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Projects Updates for Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet)

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  1. Updated list of student projects that need YOU!!

    This is a list of projects that need students to work on.  It will be updated periodically by sustainability staff members, the last update was 9/16/21:

    • The campus MS4 stormwater permit currently has 49 Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have to be completed annually https://fs.illinois.edu/services/safety-and-compliance/about-the-program . One of the 49 BMPs is a Public Education and Outreach requirement to broadcast or publish one stormwater Public Service Announcement (PSA) on social media, radio, television and/or internet. We currently have a couple on our website and would like to keep it up to date with new materials whenever possible.  https://fs.illinois.edu/services/safety-and-compliance/about-the-program/events-and-outreach. Another opportunity is for a Public Participation and Involvement BMP to discuss and provide opportunity for public input on the Storm Water Program (permit BMPs), climate change and environmental justice topics. This could be met by webinars, PSAs, posters, etc. Contact is Betsy Liggett. ~ Morgan
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Huff Hall. ~ Meredith
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Armory. ~ Meredith
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Bevier Hall. ~ Meredith
    • CCNet Website: Work with the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) leadership team to redesign and publish the CCNet website (old version is online at http://www.champaigncountynet.org/). There is a monthly brown bag sustainability networking event on the Third Thursday of each month, but the website hasn't been updated since 2016. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu. ~ Morgan
    • We are seeking a student volunteer who can do tree identification for a series of trees in the Arboretum, and work with the University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis, and the Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, to compare the tree identification to the draft tree inventory. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu. ~ Morgan
    • Help iSEE develop a Sustainability Literacy Assessment. Contact Meredith Moore, mkm007 at illinois.edu. ~Meredith
    • Help iSEE work with Student Sustainability Committee grant to expand small scale campus composting. Contact Meredith Moore at mkm0078 at illinois.edu. ~ Meredith
    • This project is a collaboration with the Illinois State Section of the American Planning Association; we have been asked to create a community land use and revitalization plan for a small town in Kankakee County.  It is a rural community, predominantly people of color, originally settled by folks leaving the South during the Great Migration.  There are many layers to the story, but it is ultimately a story of environmental equity as The Nature Conservancy and Field Museum have been collaborating with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire land to create the Black Oak Savana nature preserve.  The majority of residents are opposed to this preserve, primarily because land has been purchased via tax sale and foreclosure, therefore taking land out of Black ownership.  This also further burdens remaining property owners because the nature preserve land becomes tax exempt, shifting the property taxes that are no longer paid on nature preserve property to a smaller and smaller portion of land owners.  

      Students interested in this project could assist with GIS analysis and help identify opportunities to balance environmental sustainability goals and land preservation with social and economic sustainability goals and to identify economic opportunities that accomplish all three.  Contact Lacey Rains Lowe at lacey.rains <at> champaignil.gov.

    • Expand on existing statistical analysis with ArcGIS and spreadsheets of potential race/income disparities in provision of street trees, sidewalks, urban heat, parks, bus stops, etc.  Data sets provided. Contact is Scott Tess at srtess <at> urbanaillinois.us.

    • LIVESTOCK FACILITY DECOMMISSIONING at the Imported Swine Research Laboratory - The push to expand the UI Research Park will require decommissioning of the waste lagoons associated with the Imported Swine Research Laboratory (ISRL). This presents an nice opportunity for a class to develop and design a decommissioning plan with associated costs and timeline. Colleen Ruhter is the point of contact, cruhter <at> illinois.edu.

    If you have a project idea, please contact us at sustainability@illinois.edu, or submit it through the iCAP Portal Suggestions page.

  2. list of projects needed

    This is a list of projects that need students to work on.  It will be updated periodically by sustainability staff members, the last update was 6/24/21:

    • Develop informational messaging about SmartWay, get more UIUC departments aware of the program, and coordinate a related student event.  Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu.
    • Conduct a campus poll (fall semester 2021) regarding the Top 10 most iconic/significant/impressive trees on campus (including the arboretum). Develop an online survey tool (i.e., an online poll) whereby students and campus employees can nominate their favorite campus trees. Upon conclusion of the survey, work with Jay Hayek to tabulate and rank the results and create a publicly viewable ArcGIS Online StoryMap showcasing campuses Top Ten Trees. Prepare a presentation of results for the annual Arbor Day Celebration. Contact Jay Hayek at jhayek at illinois.edu.
    • Follow through with Facility Liasons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Illini Union.
    • Follow through with Facility Liasons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Huff Hall.
    • Follow through with Facility Liasons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: ECE Building.
    • Follow through with Facility Liasons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Armory.
    • Follow through with Facility Liasons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Bevier Hall.
    • CCNet Website: Work with the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) leadership team to redesign and publish the CCNet website (old version is online at http://www.champaigncountynet.org/). There is a monthly brown bag sustainability networking event on the Third Thursday of each month, but the website hasn't been updated since 2016. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu.
    • We are seeking a student volunteer who can do tree identification for a series of trees in the Arboretum, and work with the University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis, and the Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, to compare the tree identification to the draft tree inventory. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu.
    • If you have a project idea, please contact us at sustainability@illinois.edu, or submit it through the iCAP Portal Suggestions page.
  3. June Tour at Allerton Park & Retreat Center

    For June, CCNet has arranged and sponsored a tour at Allerton Park & Retreat Center. This tour will take place on Friday, June 25th at 3:00 PM CDT. As mentioned in their monthly newsletter: 

     

    Tour at Allerton & Food at 3 Ravens

    Date: Friday, June 25th at 3:00 PM CDT
    Location:
    Allerton Park & Retreat Center (515 Old Timber Road, Monticello, IL 61856) &
    3 Ravens (108 South Charter, Monticello, IL 61856)

    Join us on a tour of Allerton!

    We will be meeting near the outside patio of Greenhouse Cafe at Allerton Park & Retreat Center. During this tour, Derek Peterson, the Director of Allerton, will show us clean energy installations at the center and we will visit the compost toilet funded by the Student Sustainability Committee. The Clivus Multrum compost toilet system is installed at the park’s Schroth Trailhead, providing park volunteers, trail-hikers, and other visitors the ability to use the restroom in an environmentally sustainable and convenient manner without needing to travel all the way to the Visitor Center to do so.

    Afterward, all are more than welcome to continue your visit to Allerton or join us for a quick bite at 3 Ravens in Monticello, IL!

    Please note that coordinated transportation will not be provided for this event. If you would like to drive to the event, parking is available at multiple locations around the park.

    Learn More About Planning Your Visit (Parking & Accessibility)

  4. Article: An Earth Month to Remember

    The Spring 2021 iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ) highlighted a diverse array of campus initiatives that made this year's Earth Month one to remember. Ranging from hosted events to sustainable energy, the article discusses the launch of the "TED Talk: Eco Edition" series, Solar Farm 2.0, community trash pickup, and more!

    Read the article in the attached files below. 

  5. Earth Month is Here!

    Earth Month is here! Can you believe it? I would like to first draw your attention to the iSEE Sustainability Calendar as a reference point for the many virtual and in-person events (maintaining COVID-19 safety and social distancing precautions) held this month and beyond. If you notice a missing event on the calendar, there is a link to submit an event yourself.

    Here are a few highlights:

    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition series - iSEE’s second TED Talk: Eco-Edition event, will be held from 7 – 8 PM CST, March 30. To complement our recent Plastic Free Challenge, this gathering will focus on plastic waste. Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk, presented in September 2019 by Andrew Forrest: "A Radical Plan to End Plastic Waste." Afterward, all are invited to participate in a guided discussion and roundtable, hosted by Maddy Liberman (NRES/F&S Intern) and Shantanu Pai (ISTC/F&S). Registration is required; sign up here.
    • iSEE Congress – “The Future of Water”, April 6, 14, 20, 23 at noon. Over a series of Zoom webinars, iSEE Congress – Spring 2021 brings together a diverse group of researchers, educators, journalists, and activists to dive deeper into the topic. Our modified “teach-in” will introduce the Illinois campus and community to cutting-edge thinking from highly influential scholars on topics ranging from drought to the global politics of water to pollution, public health, and biodiversity.
    • Trash pickup event at Boneyard Creek, sponsored by iSEE and F&S, April 7, 3-5 PM. We will meet at 3 PM behind Engineering Hall and disperse from there (maintaining COVID-19 safety and social distancing precautions). Drop in and stay as long as you are able. Bags and supplies will be provided. More details here.
    • Sustainability Rocks on the Main Quad, April 8, 11 AM – 5 PM. Come paint a rock outside the Union with a sustainability/environmental theme (maintaining COVID-19 safety and social distancing precautions). Bring your own rock, or use one of ours! After you finish creating your rock, place it somewhere around campus for others to find! More details here.
    • Careers in Sustainability Panel Discussion (virtual), April 9, 12 – PM. Interested in careers in sustainability? Join us to hear a panel discussion from industry professionals and learn how the field is changing and how to pursue a career in sustainability. Registration is required; sign up here.  
    • Facilities & Services hosts a Virtual Open House of UIUC Solar Sites on Earth Day, April 22, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. April 22 on Topia (must use a computer, not a smart phone)Click this link to attend the Open House
    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition series – Earth Month, April 29, 7 – 8 PM. In celebration of Earth Month, this month’s topic will focus on environmental activism and action with a discussion hosted by iSEE Communications Intern and Earth, Society, & Environmental Sustainability student, Maria Maring. Registration is required; sign up here.
    • UIUC Arbor Day Celebration at CCNetApril 30, at Noon, on ZoomClick this link at noon on Arbor Day to join the CCNet Zoom call

     

    We invite you to participate in any of the above opportunities (or celebrate in your own way!) to get “Caught Green-Handed!” this Earth Month! Get featured . . . Click here to let us know how you’re celebrating the Earth. Please reach out if you have any questions. Be sure to sign up for the iSEE newsletter to stay up-to-date on more sustainability opportunities. Have a great Earth Month (and don’t forget to continue the momentum beyond April)!

    Check it out: 

  6. Local Solar projects shared at CCNet brownbag

    CCNet hosted several local solar panelists in January 2021. This Zoom meeting was also shared via Facebook Live:

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=429039901765435&ref=watch_permalink

    Join the CCNet mailing list to gain access to the Zoom and stay connected. http://eepurl.com/g8IM

    (video link corrected on 2-2-2021)

  7. Updated list of needed student projects

    This is a list of projects that need students to work on.  It will be updated periodically by sustainability staff members, the last update was 1/2/21:

    • Tree Canopy Analysis: Work with F&S staff to complete a GIS analysis of the university's tree canopy, in support of the Tree Campus USA designation. This will include comparison to peer institutions and a presentation of the results and methodology to the Tree Campus Advisory Committee. Depending on time availability, it can also include an analysis of the local tree canopy, off campus. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu.
    • CCNet Website: Work with the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) leadership team to redesign and publish the CCNet website (old version is online at http://www.champaigncountynet.org/). There is a monthly brown bag sustainability networking event on the Third Thursday of each month, but the website hasn't been updated since 2016. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at illinois.edu.
    • If you have a project idea, please contact us at sustainability@illinois.edu, or submit it through the iCAP Portal Suggestions page.
  8. Tree Campus USA Celebration - Zoom Meeting

    Thank you to everyone who joined us live or watches later on the CCNet Facebook page!  We enjoyed a great turnout for the Tree Campus USA Celebration, with about 35 people on the Zoom call and a reach of 365 on Facebook.

    This event included a review of the five years that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been designated as a Tree Campus USA, by Brent Lewis. Senior in Integrative Biology student, Maddie Smith, presented the results of her diversity analysis for the campus' urban forest, and the F&S Tree Surgeons, Dustin Reifsteck and Sky Drewes, answered tree-related questions.  At the end of the hour, community announcements included Arbor Day and Earth Month events coming up.

    Celebrate National Arbor Day next week on April 24, 2020!

    Links from announcements and presentation

    The event concluded with a round of thanks, and several were captured in the chat log.

    12:56:43     From  Eliana Brown : Thank you to the Grounds Dept!
    12:58:28     From  Samantha Fisher : Thank you for this presentation! I really enjoy your monthly presentations.
    13:00:02     From  Stacy Gloss : Thanks CCNET for a great presentation today. Awesome collaborative effort.  Everyone have a great day!
    13:00:33     From  ekamarah : Thank you everyone for these interesting presentations and conversations. Have a great day.
    13:00:37     From  Brent Lewis : Yes, thank you everyone!
    13:00:49     From  Eliana Brown : Thank you, everyone! Great job!
    13:01:08     From  pattsi : Stay well everyone
    13:01:12     From  Marya Ryan : Yes, great presentations! So glad to reconnect with CCNet after a few years away.
    13:01:24     From  Miranda Vieson : Thanks!
    13:01:25     From  Marcus Ricci : It was a great presentation, with all of the different presenters nicely tying in to the theme. The Q&A was cool.
    13:01:26     From  Jenna Kurtzweil : Thanks, everyone!!
    13:01:26     From  Kate Gardiner : Love CCNet, thanks Morgan!

  9. Pollinator Friendly at Illinois

    University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis, provided an overview of recent efforts to make the U of I campus more pollinator friendly at the CCNet brown bag lunch this month.  Topics included:

     

    1. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
    2. Living Learning Labs
    3. Facilities Standards / Green Infrastructure
    4. Bee Campus USA designation
    5. Solar Farm 2.0 plantings
    6. Landscape Master Plan

     

    You can watch his presentation on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/champaigncountynetwork/videos/512740266019591/.  Join the CCNet Mailing List to stay informed about Champaign County sustainability efforts and to meet local sustainability professionals, like Brent.

  10. Joint efforts support pollinators in our community

    Prairie Rivers Network, the Illinois affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation, is leading an effort to support monarchs in the local region.  The are also working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) on a plan for protecting monarchs in our state.  IDNR is planning a statewide event in Springfield on September 9 to share the results of initial surveys.

    The Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) participated in the Pollinator Palooza on July 16: "Help plant milkweed at Firefighter Park, 305 S Randolph St, Champaign, Saturday July 16  from 9-12, bring gloves -- The Champaign Park District is transforming Firefighter Park (305 S Randolph) into a butterfly habitat. All City Staff are invited to help plant milkweed this Saturday from 9 am to noon.  Champaign joined the Mayor's Monarch Challenge Leadership Circle to save the Monarch Butterfly.  In the last 20 years, the Monarch population has declined by over 94%, shrinking from over 1 billion to just 60 million butterflies. Monarchs rely on Milkweed plants, the only plant that they can use to cocoon. The Midwest is an essential breeding ground for the annual Monarch migration from Canada to Mexico, and habitat loss has contributed to their decline."

    CCNet also hosted the Pollinator Pocket Garden Tour on July 28: "Walking Tour Begins at Bresnan Center,706 Kenwood Rd, Champaign -- Moving beyond pollinator week in June and to keep the conversation ongoing, CCNET is hosting a tour with, Randy Hauser, Horticulture and Natural Areas Supervisor for the Champaign Park District to learn about "pocket gardens". This will be a great learning experience for people who love plants and want to help the pollinators and the Monarch, but only have small space for gardens." 

    The City of Champaign and other partners in the community such as the Champaign Park District, Prairie Rivers Network and many others have been working to preserve Monarch Butterfly habitat throughout the community. The City of Champaign joined the Mayor's Monarch Challenge Leadership Circle to save the Monarch Butterfly. In the last 20 years, the Monarch population has declined by over 94%, shrinking from over 1 billion to just 60 million butterflies. Monarchs rely on Milkweed plants, the only plant that they can use to cocoon. The Midwest is an essential breeding ground from the annual Monarch migration from Canada to Mexico, and habitat loss has contributed to their decline.  The Champaign Park District hosted a number of Monarch Themed events throughout the summer focused on Monarch Butterfly education and habitat preservation.

    City of Urbana staff have planted milkweed seed in landscapes at the Boneyard Creek. They have also designed a butterfly and pollinator garden to be installed south of the City Building next spring. Additionally, Mayor Prussing has signed the Wildlife Federation’s Mayors For Monarchs Pledge. In accordance with the pledge and the Mayor’s interest in supporting monarch populations, staff have assisted in the creation or enhancement of monarch and pollinator gardens with community groups at the Lierman Garden, Urbana Free Library Garden, and Downtown Garden.

     

  11. Urbana Green Buildings Showcase June 8, 2013

    Please join the City of Urbana, Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet), area facilities, and the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois Chapter for a green buildings tour to be held Saturday, June 8, 2013. This free tour will showcase energy efficient building strategies and sustainable practices. Homeowners and green building professionals will be available on-site to discuss their projects and answer your questions.
    The program will be presented as a tour. Attendees will spend 45 minutes at each location, and they will have the opportunity to ask questions and view components. The tour circuit is within an approximate 5-mile radius. 15 minutes will be allowed to travel to the next location. Please plan accordingly.

    Agenda:

    8:00 AM - Welcome at Market Square

    8:30 AM - Hendrick House (904 W. Green Street)

    9:30 AM - Affordable Dublin Passivhaus (1302 W. Dublin Street)

    10:30 AM - Crystal View Townhomes (102 Stebbins Drive)

    11:30 AM - Vellenga Sustainable Property (704 S. Anderson)

    12:30 PM - Commencement

    Details:

    Meet at City Information booth at Market at the Square (Lincoln Square Mall, Downtown Urbana).

    The Market opens at 7:00 AM and breakfast food vendors will be available.

    For additional event information, please contact Scott R. Tess, City of Urbana Sustainability Manager at 217-384-2381 or srtess@urbanaillinois.us

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