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Projects Updates for Agriculture, Land Use, Food, and Sequestration (ALUFS) SWATeam

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  1. iWG meeting minutes March 28, 2017

  2. ALUFS002 Campus Tree Inventory recommendation - Submittal

    The ALUFS SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "Recommendation to support a new tree survey on the main campus.  This project would fund the purchase of GPS equipment and purchase the time of an arborist and assistants to do a full survey of all trees on the main campus property. This survey would then inserted into the larger campus GIS plans for use and analysis by F&S and others. With an estimated cost of $50,000, we recommend that the campus fund this project, possibly using revenue received from the sale of carbon credits. As an alternative delivery method to doing the work partially in house, an outside vendor could be contracted to do the survey and prepare and maintain a useable web-based database of our tree inventory and condition. Funding allocation for this alternative method would be similar, but net a slightly different set of useable benefits."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation ALUFS002 Campus Tree Inventory complete with comments from all the ALUFS SWATeam members.

  3. ALUFS003 South Campus Afforestation Recommendation - Submittal

    The ALUFS SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "Recommendation to support a plan for a South Campus Afforestation plot by Jay Hayek, Extension Specialist in Forestry / NRES. Project to convert 2+ acres at the corner of Race and Windsor to a forestry tract. Currently, this land is maintained as turf grass. The new plantings would highlight native Illinois oak and hickory trees and be educational for the campus and surrounding population."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation ALUFS003 South Campus Afforestation complete with comments from all the ALUFS SWATeam members.

  4. Low Mow Zones signage inquiry to SWATeam

    F&S Director of Sustainability, Morgan Johnston, asked the ALUFS SWATeam for their input regarding the forthcoming "Low Mow Zone" sign updates.  She said, "I would like to talk with you about the “No Mow Zones” on campus and our efforts to better name them as “Low Mow Zones.”  Brent and Ryan Welch are working on updating the locations in a map form and our F&S communicators (primarily Steve Breitwieser) are developing a message about the updated words and locations. 

    As part of this effort, we are also going to be updating the signs, and I am hoping to get your help with taking a look at the specific sign locations (once we have the updated map).  We need a volunteer to visit each Low Mow Zone and note the

    • How many signs do we have in the existing locations?
    • Do any of them need to be moved for better visibility?
    • Do any of them need to have taller sign posts?
    • Where should signs be placed in the new zones?"

    The SWATeam chair, Brent Lewis, indicated she would be included in the first spring semester meeting.

  5. Participation in the Campus Sustainability Celebration

    SWATeam Memebers Chibuihe Asonye, Brent Lewis, and Joseph Edwards represented the team at the Campus Sustainability Celebration at Alice Campbell Alumni Center. During the celebration team members talked to campus community members about their work on the team and the progress on the ICAP goals. 


  6. SWATeam Charge Letter for FY17

  7. Clerkship Orientation with Clerks Chibu and Alexia

    Team Clerk Chibu Asonye attended a Clerkship Orientation meeting with Olivia Webb, Sustainability Programs Coordinator at iSEE and Clerk Alexia Bedolla of the Purchasing, Waste, and Recycling SWATeam. During this meeting, Olivia walked through how to navigate, update, and over all populate the ICAP Portal for the SWATeams. Olivia also went over the charge list for the Clerks, detailing a few due dates and things to keep in mind over the school year. 

  8. iWG meeting meeting March 30, 2016

  9. iWG meeting agenda March 30, 2016

  10. Request for Paxton grant funds

    Attached and embedded below is a request to utilize the remaining funds in the Paxton grant for campus sustainable landscapes which is now under the purview of ISEE.  The persons on the CC are all familiar with some of the work in this area done over the past few years and can likely speak to the wisdom of using the funds to supplement the ongoing efforts. 


    TO: Dr. Evan DeLucia and Dr. Ben McCall

    From:  John C. Marlin

    RE:  Use of “Support for Sustainable Landscapes” funds

    Date:  March 21, 2016



    Several efforts are underway on the University of Illinois campus to promote the use and reestablishment of native plant species.  The intent is to integrate native plants into the main campus landscaping and establish larger more diverse plantings in areas farther from the main campus in conjunction with the removal of invasive plants such as bush honeysuckle.  The plantings will be especially valuable to insect pollinators and birds and will provide significant educational opportunities.  To date much of the funding has come from the Student Sustainability Committee.  


    Work at the moment is concentrated on the 2.3 acre prairie at Florida and Orchard in Urbana, the wooded area at the southern end of the Arboretum known as SAW (South Arboretum Woods) including the Pollinatarium, and the Forestry Plantation along Race Street.  Other active sites include Burrill Hall, the Natural Resources Building, and the Florida Orchard Prairie.  Another small project is about to begin at Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall, which will be largely supported by LAR funds and student volunteers.


    In addition to the SSC, several campus and community groups have made substantial contributions to the effort primarily through volunteer labor.  The Master Naturalists and Grand Prairie Friends have provided hundreds of volunteer hours as have local citizens who attend work days.  Individual students, faculty, and staff as well as Red Bison, Students for Environmental Concerns, and other student service organizations put in additional hours. 


    NRES purchased a $30,000 chipper and hired a contractor to remove honeysuckle with a forestry mower at the forestry plantation.  The machine was also used on a limited basis at the Arboretum.  Additional staff and in kind support was provided by the Arboretum, Pollinatarium, Prairie Research Institute, and Illinois Natural History Survey. 


    Recent SSC funding received by the Arboretum makes it possible for the forestry mower to return and remove large stands of honeysuckle.   Workers will then remove by hand the honeysuckle too close to trees for the machine to cut.  The area will then be replanted with native understory species as the invasive plants are brought under control.  This will take several years.  Various research projects focused on native plantings and their usefulness to other species are also envisioned. 


    Considerable additional funding beyond that provided by SSC is required to complete this effort.   It is anticipated that the Arboretum and others will seek grants for future work and research.  It is, therefore, requested that the remaining funds in the $10,000 donation “Support for Sustainable Landscapes” Dr. Jack Paxton made several years ago be made available to further this work.   The funds would be used to supplement and match SSC and other funding.   Specifically the funds would be available for the following purposes as needed: supplies and equipment, removal of invasive plants by contractors or hourly workers in campus areas, and purchase and planting of native plant material at appropriate campus locations. 


    Dr. John C. Marlin, a research affiliate at ISTC and INHS and Adjunct Professor in NRES, has lead much of this effort since 2011 as a volunteer.  He continues to coordinate considerable activity by students, staff and community volunteers on these projects.  He is also available to coordinate the proposed project.


    Primary collaborators include Dr. Marlin; Arboretum Director, Dr. Kevin McSweeney; and Jay Hayek the Extension Forester within NRES. 


    This use of the Paxton grant is supported by Dr. Paxton (who has contributed numerous volunteer hours) and campus Facilities and Services.   If a committee is needed to consider this matter, the SWAT team that deals with land and agriculture could probably be involved. 


    If there are any questions or a need for discussion, please contact Dr. Marlin at 217-649-4591



    Dr. Jack Paxton

    Brent Lewis

    Morgan Johnston

    Jay Hayek

    Dr. Kevin McSweeney

    Micah Kenfield


    John C. Marlin PhD.

    Research Affiliate

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and

    Adjunct Professor

    Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

    University of Illinois

    One Hazelwood Dr.

    Champaign, IL 61820




  11. ALUFS001 Ag Emissions Study Recommendation - Submittal

    The ALUFS SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "We recommend hiring a research technician or 50 % Graduate Research Assistant who would be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and compiling the data necessary for estimating current greenhouse gas fluxes of the University’s agricultural land holdings. We recommend that funding be provided for the materials and lab time needed to collect these data. We further recommend that these data be used to explore how different management practices would affect greenhouse gas fluxes on University lands."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation ALUFS001 Ag Emissions Study complete with comments from all the ALUFS SWATeam members.