability Coordinator Aaron Witham, or any member of the Fund-Loving Committee to get more information on how to become involved. SCGF holds weekly meetings where we discuss and vote on student grants that are presented to us; if you would like your opinion to be heard email any member of the Fund Loving Committee and keep your eyes peeled for our table at any club fair.

Is there a limit to the size of my project?
As long as it fits within SCGF's budget, there is no limit. Voting students take the budget of projects into consideration, but as long as the proposed amount is reasonable, there shouldn't be an issue. In the past, projects as large as $10,000 were granted full funding.

How many projects are funded each year?
As many as the budget can support and the students approve! It could be as few as one, or as many as 15.

Can I propose a project as part of a group, or do they need to be done by individuals?
SCGF accepts projects proposed by groups, or by individuals. Some of the most successful projects have been proposed by campus clubs or classes. The proposal process and the project follow-through can be rather time consuming, and working in a group can help relieve some of the stress by spreading the work out among a number of people.

Is there a limit to the number of projects I can propose?
No! You may propose as many projects as you would like each year. You can also re-apply a project proposal that was not initially accepted.

When are proposals due?
Proposals for fall grants (anything over $2,500) are accepted once a year, around the end of November. Voting takes place in early December, and students are notified about the chosen projects soon after voting ends. You can propose a grant for anything under $2,500 at any time throughout the academic year. Students whose projects are chosen then have the remainder of the year to implement their projects.

2012-2013 Academic Year Projects

Fall Grants
Cree Weatherization Completion
Project Leader: Katie Emerson
Goal: Previous weatherization of the Cree attic was not completed, and it still needs to be properly sealed. This project requires Bill Morrisey of Weatherization Works to comeback and finish the weatherization of Cree Hall.
Cost: $5,900

Local Food Sourcing Position
Project Leaders: Harrison Rhodes, Mary Perotti, and Michael Sharry
Goal: The creation of a local food sourcing position in the dining hall greatly reflects the sustainability mission of the college. Position duties will include sourcing local food that can be purchased, helping draft and implement the new meat purchasing policy that is being written, working with students in the certified kitchen to process more local food, and implementing a diet dashboard to track sourcing and consumption in the dining hall.
Cost: $10,000

Mind Mixer Online Town Hall Meeting Forum
Project Leaders: Nathaniel Steinrueck, Abe Broccolo, Connor Magnuson, Jensen Morgan, Zak Killian
Goal: A MindMixer account for Green Mountain College and the greater Poultney community will significantly improve community engagement collaboration. Community members are directly involved in discourse regarding issues on education, enterprise, politics, etc. Issues gaining the most attention will be featured at the top of the site and community members propose and vote on solutions. This form of social media will be used to generate rich dialogue and encourage positive change in the greater Poultney community.
Cost: $3,000

Campus Bike Trailers
Project Leaders: Nick McEachern, Nick Rushford, and Jon Klos
Goal: Two trailers will be outfitted to accommodate the transportation of groceries, building materials, canoes, kayaks, or anything else members of the GMC community need transported around the area. Another trailer will be converted into a food and beverage vending cart. These bicycles and trailers will be available to all students, faculty, and staff to rent for free from the GMC Bike and Ski Shop.
Cost: $3,500

2011-2012 Academic Year Projects
A total of 14 projects were funded during the 2011-2012 academic year. Rolling grant funding totaled $7,474.13 and fall grant funding totaled $22,074 for a grand total of almost $30,000. As of August 2012, 12 of 14 projects have been implemented.

Fall Grants
Eco-Reps Renewal
Project Leader: Nate Steinrueck
Goal: The student body voted for SCGF to fund the salaries of the eco-representatives for another year, and we were thrilled to do so. The eco-reps work on campus to promote sustainability, and more can be learned about their activities by visiting the sustainability office.
Cost: $8,024

Electric Truck
Project Leaders: Garth Lindquist and Colin Tress
Goal: An electric truck will be purchased to provide an alternative clean energy mode of transportation and contribute to the college’s mission of carbon neutrality. The truck may be used for hauling and transportation needs by the farm, REED program and individual students within a range of 35 miles.
Cost: $6,550

Energy Retrofit of Cree Hall
Project Leader: Jake Robinson
Goal: The attic of Cree Hall was retrofitted and weatherized to make the building more energy efficient and thermally stable. The weatherization of Cree Hall will provide an example for the future retrofitting of additional campus buildings.
Cost: $7,500

Rolling Grants
Bio-Char Oven
Project Leader: Bich Nguyen
Goal: A two-layer bio-char oven was designed and built to research whether or not carbon in bio-char makes soil more fertile. The project is an excellent cooperative between the chemistry department, Cerridwen Farm, and the biomass facility.
Cost: $641

Farm Fencing
Project Leader: Benjamin Dube
Goal: The fencing on Cerridwen Farm was modified with gates and a hay culvert to increase the efficiency of the college's growing animal husbandry program and extend the grazing season.
Cost: $1,200

Mycology Symposium
Project Leader: SJ Kwiatkowska
Goal: SCGF partly funded a four-day symposium on the understudied topic of mycology, or the study of mushrooms and fungi. Several professors and mycologists were guest speakers, and students and faculty alike learned more about the fascinating and ecologically crucial field of mycology.
Cost: $250

Recycling Bicycle and Trailer
Project Leader: Meiko Lunetta
Goal: A three wheeled bicycle with a trailer was created by local bike shop owner Tim Johnson. This bicycle and trailer increased the efficiency of the recycling crew by enabling the transport of more recycling in fewer trips.
Cost: $300

REED 3D Printer
Project Leader: Daniel Riley
Goal: A 3D printer will allow Renewable Energy and Ecological Design students to see miniature built replicas of their designs, thus enabling students to see whether or not their designs would actually be feasible in a real-life environment. The addition of this printer will aid the program as it transitions from a certificate to a full major.
Cost: $1,999

2010-2011 Academic Year Projects
In 2010 nearly $50,000 of funding was approved for campus sustainability projects which have now been implemented.

Fall Grants
Thermal Efficiency Audit
Project Leader: Garnet Morgan
Goal: A report on thermal energy efficiency was conducted to prioritize specific weatherization efforts in the dormitories.
Cost: $10,000

Building Dashboard
Project Leader: Amanda Elder
Goal: This project was jointly funded by the school and SCGF to provide an interactive metering system of electricity and heat on campus. This enables the school to prioritize future energy efficiency projects on campus.
Cost: $10,000

Chartwells Freezer
Project Leader: Rebecca Teller & Lisa Wilson
Goal: Increase the amount of local food served in the dining hall through increased storage capacity.
Cost: $20,000

Project Leader: Kyla Jaquish
Goal: Create a new Eco-Rep program to pay students for work in each residence hall to raise awareness about sustainability initiatives. The grant will fund the program for two semesters.

Bridge for the Deane Nature Preserve
Project Leader: Emily Provonsha
Goal: Work with the Yestermorrow Design Build School to design and build a bridge to increase accessibility to the Deane Nature Preserve.
Cost: $15,000

Rolling Grants
Outdoor Classroom Landscaping
Project Leader: Ashley Staron
Goal: Planting native species around the outdoor classroom.

Tiny Theater Memberships
Project Leader: Jose Galvez
Goal: Provide 100 free student memberships to the Tiny Theater. This initiative supports local business and reduces students carbon footprint associated with travelling for entertainment.
Cost: $1,000

Community Compost Buckets
Project Leader: Deborah Deluca
Goal: Provide compost buckets to local businesses. This compost will be used by the Poultney High School Community Garden.
Cost: $93

Light Bulb Swap
Project Leader: Diane Mulvihill
Goal: Purchase 500 CFL bulbs to give away to students, faculty and staff to replace regular incandescent bulbs.
Cost: $735

Hub Cookbooks
Project Leader: Cassidy Callahan
Goal: Compile recipes that are easy to cook in a dorm hub and feature local ingredients. Print, bind and make available in all residence hall hubs.
Cost: $400

Red Bird Mission Trip
Project Leader: Katie Emerson
Goal: Enable eleven students and many community members to spend spring break repairing houses in an impoverished area of Kentucky which is heavily affected by the coal mining industry and mountain top removal.
Cost: $1,000

Bike Shop
Project Leader: John Debay
Goal: Open a student-run bike shop for repairs and maintenance of student bikes and to encourage more ridership on campus.
Cost: $965

Spring 2009 Projects
Native Flora on Campus
Project Leaders:
Emily Provonsha, Mara Smith
A variety of native grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs will be planted in four locations across campus. Possible plant varieties include Hyssop, Blue Cohosh, American Ginseng, New England Aster, Mountain Cranberry, Marigold and more.
From the Proposal:
"As an educational tool, the gardens will show the importance of preserving our region’s flora. They will raise awareness of biodiversity, the interconnectedness of flora and fauna and the intrinsic value of our land. The project will also increase biodiversity and reduce the College's carbon footprint.

Tree Canopy Restoration
Project Leaders:
Evan Miller, Kadie DellaCamera
Plant 30 more native trees on campus to restore tree biodiversity and a healthy canopy.
From the Proposal:
"These trees will be excellent educational tools for biology and garden design classes, as well as the general public, as they will show that native plants can be both beautiful and functional."

Earth Tub Restoration
Project Leaders:
Ben Jankowski, Ronnie Black
Repair/ restore the two composting Earth Tubs and improve the functionality of Green Mountain College’s compost program for the future.
From the Proposal:
"The Tubs themselves are in a location highly visible to GMC students, and returning them into a state of full repair would be a verification of an initiative already invested in by the college."

Ecolabeling Initiative
Project Leaders:
Megan Dupille, Gregor Burriss, Nikki Pfeiffer, Jennilee Smarro
Initiate an ecolabeling campaign by installing black aluminum poster frames at locations across campus. Labels may include information regarding gallons of water used per student per day, gallons of water used by school on average per day, water saving tips and more. Past SCGF projects may also be labeled.
From the Proposal:
"We believe it's important to spread awareness of the products we use most often and on a daily basis so that we can become more conscious of how we influence the world around us."

Energy Efficiency in the Library
Project Leader:
Mara Smith
Replace all of the 32 watt T8 bulbs in the Griswold Library with a more efficient 28 watt lamp
From the Proposal:
"This project coincides with the environmental mission of Green Mountain College. By reducing our energy consumption, we are asserting ourselves as a more sustainable institution taking the necessary strides toward a carbon neutral campus."

Green Bike Program
Project Leaders:
Ian Sutherland, Amanda Matznick, Rebecca Slutzky
Install a "Green Bikes" bike rack with one dozen recycled bikes available for check-out by students, faculty, and staff members with a valid Green Mountain ID. Each bike will have an individual key lock. On checkout, the student or staff member will provide identification and sign a liability waiver form.
From the Proposal:
"According to a small campus poll, the vast majority of students use their cars to drive within a twenty minute radius of campus: a distance easily accessible by bicycle. By creating a green bike program, GMC is creating a way for students to replace automobile use with human powered bicycle transportation."

Low Flow Showerhead Project
Project Leaders:
Ben Jankowski, Ronnie Black
Replace the current 2.5 gallon per minute showerheads in residence hall showers with high efficiency 1.5 gallon per minute maximum showerheads
From the Proposal:
"These new showerheads will use 40% less water per minute than the current system. This will reduce the overall consumption water and oil used to heat water in residence hall showers. High efficiency showers will promote further investigation into other sustainable practices, such as low flush toilets and low flow sinks.

Cerridwen Farm Tree Project
Project Leader:
Irene Holak
Purchase specific fruit bearing plants and trees that are well-suited for the Vermont’s environment. Plant in locations approved by the land use committee. Possible varieties include apple and pear trees, blueberry bushes, and strawberry and raspberry plants.
From the Proposal:
"Trees and plants sequester carbon, provide shade, absorb water, and contribute to aesthetics and food. By providing more edible and fruit bearing trees, these ecoservices will be enhanced. Habitat is provided as well as food for a greater number of animal species around campus."

Fall 2009 Projects
Voting for the fall of 2009 Student Campus Greening Fund grants ended December 11. Fifteen projects were funded totaling close to $50,000.

Indoor Compost Buckets
Project Leader: Michael Middleman
Goal: Install compost buckets in the hub of each dormitory building on the Green Mountain College campus. The project includes a trial phase and an implementation phase.
SCGF Proposal

Earth Tub Repair & Upgrade
Project Leader: Michelle Erhard
Goal: Repair and restore two Earth Tub composters already owned by the College, and improve the functionality of GMC’s composting program for the future.
SCGF Proposal

Green Bikes Shelter
Project Leader: Kevin Rockey & Tim Johnson
Goal: Construct a shelter over the green bikes rack near the library. Green bikes are available for use by GMC community members.
SCGF Proposal

Native Gardens Planting
Project Leader: Emily Provonsha
Goal: Plant a variety of native grasses, shrubs and wildflowers in existing native garden beds. Sites include the medicinal garden near Ackley Hall, the garden outside Waldron Athletic Center and a garden on the western side of Pollock Hall.
SCGF Proposal

Indoor Recycling Bins
Project Leader: Jaid Cherkis
Goal: Purchase 20 more recycling bins to be placed at locations across campus. These will supplement bins purchased last year through the SCGF.
SCGF Proposal

Building Dashboard
Project Leader: Amanda Elder
Goal: Install live energy streaming modules on the new biomass facility and two residence halls. The proposal also includes installation of an interactive display kiosk. Building dashboard technology allows GMC community members to access data regarding energy consumption on campus, providing a “strong incentive to reduce usage.”
SCGF Proposal

Mycelium Buffer Mats
Project Leader: Clifford Dornbush
Goal: Create mycelium mats near the pig pasture on Cerridwen Farm. Mushrooms filter the possible high levels of E. coli, mercury and other pathogens that pollute water and soil.
SCGF Proposal

Outdoor Classroom
Project Leader: Ashley Staron
Goal: Create an amphitheater-style outdoor classroom on the GMC campus. The classroom will be constructed out of local slate, marble and natural vegetation during Earth Week 2010 with help from student and community volunteers.
SCGF Proposal

Mobile Solar Electrical Generation System
Project Leader: Cody Currier
Goal: Construction of a mobile solar trailer that includes four 120 watt solar panels. The trailer would serve as a educational resource and allow for the completion of campus projects without the use of grid-tied energy systems.
SCGF Proposal

Thermal Efficiency Audit
Project Leader: Garnet Morgan
Goal: Hire an energy services firm to conduct a thermal efficiency audit of the campus. This would “result in a prioritized list of future weatherization projects to increase our buildings’ thermal efficiency.”
SCGF Proposal

Dorm Watt Meters
Project Leader: Carley Williams
Goal: Order at least ten watt meters for use by members of the GMC community. These devices would allow students to study individual energy use on campus.
SCGF Proposal

Wind Turbine Repair
Project Leader: Kyla Jacquish
Goal: Hire a contractor to install a grounding system, rectifier, and perform an annual inspection on GMC’s wind turbine.
SCGF Proposal

Green Bikes Manager
Project Leader: Tom Wheeler
Goal: Fund one work study position for the next two years to make sure GMC’s green bicycles are properly maintained.
SCGF Proposal

Thermal Imaging Camera
Project Leader: Jake Robinson
Goal: Purchase a thermal imaging camera to “identify minor variations in temperature, which signal electrical, moisture, and heat-loss problems in a structure.” This camera would be a diagnostic tool for weatherization projects on campus and in the community.
SCGF Proposal

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