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One of the primary goals outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan is to enhance the culture of sustainability on campus and ensure that our education and outreach initiatives are accessible and visible to every campus and community member and visitor. One way to make this culture visible is through art, which is an individual vehicle of expression. Nature has always been very prevalent in art - from landscapes down in ancient Chinese ink to animals painted on the walls of Egyptian tombs.
The purpose of the Urbana Climate Action Plan is to achieve a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from a 2007 baseline, an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from a 2007 baseline, and to adapt to climate impacts.
According to a 2012 EPA report, 251 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in the US and the University generates about twelve tons of trash per day. After MSW recovery through recycling and composting, plastic was the 2nd largest component (18%) behind food waste (21%) of the 164 million tons discarded in 2012. This means that huge quantities of plastics end up in landfills (29 million tons). Translating these numbers to UIUC campus MSW would mean that we are sending 1.39 tons of plastic in trash to landfill daily.
The global sustainability crisis is an opportunity for humanity to learn to flourish without compromising the natural systems upon which we depend. A few of the interrelated challenges presented through the global sustainability crisis include Global climate change, Persistent poverty, Food and water insecurity, Lack of quality education, Social inequities, and Loss of Biodiversity.
This multi-purpose recreational trail will extend 24.5 miles from Urbana to Kickapoo State Park in Vermilion County. The trail is designed for pedestrians and bicyclists, and passes through some of the most diverse ecosystems in this part of the state, including woodlands, prairies, and wetlands.
The first phase of the Kickapoo Rail Trail is now open! Work on the trail began in the spring of 2016 and the 6.7 mile Urbana to St. Joseph trail segment is open to the public for hiking, biking, and other non-motorized uses.
The Greenways & Trails maps show off-street trails, on-street bikeways, parks, open spaces, and places of interest in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Mahomet, Rantoul, St. Joseph, and Champaign County. Detailed maps of the county’s seven forest preserves are also included, courtesy of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District.
The ISEE-ACES-F&S Sustainable Land Management Committee is designed to evaluate and incorporate sustainable land management practices at the University of Illinois South Farms on non-research land and beyond the campus boundaries on some of the University-owned land. This follows the recommendation made by the Agriculture, Land Use, Food, and Sequestration Sustainability Working Advisory Team and Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group.
Food insecurity is a major public health issue in the United States, affecting over 1 million Illinoisans in 2018 and over 13 million Americans in 2019 (Feeding America, 2019; USDA, 2019). Furthermore, nearly 20% of greenhouse emissions come from livestock and around 70% of all land used for agricultural production is used for breeding and maintaining livestock (UN Report, 2006; FAO Report, 2012).
Near campus exists an under-utilized living laboratory that could contribute significantly to student education and improve campus sustainability initiatives like iCAP. This 13-acre prairie experiment was established in 2018 with funding from a USDA grant. Across 96 plots, the project was designed to examine interactions between soil, microbes, prairie plants, agrochemicals, and bees with the goal of identifying best prairie restoration practices for habitat adjacent to crops.