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Project Updates for collection: Monarch Butterfly projects


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  1. Land & Water iCAP Team December 2023 Meeting

    The Land & Water iCAP team met on Teams from 1-2 PM on Friday, December 1st. The team discussed the meadow at Orchard Downs, revising the iCAP Land & Water objectives, and the development of an IPM plan for non-F&S areas. Meeting minutes are attached.

  2. Land & Water iCAP Team November 2023 Meeting

    The Land & Water iCAP team met on Teams from 1-2 PM on Friday, November 3rd. The team discussed permeable pavers at State Farm Center, the meadow at Orchard Downs, cover crops on the South Farm, and the iCAP 2025 rewrite of the Land & Water chapter. Meeting minutes are attached.

  3. University Landholdings in CU/new construction in next 2 years

    I'm doing some work with the USFWS on an urban pollinator habitat project and have a couple questions I'm hoping F&S can help me with (or send me in the right direction.)

    1. Do we have an accurate map or GIS layer of current UIUC landholdings (including properties connected to the south farms, etc). I've been able to locate some very low-quality, generalized maps but nothing that is either current or very detailed.
    2. Is there a way for me to find out where on campus there will be construction/renovation projects that will occur in the next 2-3 years?





    Beth, are you able to assist with item 1 in the below email from Brodie regarding obtaining a map or GIS file of UIUC properties?


    Morgan, are you able to assist with item 2 in the below email from Brodie regarding upcoming capital projects?



    James Scherer


    Helo Brodie,


    I’m connecting you with the University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis.  He can assist with your inquiry about upcoming construction projects, and it is important to include him in any plans you want to pursue regarding additional plantings on university land.






    Morgan and Brent,


    Rest assured I haven't made any promises regarding plantings on campus (and would reach out to you both before doing so.) 


    The primary program partner is the City of Champaign, which I am currently in discussions with. If the project does go through, it'll target underserved neighborhoods with pollinator conservation measures meant to protect/conserve the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee, an endangered species. It is a great opportunity and beside doing the coordination for the project with municipal partners, i'm doing my best to ensure we've got the option to physically participate in the program even if the lands we might have available are outside the model's ideal range.


    Brent - If we have any construction projects happening in the next two years that include major changes in landscaping, especially on the north side of campus, it would be good to hear about those. Participating in the program might end up being as simple as swapping out a few species on the planting list and doing so might give us the opportunity to be a part of a very innovative Endangered Species recovery plan.





  4. Project Update - Meadow at Orchard Downs

    Associated Project(s): 


    This project is in progress, with the primary challenge being the insufficient number of participants to maintain the meadow. One proposed solution under consideration is to engage students through fieldwork.

    There is a prospect for collaboration between the iCAP Education and iCAP Land and Water teams to develop a course that would involve students in the maintenance of the meadow.

  5. Land & Water iCAP Team October 2023 Meeting

    The Land & Water iCAP team met on Teams from 1-2 PM on Friday, October 6th. The team reviewed the iCAP Land & Water objectives, discussed area/projects of focus for the year, and brainstormed next steps in relation to projects that are underway. Meeting minutes are attached.

  6. N-G Mailbag question: Output vs. expectations for UI solar farms

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi, Steve. A News-Gazette Mailbag question for you:


    "The University of Illinois has 2 large solar farms near Savoy.  How are they doing compared to expectations?  What percentage of the UofI power do they provide?  Are there any plans for more? If so ... where and when will they be built?"



    (I rooted around a bit on the F&S energy/utility pages, and found a lot of info. Figured I'd best ask you, though, for the most current data.)



    Thank you,



    Hi Morgan/Mike/Tony,


    Do we have updated FY23 data that can be shared to answer the question about current output of both arrays as it relates to expected performance and the percentage of electrical demand?


    A similar question was answered in March 22', please see attached. I have addressed the second part with the below statement previously (let me know if there is any update is needed there as well or if that can be used again).


    The university is evaluating the potential procurement of additional clean energy through an off-campus virtual power purchase agreement to meet Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) goals.


    I would like to finalize the information and reply by Wednesday, October 4. Thanks for your help with this.


    Steve B.




    Here is the information being requested.  I would like Rob to have a chance to comment on the last sentence before you respond.


    Both Solar Farms are performing as expected.  Solar Farm 2.0 produced 99% of the vendor’s guaranteed production in the first two years of operation.  Solar Farm 1.0 produced 96% of estimated production over a two year period.  In FY23 the solar production was 6.6% of the campus electricity demand.  The University is considering another solar project, but the location and timing have not been determined yet.






    I would suggest that the final sentence state something such as: “While there are no immediate plans to add further solar capacity to the system, the University continues to evaluate and consider a multitude of carbon neutral energy solutions that would provide benefit to the Universities energy portfolio, including additional solar array capacity.”

    Rob Roman

  7. Native Planting at Burrill Hall

    The following is an email sent by John Marlin on May 16, 2023:


    As most of you know I am retired from campus and involved in other off campus conservation activities. I will no longer be overseeing the Burrill Hall native planting.


    During the pandemic, maintenance at campus native plantings by volunteers was not allowed.  This coupled with very dry conditions caused deterioration of several sites including the one at Burrill Hall. F&S bought the woodland wildflowers for the planting and the Entomology Department installed them and provided some maintenance in conjunction with some students.


    Department head May Berenbaum has put together an effort to revitalize the planting and has some limited funding for some maintenance of the native plants.  F&S plans to make some changes in part of the area and the path is to be restored.  Daniel Bush will initially work with the native plants and supervise any students. 


    In the past weeds removed from the site were placed by the two square concrete benches and I notified Ryan Welch who had the maintenance crew remove them.  I assume a similar arrangement can be made possibly with Mr. Dalby as the contact.


    This site was quite popular with people walking past and provided a good instructional resource, especially the area near the sidewalk.  I hope that this will continue.


    John C. Marlin


    Dennis Dalby replied:


    Thank you John,


    It was nice meeting you today to gain some of your tips and input regarding the planting and upkeep of this area.  I’ve been working with Ryan Welch and SIB to get this area brought back up to its current level and look forward to its improved upkeep with the discussions that we had today.  We’ll be working with Ryan to have a wood chip path added once again and will add a few small plants of our own within the areas that we (MCB) will maintain.  SIB will maintain the areas of the native plants.  It will look and function much better once all is in place.


    Thanks again for stopping by to share your experience,



  8. Campus Landscape Master plans, native plant experimentation

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Brodie,


    I recommend talking with Brent Lewis, the University Landscape Architect (copied here).  Brent, I’m not sure what the discussions have been with the Hartley Garden area at the Arboretum, so feel free to bring us up to speed.


    Brodie, I also recommend you come to the Arbor Day Celebration on Friday on the main quad at noon, near Davenport Hall.  We will be planting an Arbor Day tree, and you can talk with both Brent and the Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch.  I’ll be there too.  😊







    Thanks for getting back to me - I'll plan to stop by the quad on Friday for a chat with you, Brent, and Ryan.




  9. Outreach for Bee Campus advisory board members

    Associated Project(s): 

    Good afternoon! I’m Sinead Soltis, one of the sustainability interns at Facilities and Services. In representing my team at F&S, I am planning on getting a committee together to once again to advise our campus’ Bee Campus affiliation. Our campus has previously held this designation in 2018 & 2019, but the committee has since dissolved. As a committee, we will weigh in on all things pollinator related, in addition to having a space for students to share their volunteer efforts regarding bees with faculty/staff (& vice versa)! I can see this being a low-commitment group, as we will likely be sharing efforts already being made across the Champaign-Urbana area.


    With that being said, I wanted to gauge interest for joining as a member. Meetings will likely be held monthly, or bi-monthly, as needed. I am aware that some of you have previously been members of this committee, or at a minimum, listed as a member. I would appreciate members who have previously sat to join us, at least for the first few meetings. Also, feel free to forward this invitation to anyone you would feel would benefit from sitting on this committee!


    If you are interested in joining the committee, please respond to me when you can. A tentative meeting is planned for some time in April, although an exact date has not yet been chosen.


    Bee Campus USA website, for more information:


    Thanks in advance,  

    Sinead Soltis  

  10. iSEE Quarterly update for Winter 2022

    Greetings, Colleagues,


    I hope the start of 2023 is going well. I’m reaching out today to send you iSEE Quarterly update for Winter 2022 from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.


    For more up-to-date news from iSEE, please sign up for our E-newsletter at





    • Registration is open for iSEE Congress 2023 — “Addressing Crises of a Planetary Scale: Lessons from Pandemics and Climate Change.”
    • The Fall 2023 Critical Conversation is expected to bring together stakeholders to discuss climate-smart commodities.
    • iSEE’s Environmental Leadership Program for Spring 2023 is already more than past the midway point; check out our student blog for some perspective on the immersive learning experience.
    • Read a Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW) success story in former Q author and CEW recipient Zack Fishman.



    • Our Grind2Energy video explored how dining hall food waste produces energy and fertilizer; its release spurred coverage by The News-Gazette and WCIA-TV.
    • iSEE’s new, more comprehensive Student Action webpage offers listings for iSEE jobs, volunteering, and student organizations to join.
    • Illini Lights Out fall semester featured RECORD totals: more than 640 volunteers turned off 20,303 bulbs, saving the campus as much as 35,000 kWH, $3,090, and nearly 25 tons of GHG. Spring dates: Jan. 27 (130+ volunteers, 5,043 bulbs, 8,700 kWH, $760, 6.2 tons of GHG), Feb. 10 and 24, March 24, and April 21.
    • At the November Zero Waste basketball game (see video) more than 280 pounds of beverage containers and other recyclables were diverted from the landfill. The next Zero Waste basketball game March 2 seeks 100 volunteers. iSEE partnering with F&S, Housing, Athletics, and Union for a #don’twasteWednesdays twitter campaign all spring. FALL PLAN: a ZW football tailgate.
    • A new Waste Transfer Station video shows the great work by Facilities & Services — but also the need for all campus community members to pre-sort their recyclables to prevent them from becoming landfill waste.
    • Greener Campus certifications in the new year: One new office (Visit Champaign County!), one new chapter (Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority), and nine new events (including Illini Lights Out) certified in January.
    • Read our article about the sustainable features of Campus Recreation and our feature about the new beekeeping club on campus.


    Thanks for reading, and best wishes for the remainder of the spring semester!



    Madhu Khanna



    Madhu Khanna

    Pronouns: she, her

    Alvin H. Baum Family Chair & Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment

    ACES Distinguished Professor in Environmental Economics

    Co-Director, Center for Economics of Sustainability

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    1301, W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801




  11. Land & Water iCAP Meeting 2/17

    On February 17th, the Land & Water iCAP team met to discuss the details of a permeable pavers recommendation. The team then split off into breakout rooms to organize future soil and water committee initiatives. 

    Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  12. Land & Water iCAP Meeting 12/13/2022

    On December 13th, the Land & Water iCAP team met to discuss a new approach to crafting recommendations for next semester; including the creation of a land subcommittee and a water subcommittee.

    Meeting minutes are attached.

  13. Pollinator Signage Final Report

    Several students apart of the Sustainability Living-Learning Community attended the 2017 AASHE Student Summit and participated in a Bee Campus USA workshop. These students decided that the University should obtain Bee Campus USA Certification for UIUC. Displaying signage focused on pollinator conservation was one of the requirements for this certification. Four signs were installed, and since their installment UIUC is a part of Bee Campus USA.

    Attached is the full report.


  14. Land & Water iCAP Meeting 11/7/2022

    On November 7th, the Land and Water iCAP team met to review the results of the Milkweed survey, make final edits to the Monarch Butterfly recommendation, and discuss new recommendations inspired by the Campus Landscape Master Plan.

    Meeting minutes are attached.