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  1. Earth Week 2012 website

    Associated Project(s): 

    Earth Week 2012

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be celebrating Earth Week on April 16-20. Several exciting activities are being planned for the week. We hope you will join us in celebrating!

    All Week

    The One Shirt National Collegiate Clothing Challenge - The ARC and CRCE will be collecting clothing to be donated to local charities!

    Saturday, April 14

    9:00am – Noon – Boneyard Creek Community Clean Up Day
    Join us to protect our local creeks and lakes to ensure a healthier community. 
    Volunteers pick-up litter, remove non-native plants and install stormdrain medallions.
    9:00 a.m.:
     Check in begins at Scott Park, 207 E. Springfield Ave., Champaign,  or remote sites. 
    9:00 a.m. to Noon: Work time! Activities are all around the community.
    Noon: Lunch at Scott Park!

    Check-in at Scott Park unless you have been told to go to remote check-in site. 

    What should I wear/bring for the event? 
    Wear closed-toe shoes (no flip-flops), long pants recommended. If you'd like, bring a filled water bottle. You can refill it at the Scott Park registration site. Wear last year's orange t-shirt if you have one - reduce, reuse, and recycle!

    Thank you for making our community waterways healthier!


    Monday, April 16

    1:30-3:30pm - ICAP Forum/Review 
    I-Hotel and Conference Center
     - Chancellor Ballroom
    At the iCAP Forum, the Office of Sustainability will present a status update about progress towards meeting our commitments in the Illinois Climate Action Plan.  This will include a broad overview of the various initiatives that are currently underway and a summary of the next steps in this process.  After the presentation, participants will be asked to work in groups to provide feedback about setting priorities for further iCAP implementation.  As stakeholders in this campus-wide effort, all members of the campus and community are welcome to attend the iCAP Forum and participate in the discussions.

    4:00-5:00pm - Green Building Presentation
    University YMCA 
    Want to learn more about the most cost effective way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and lower building operating costs? Come hear Kristine Chalifoux of the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center(SEDAC) present a primer on energy and how buildings use it. She will discuss the costs of energy from different sources(including efficiency), the "top ten" energy efficiency measures for new and existing buildings, and the strengths and limitations of the LEED process in producing energy efficient buildings.   "The only guarantee is that a building won't perform the way you expect."  This presentation will provide valuable information for anyone considering a career in designing buildings or their systems. Find out more about SEDAC's work here. Organized by the U.S. Green Building Council Students-UIUC and Students for Environmental Concerns.

    6:30-9:30pm - CyclingSavvy Course - Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling
    Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Auditorium
    Free and open to all 15 years and older, regardless of cycling experience.
    Using guided discussion along with photos, illustrations, animations and videos, this classroom course provides all the knowledge you need to drive your bike safely and confidently in traffic. Knowledge of the Law covers the legal rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Knowledge of Bicycling Safety shows that cycling is safe and that understanding the causes of bicycle crashes and how to avoid them makes cycling safer still. Knowledge of Traffic Cycling Problem Solving examines a variety of traffic cycling situations and how a savvy cyclist negotiates them.
    Follow-up on-bike CyclingSavvy sessions will be held in Urbana on Saturday, May 5. For more information, see


    Tuesday, April 17

    8:30am-4:30pm: Water in a Changing World:  A Comparison of Midwest and European Approaches 
    I Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, IL

    Water@leeds is the largest university-based water research center in the UK.  A team of scientists from the University of Leeds will participate in a workshop with Illinois researchers to compare different approaches to address climate uncertainty and the impacts on water resources.  The format will feature short presentations followed by panel discussions on the following:

    The workshop is supported by a grant from the European Union Center of Excellence.  Other sponsors include the Illinois State Water Survey, the University of Leeds, the Prairie Research Institute, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, and the Office of Sustainability.

    For more information contact, George Czapar

    4:00pm-5:00pm - Speaker Panel - Environmental Ethics 
    Asian American Cultural House
    Come hear University Professor Madhu Viswanathan and Pastor Steve Shoemaker speak about the link between the environment, religion, and ecology.

    8:00pm-10:00pm - Movie showing - Wall-e 
    On the Quad if weather permits or Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Auditorium


    Wednesday, April 18

    11:00am - 3:00pm - Bike Blender
    On the Quad 

    Made from vegan, organic ingredients, you can make your own smoothie using our bike blender! A bike will be attached to a blender so that when pedaled, activates the blades of the blender. Smoothies will be made by letting students “pedal” their own. Smoothies will be sold for $2. Come get a refreshing, sustainable drink between classes!

    11:00am-3:00pm - Globe/Picnic for the Planet
    On the Quad
    Come enjoy another day of the Globe while having a picnic on the quad! Bring your lunch and celebrate the planet we live on, the food it provides, and the people with whom we share it.

    12:00n-1:30pm - Permaculture a Dangerous Enterprise
    Illini Union, room 210
    The presentation will be followed by questions and a 30 min reception  
    Mark Shepard farms and teaches in south western Wisconsin where he has been building a 106 acre permaculture paradise for over 15 years.  The farm is a diversified venture that is growing ideas and community culture along with a polyculture of plants, animals and enterprises.  Over 250,000 trees have been planted by the keyline technique in the beautiful coulee district of Wisconsin. Trees and market garden patches are planted on contour to retain water via a network of small pocket ponds and spreader swales that slow and spread rain water and protect the land from erosion.  His farm embodies the radical idea of managing a perennial food ECOLOGY, which means that all of the rules of ecology apply.  According to Mark “When conventional disturbance ceases, (stop the plow and herbicides) a site begins to aggrade... soil fertility increases, organic matter increases, soil life diversity increases, nutrient cycling improves, plant and animal populations and diversity increase.   Pests and diseases come into their "natural" population cycles and levels.  What ends up happening is that input costs (tillage, herbicide, fertilizer, pest control, disease control) decline. When your input costs approach zero, your net profitability increases”.  Mark is encouraging young farmers to contribute to this vision and he backs this up by supporting ‘collaborative enterprisers’.  Aspiring permaculture entrepreneurs learn through doing as they design and implement projects on the ground.   In his talk, Mark will explain how and why his permaculture paradise differs from traditional permaculture, how it is a force for good and, explain how he is spreading this dangerous idea through collaborative enterprisers.   Attend this event to learn about his edible woody crops nursery, and how growing trees shrubs, vines, and canes to produce food, medicines, fuels and fiber are revolutionizing agriculture in nature's image while simultaneously revitalizing culture, stabilizing the economy, and restoring the environment. 

    Sponsored by: Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program (ASAP)

    3:00pm-5:00pm - Environmental Expo
    Courtyard Cafe
     inside the Illini Union
    The Environmental Expo will be an exhibit of campus RSOs, organizations, and foundations that help to promote and attain sustainability on and off campus. Come see what “green” groups Illinois has to offer.


    3:00-6:00pm: Public Engagement Symposium: Transforming Our Society
    Activities and Recreation Center (ARC)

    Your participation will provide faculty, staff, students, and community partners the opportunity to share innovative ideas and approaches to community engagement activities. We hope you will learn from, support, and celebrate the quality and variety of our scholarly and creative community engagement efforts. It is our hope to enlighten, educate, and inspire; to strengthen relationships; and to develop a culture of engagement across the campus and local communities. The Symposium is free and open to the public.

    8:00pm - Benefit Concert 
    Canopy Club

    Come see the Ragbirds, the Great Divide, and Jaik Willis in a performance at Canopy Club. The concert will be benefitting the University YMCA as they help to fund Students for Environmental Concerns’ projects toward a more sustainable campus and world. Tickets will be sold $8 in advance and $10 at the door.


    Thursday, April 19

    11am-3:00pm - Globe
    On the Quad

    Come get your picture taken and write your Earth Week pledge and put it on the globe!

    5:30pm - Keynote Speaker Majora Carter - Home(town) Security
     , room 1122
    Come hear the visionary voice of Majora Carter speak on environmental equity and the work she has done to lead environmental and economic development.

    Friday, April 20

    12:00pm - Coal-Free Summer Celebration - Beyond Coal
    At the tennis courts across from Abbott 
    On Friday, April 20th, at noon, SECS’ Beyond Coal group and Facilities and Services(F&S) will be hosting a ‘Coal Free Summer Celebration’ to celebrate the fact that Abbott Power Plant will not burn coal over the summer, and encourage the campus to further reduce coal use and move completely beyond coal. Come here information about campus coal use and how it can further be reduced from students from SECS, scientists from Prairie Rivers Network, Professor Brian Deal of Urban Planning, and F&S, and sign petitions to show support of going beyond coal on campus. Free food! Basketball courts at Oak and Gregory(across from Abbott)–meet at the YMCA at 11:30 to walk over as a group, or take the Yellow South from campus.


    Saturday, April 21

    9:00am-1:00pm - Community Electronics Collection for Earth Day!
    Atkins Building Parking Lot - 1800 S. Oak Street (NE corner of Oak and St. Mary's) 

    Keep the Earth Clean and Green this Earth Day!

    Mervis Industries, WICD and the Illinois Green Business Association are hosting this free event to reduce the amount of old electronics sent to landfills. Collection will be open to the community.

    Accepted Items: Computers, servers, network devices, monitors (CRT and Flat screen), printers, tv's, vcrs, dvd players, stereos, copiers, cell phones and smart phones.
    **We DO NOT accept speakers or microwave ovens.


    Sunday, April 22

    1pm – Earth Day Prairie Work Day 
    Florida Orchard Prairie Site

    Come help Red Bison, Students for Environmental Concerns, and Alternative Spring Break work on transplanting some native plants that RB/SECS have been growing in the campus greenhouses to our own campus’ prairie site.

    Students for Environmental Concerns, Office of Sustainability, Environmental Change Institute, ARC, Illini Union, University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, School of Architecture, College of Business, Center for Advanced Study, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, School of Earth Science and the Environment, College of Engineering, Office of Equal Opportunity and Advancement, I-TOPP project, Department of Geography, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Prairie Research Institute, Office of the Provost, Social Dimension of Environmental Policy Initiative in the Beckman Institute, funded in part by SORF, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research; Action Research Illinois; Center for the Advancement of Sustainability Innovations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  2. Progress with MTD, Zipcar, and Chilled Water extension project

    Associated Project(s): 

    There is a Chilled Water extension project planned for this summer and fall along Springfield Avenue from Mathews to the Grainger Crosswalk.  The Crosswalk pavement and ramps will be upgraded at that time, for enhanced pedestrian safety.

    Met with the Parking Department and MTD about the costs for transit service and faculty/staff access for the University in the new MTD contract for FY13-15.

    Met with the Zipcar partners in town about the status of the Zipcar program in the community.  Our account rep will be changing for the first time in a couple of years, and we are eager to keep the program running strong.

  3. Bicycle Facilities and Programs Projects Continue

    Associated Project(s): 

    Student intern met with employees at Christopher Hall to make recommendations for new bike parking.

    Submitted additional information about bike parking to the SSC, and were granted an award for $250,000 to revamp existing bike parking areas at various key locations throughout campus.

    Campus Transportation Committee met and reviewed all bike related iCAP projects. 

    Bike sharing survey went live from the LINC course, as described above.

    Staff met with employees at the Arboretum to make recommendations for new bike parking near the parking lot between the Idea Garden and the Japan House.

    Staff met with Housing representatives to discuss a potential pilot trial of distributed bike parking enforcement.  This would allow F&S to train and authorize certain key facility managers in proper procedures for impounding bikes parking improperly.  Housing will draft a proposal in the next few months, then F&S will discuss the merits with appropriate campus representatives (such as Legal Counsel, the Parking Department, and Campus Planning) and determine how to proceed.

    Sample Varsity Bike racks were provided for a one-year free trial to Champaign County Bikes.  The Architecture Review Committee approved testing them at the east side of the Illini Union.  The Union’s approval is pending an approval from SSC for the bike parking improvements at the southwest corner, with FY10 SSC funding.

  4. Undergrads and Graduates work on Sustainability Projects

    Associated Project(s): 

    Working with James Scholar in Barbara Minsker’s engineering class to make recommendations related to sustainability for the Grainger crosswalk on Springfield.

    Staff hosted interviews with about a dozen Rhet 105 students about various sustainability topics.

    Urban Planning masters student Marcus Ricci is doing a GIS project about bike parking capacity in relationship to the buildings they serve.

    The LINC U of I Bikes section sent out a bike sharing survey and had a great response rate, a summary will be available by the end of the spring semester.

  5. Monthly press on sustainability on campus

    Associated Project(s): 

    Engineering News Record is doing a story on the University of Illinois about green buildings/LEED certification.

    Daily Illini article about campus sustainability progress.

    Staff created flowcharts for sustainability themes, as preliminary step to filling in the content on the Sustainability Portal website.  Staff provided field definitions and sample data for the database tables that will be available through the portal.  Also, we met with staff from MSTE and drafted the page layouts for the website, which will be shared at the iCAP Forum in April. 

  6. Engagement with other schools, information sharing

    Associated Project(s): 

    We participated in meeting with representatives from Columbia, Missouri about their transit goals.  Articles were written about the visit:,, and

    We also provided information to Arizona State University about our bike registration system and intentions.

  7. Natural Resources Building

    Associated Project(s): 

    As part of the Lighting Retrofit #5, 2,711 T-12 fixtures in the Natural Resources Building were replaced with more energy-efficient T-8 fixtures. This switch will incur an Annual kWh Savings of 424,466 hours. The simple payback for this project is 2.2 years.