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Projects Updates for Sustainable Food Practices

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  1. Food Waste

  2. Research news about organic agriculture

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative awarded a $2M grant to the University of Illinois and collaborators to "develop improved seed corn tailored to the needs of the rapidly growing organic industry." Martin Bohn will lead the project.

    -- From: https://emails.illinois.edu/newsletter/812995663.html

  3. eweek announcement

    Associated Project(s): 

    Food for Justice | Food for Thought, with Artist Seitu Jones

    Artist Seitu Jones will join a panel of Champaign-Urbana residents to talk about local food insecurities and the needs, desires and hopes of the community. This discussion, moderated by Urbana arts and culture coordinator, Rachel Storm, will feature Dawn Blackman, Ruby Mendenhall, Jennifer Monson, Magdalena Novoa, and Bobby Smith II, in conversation with Seitu Jones.

    October 26, 5:30–7:30 pm • Map

    Sharon Irish • Center for Advanced Study and Dance

  4. eweek announcement

    Associated Project(s): 

    ARC Student Food Pantry

    Announcing the opening of the Food Assistance & Well-Being Program! We are a shopping-style food pantry providing the UIUC campus with access to nutritious food and necessities in a supportive, inclusive environment. Food Science and Human Nutrition Students will also be available to answer shopper questions and to provide resources to prepare the food. 

    August 25 • Tuesdays 1-4 pm and Saturdays 2-5 pm • ARC Instructional Kitchen

    Jade Hamann • Department of Campus Recreation

  5. Food Waste Management presentation to Housing

    On November 12, 2018, Sarthak Prasad from Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) presented a Food Waste Management study to compare the current mode of food waste management (EnviroPure) with 7 other food waste management equipment. 

    He recommended the Housing at UofI switched from the EnviroPure systems to InSinkerator's Grind2Energy systems as food waste processing system, before sending the processed food waste (in slurry form) to the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District (UCSD) in Urbana, IL. UCSD's Wastewater Treatment Plant  (WWTP) has existing anaerobic digesters that can convert food waste into valuable biogas for electricity generation.

    See attached the presentation in PDF form and the detailed cost analysis.

  6. ALUFS iCAP efforts in progress

    Hello ALUFS SWATeam members,

    Thank you again for your willingness to help our campus achieve the Climate Leadership Commitments.  There is great value provided by the bi-weekly meetings of student, faculty, and staff representatives evaluating our progress and recommending additional actions campus units could take.

    The following is a list of current activities I am aware of, and suggestions I have about useful next steps.  I am happy to follow up with you on any of these, as needed.

    Thank you very much,

     

    ~Morgan

     

    ALUFS

    1.      Ag Emissions – During the 2015 iCAP process, we included the goal to reevaluate the emissions from ACES and create a new emissions baseline for south farms.  This effort was not started, but there is still an opportunity to do such an evaluation.  I believe Madhu Khanna and Evan DeLucia would be good resources for this evaluation, and perhaps Ximing could help facilitate it.

    2.      Best Management Practices (BMPs) - The previous SWATeam considered dropping the Ag Emissions evaluation objective and adding one to encourage use of Best Management Practices for south farms.  The BMPs are an important aspect for increasing campus sustainability, and the concept should be extended to include land that is leased out to other farmers within the campus boundaries (if any). 

    3.      Sustainable Plantings – Brent has made progress on the campus plant lists.  It would be helpful to have a map of existing native planting areas on campus, in GIS format.  We can provide the map of low mow zones as a starting point.

    4.      Once there is a map, additional locations can be suggested for pollinator pockets, to support monarch butterflies and other pollinators.  Such locations can also include spaces that would reduce difficulty for the Grounds crew in riding mowers, such as nooks and crannies on campus, as well as steep slope areas.

    5.      I suggest you invite Eliana Brown to give an overview of the efforts underway for the Red Oak Rain Garden.

    6.      The Campus Master Plan is in final review and will be moving toward Board of Trustee approval.  The website is at https://masterplan-illinois.com/, but I’m not sure if they will have another review draft for the public.

    7.      Local Food – great work in Dining!  I’m curious what the current percentage is from FY17.

    8.      We need to look at what we are doing for other campus food areas, such as coffee shops and small cafes.  Your team could submit a recommendation about local food for dining in one or more of the non-housing areas.

    9.      Soil sequestration – Other than prairies and trees, are there sequestration efforts campus should consider? 

    10.  To reduce nitrate in Ag. Runoff, I suggest your team look at applicable recommendations in Nitrate Reduction Plan, and suggest the most promising ones for campus to implement. 

    11.  At one point, we considered woody bioreactors in South Farms – see https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project-update/potential-bioreactor-project.  These are still an option, I just didn’t have time to move it forward in 2014.

    12.  The Now Mow Zones were renamed Low Mow Zones, and there will be a press release and F&S website update to reflect the locations and benefits.

    13.  Brent Lewis can share an update about the use of more electric equipment for Grounds operations.

    14.  An updated Tree Inventory has been funded.  Brent is working on getting two quotes, so that the purchase order can proceed and the efforts can be started.

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