GODFREY — Lewis and Clark Community College has been selected as the American Association of Community Colleges’ Sustainability Education & Economic Development Green Genome Overall Award winner.
“It is rewarding to receive national recognition from the official association representing more than 1,200 community colleges throughout America and its territories,” L&C President Dale Chapman said.
L&C is one of nine community colleges nationwide awarded prizes for exemplary efforts to promote sustainability education, practices, programs and training. Two awardees were selected in each of four categories: Governance, Program Design and Delivery; Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement. L&C also was chosen as the overall winner and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
“Winning the overall achievement Green Genome Award is an honor and a validation of the college’s approach to campus sustainability,” L&C Sustainability Director Nate Keener said. “Our success wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and support from people like Scott Moss, coordinator of Restoration Ecology; Dr. Dale Chapman, L&C president; the board of trustees and, of course, the student body.”
Keener credits the award, in part, to the efforts of L&C’s Restoration Ecology degree program, which works to protect the college’s own watershed by designing and installing projects on campus to restore vital ecosystem services, like the bioswales near Erickson Hall and in the cabin lot on L&C’s Godfrey campus.
The Restoration Ecology program also collaborates with nine industry partners to align curriculum with industry needs, and works with nonprofit and government entities to generate other hands-on projects and workshops for students.
Prize money from the award will help purchase green roof materials for a visible roof area between two buildings on the Godfrey campus and native plants for the installation of an additional bioswale near a campus parking lot.
L&C is pursuing a 50-year Climate Action Plan goal of campus carbon neutrality by 2058. Toward that effort, it has installed more than 100 kilowatts of solar at the Godfrey and National Great Rivers Research and Education Center campuses, implemented recycling and composting programs, installed native planted bioswales and rain gardens, instituted a student green commuting incentive program, installed campus energy dashboards and purchased a 100 percent renewable energy product via their utility, installed electric vehicle charging stations, completed large-scale indoor efficiency projects for lights and motors, and led community outreach programs about sustainability and solar power.
Over the last decade, Lewis and Clark has achieved reductions in electricity consumption and emissions and garnered local, state, regional and national recognition for its efforts. The college was the 2011 and 2013 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award winner, the 2014 Madison County Partnership for Community Health Care for Air Award winner, the 2015 and 2016 Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Awards winner, and the 2016 U.S. Green Building Council Missouri Gateway Chapter Growing Green Award winner.