You are here

All Project Updates


  1. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, pretty relaxed week here. The construction on Pennsylvania is in full swing and will probably adversely affect how many visitors we get but we’ll see. If the main door is completely or even mostly inaccessibly, a lot more people will be using the back garage door that we open for air flow. In that case, I’ll reorganize the shop to accommodate for that. All told, we’ll probably miss some visitor sign-ins because of it. But I’ll play it by ear and see how people navigate i t.  

    On Monday morning last week I had three folks come in who are going on a mission trip with their church to Malawi, Africa and hoping to teach some bike skills over there. I showed them some basic repairs and gave them some old parts/tools that they could use and advised against buying expensive and specific tools. Their trip is annual so they’ll check back next year.

    I’ve got another interview for a student worker today.


    On Friday alone we got like 5 bikes donated. Nice old 3 speeds (like we need more). This morning I arrived to find 3 Walmarters donated in front of the garage. I’ll pull and scrap a few more to even it out.


    The numbers:
    Sales: $1,173.25
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Bikes (refurbished): 4 for $695
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $57
    Tire/tubes: 10 for $87



    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  2. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The City of Urbana has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and the Grow Solar Partnership to coordinate a second solar group buy in Champaign County, building on the success of Solar Urbana-Champaign, which took place from December 2015 through June of 2016. The advantage of a group buy is the power of volume purchasing, which can significantly reduce the up-front costs of installing solar on your home or business. You do not need to be a City of Urbana resident to participate – the group buy is open to all Champaign County residents and business owners.

  3. Student paper on value of LEED

    Three students in the spring 2018 Tools for Sustainability course compared water consumption in a campus building with LEED Platinum certification (the Business Instructional Facility) to an older building with no certification (the Undergraduate Library).  Their report is attached here.

  4. Update from Davey Tree

    Associated Project(s): 

    Here is an update on the progress of the tree inventory. Tree Count - 1,117


    I began on the north side of campus as we discussed in our kickoff meeting, and have started working south. I have completed most everything north of Green St. I will continue to work my way south next week. See attached file.

    Next week I will also start to do some data quality checks and will include some of that reporting in these update emails. If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Reid Gibson, Project Manager, Davey Resource Group, ISA Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist, IL-5319AM ISA, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

    Attached Files: 
  5. capacity question for rooftop solar

    Associated Project(s): 

    The annual usage of electricity at the Idea Garden shed is much lower than the proposed solar array will provide.  Because this building is currently powered by Ameren and not connected to the campus electrical grid, there will be a loss of any kilowatt-hours not used during the course of one year. 

  6. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Master Gardeners are interested in adding rooftop solar PVs to the garden shed to the east of the Idea Garden in the Arboretum. The Idea Garden is a community garden planned, managed and maintained by the Champaign County Master Gardener volunteers.

    The accompanying map shows the layout of the garden, The solar panels would be installed at shed (A) and provide power to building. The power grid would be extended to the garden to power light fixtures and outlets at sites B1-B4, C and D. Remodeling of the Idea Garden to provide access for people with disabilities is scheduled to begin in 2016, so this would be an opportune time to install underground cables. A small parking lot is also to be built at D. Funding for the proposed installation is not available from the grant supporting the remodel.

  7. Training program at Parkland


    National Green Infrastructure Certification Program

    at Parkland College, Aug. 27-31


    Green infrastructure (GI) has become a critical component to comprehensive stormwater management. Successful implementation of green infrastructure requires access to adequately skilled workforce available to perform the installation, inspection, and maintenance tasks.


    Landscaping, city planning, public works, and stormwater managing can all benefit from the knowledge and skills to ensure that green infrastructure projects are installed and maintained properly to support long-term performance.


    By underscoring your competency in these areas, certification increases your competitiveness in the job market, and provides a pathway to higher paying positions.


    • The benefits of becoming certified by the NGICP include: Expansion of your skills and knowledge of building, inspecting and maintaining GI systems
    • Greater awareness of GI career opportunities
    • Proof of your commitment to supporting sustainable performance of GI practices
    • Exposure to employers looking to hire skilled GI workers through the NGICP Certification Database



    Course begins Aug. 27-31, 8 AM-5 PM. $975 fee only includes training. The $200 certification exam fee is paid directly to WEF. Exam will be administered on August 31. A link to register for the exam will be provided to those who register for the training.


    Registration Deadline: August 20


    Click here for more information and to register or call 217/351-2235 for more information.


    The training is 35-40 hours and includes approximately 25 hours of classroom time (lecture and interactive exercises) and 10 hours of field visits to green infrastructure sites. We provide a class review at the end of the training to help participants prepare for the certification exam. Participants must be in attendance for the entire class. No make-up sessions are available.


    While Parkland College provides the NGICP training, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) administers the certification exam. WEF will administer the certification exam at the training site on the last day of the class (Aug. 31). A link to register with WEF for the exam will be provided to those who register for this class on or by August 20, 2018.


    If your employer will be paying for your training, please complete this 3rd Party Sponsorship Form and return to our office prior to registration:

  8. 2017 Water Quality Report available

    Associated Project(s): 

    The 2017 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Water Quality Report is available. The report provides information about the source of campus drinking water, contaminant testing, general health precautions, and how the calendar year 2017 sample results compare to regulatory requirements.

    The university has met all U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA drinking water quality standards.

  9. Registration Open for "Sustainable Cities"

    Associated Project(s): 

    Registration has opened for “Sustainable Cities,” and iSEE is inviting instructors to send their classes to one or more of its Congress sessions this fall!

    Congress takes place Oct. 3-5, 2018, in Illini Union Rooms A/B/C. 

    The purpose of iSEE Congress 2018 is to foster critical thinking on the strategies for meeting our growing urban transportation, housing, energy, water, food, health, and safety needs sustainably — and for making our cities more resilient to climate change.

    Read more and find the registration form on the Congress 2018 webpage >>>

    Instructors: If you would like a slide to share with students, please email

    In addition, iSEE will have two evenings for poster presentations at the Congress. Students, postdocs, and other researchers are invited to present their work on one or more of the “Sustainable Cities” themes. To register a poster, fill out the form >>>

  10. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, pretty much same old, same old over here this past week. Sold some bikes, people are coming in with a little more frequency. Donations are still coming in faster than I can strip them, as almost all of them are not worth fixing. Volunteers fell off a little for last week, only had a few come by. The Bike Project and I had a meeting to discuss nuts and bolts of operations here. We tentatively scheduled meetings for every two weeks.


    This week I hope to schedule another training with another new staffer if his schedule allows. I’ll also keep culling bikes and building up new ones, per usual. The student staff have requested a template/checklist for bike builds that is a little more in depth than the current tag system checklist and separate from our Shop Build/B-a-B Safety Check form to help them learn the ropes better. I’ll work on a little mock-up for that this week as well.  


    The numbers:
    Visitors: 84
    Sales: $1,306.00
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Bikes (refurb): 6 for $1,000
    B-a-B: 1 for $25
    Tire/tube: 13 for $69



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  11. Archived info from American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)

    Associated Project(s): 

    Archived text: "The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is a high-visibility effort to address global climate disruption undertaken by a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations, and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Its mission is to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society."

  12. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was hot but we survived. A few storms broke up the extreme heat, thankfully. Other than that, it was business as usual. All-stands-full for a few days last week. We had a nice line on Friday but the crazy storm also penned everyone inside the shop while they waited it out. I’ve hired two more student workers and working on a third. I’ll train them this week. We’ve had a lot of volunteers in lately, and one especially eager volunteer wants to come almost every day all summer. Yikes.


    Thanks again to Todd for picking up the scrap pile over the weekend. I’m trying to stay ahead of the donations, as far as how many bikes we’ve got in here. As we sell more, that will help, but we’ve still got more bikes than is probably necessary or safe.


    This week I’ll be focusing on setting up some volunteer tasks as we have had multiple volunteers per day in over the last week or so, burning through some of my go-to tasks. I’ll work on minute organization tasks and maybe overhauling hubs/wheels. As mentioned I’ll be training new staff this week as well.


    The numbers:

    Visitors: 93
    Sales:  $849

    Memberships: 11 for $330
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $135

    Tires/tubes: 18 for $124

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager