You are here

All Project Updates



  1. CUUATS reported Grainger lighted crosswalk not recommended

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study (CUUATS) prepared a report on the efficacy of the Grainger lighted crosswalk on Springfield Avenue at the Engineering Quad.  Due to high maintenance needs, difficulty with the light activation system, and a false sense of security for pedestrians and cyclists crossing Springfield Avenue, this system is not recommended for future locations on campus.  Safety for people crossing high-traffic streets can be enhanced with alternative lighted crosswalk systems that are more effective and provide more consistent safety improvements.

  2. ICECF review for light funding, new DCEO grant updates

    Hosted a site visit from Bob Romo at ICECF to review lighting upgrades they funded previously.

    DCEO has a new grant available for Steam Trap replacement and Pipe Insulation.  The F&S Maintenance Division qualifies for this grant program, so we will submit a grant request in May.  Calculated funding request for the DCEO Boiler grant.

    Received final award documents for DCEO EEPs grant.


  3. Recycling e-waste, containers, and bikes on campus

    Associated Project(s): 

    IGBA held an e-waste recycling event on campus and in the research park.

    F&S provided recycling containers for the Illinois Marathon.

    Sustainability Staff helped the Campus Bike Project (CBP) to prep 350 old, abandoned bicycles from last year’s campus-wide cleanup in order to donate them to an organization, Working Bikes, which will refurbish the bicycles and ship them to Uganda to be donated to those in need of affordable transportation. Staff and CBP volunteers worked for over 12 hours to prep the bikes and over 4 hours to load them onto a truck to be taken to Working Bikes’ Chicago location.   The Parking Department was also involved, as the timing of the donation was critical in order to clear out Parking’s warehouse to make room for this year’s campus-wide cleanup of abandoned bicycles. 

  4. Spring iCAP Forum Held

    At the spring iCAP Forum, sustainability staff presented a status update about progress towards meeting our commitments in the Illinois Climate Action Plan.  This included 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 were asked to work in groups to provide feedback about setting priorities for further iCAP implementation.  A summary of the feedback will be available after the Spring 2012 semester.

  5. Portal construction under development

    Associated Project(s): 

    The iCAP Portal has been approved for support from the Office of Sustainability/Chancellor, and construction of the portal is under development.  Initial entry screens have been created and were shared at the iCAP Forum on April 16.  The backend database will be developed over the summer 2012. 

  6. SSC supported “Weatherization” project coming to conclusion

    The SSC supported “Weatherization” project is coming to its conclusion.  The six RSO teams that participated in this program have submitted their reports to the Weatherization intern, and the F&S Maintenance Division has identified the costs of the recommended improvements.  These will be summarized and implemented after the Spring 2012 semester.

  7. USGBC student chapter discusses conservation programs

    The Illinois student chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) met with staff to discuss an energy and water conservation program they would like to initiate in FY13.  This would require some meter upgrades which could be implemented in conjunction with the Energy Dashboard project.  In the fall, the students would organize conservation competitions between various residence halls on campus, to promote, highlight, and celebrate sustainable behavior.

  8. Abbott Power Plant biomass permit in review

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S Energy Services met to review the biomass permit for Abbott Power Plant.  This allows Abbott Power Plant to do test burns with various biomass fuels as a mixture with the coal in the existing coal stoker boilers.  The first tests will be using wood chips, and they may happen in May or they may wait until the cold weather months when the coal assets are brought back online for winter.

  9. Metering in Residence Halls

    Associated Project(s): 

    Bryan Johnson, from University Housing's Sustainability Council, has reported that residence halls PAR and FAR have individual metering setup, but Blaisdell Hall's metering is connected to the mechancial room and dining hall. LAR and Allen have individual metering, but the dining hall feeds into both dining halls. Information about metering in Busey-Evans is still needed.

  10. Ikenberry Commons Suggestion

    Associated Project(s): 

    The projects committee in the US Green Building Council student chapter is working on a "Green Your Dorm" project encouraging dorms to save energy and water. The SSC has approved funding to put individual metering in dorms. The USGBC chapter made the suggestion that Ikenberry Commons resdence halls be the first to receive meter upgrades.

  11. Franklin Ground Squirrels may be on site

    Associated Project(s): 

    Keith Shank at IDNR responded to the EcoCAT request, with the following note.  "Well, it’s hard to escape those Franklin Ground Squirrels.  In 2010, Ameren observed two FGS near the intersection of Curtis Road and Rt. 45, and ten years ago we had a road-killed FGS at Windsor Road and Rt. 45.  Ameren opined they could be all up and down the RR corridor, which the western end of your project area happens to lie against.

    It may be possible the FGS are in the area around the farm buildings, but they would be unlikely to be out in the experimental plots, at the moment.  However, depending on the type of solar energy facility being proposed, they might be able to colonize the solar farm.  While that would be good for the FGS, it could complicate subsequent operations and maintenance of the facility.  Remember that they love any kind of soil stockpile, so be careful where you stack any dirt and how long you might leave it there."

  12. Earth Week 2012 website

    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.