Lunch & Learn: Measuring Your Impact

Event Details:

  • Date: Oct 20 2015 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Venue: Procurement Office Conference Room [2380 Wahnish Way -Suite 214]


Bring your own lunch. Desert & Drinks will be served!

This workshop gives training and free access to the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) web tool for interested FAMU administrative departments.

With a university-wide subscription through the Sustainability Institute, GRITS is designed to help organizations better manage and analyze project-level energy, financial and carbon emission data. GRITS provides an intuitive interface to better track performance data from energy efficiency and other resource conservation measures. 

Open to all staff. Feel free to forward invite others who may be interested in attending this workshop.


GreenCo Park Takes Shape Thanks to Student Efforts and Donor Support

More than a hundred FAMU students, faculty, and staff pitched in during workdays in November 2014 to revitalize GreenCo Park, which is located between Lee and Jackson Davis halls. The result is a garden featuring native plants that are well adapted to the local environment and that should thrive with minimal water consumption, making the garden a true expression of sustainability as well as beauty. The park is named for FAMU’s Green Coalition, a student organization that is open to all FAMU students, staff, and faculty with an interest in making a positive change for a greener world.

The FAMU Green Coalition originated the idea for sprucing up the garden, which was initially designed by landscape students and faculty and installed in 2010.  The park project was funded as part of a 2012 grant award from Siemens Corporation for $25,000 to support projects to engage FAMU students in campus sustainability initiatives. Siemens National Sustainability Education Director Charley Cohen was a strong advocate for the park revitalization effort as an expression of student involvement in campus greening.

The design for new plantings and pathways was donated by Tallahassee landscape architect David Cowles, who earned his master’s in landscape architecture from FAMU in 2010, and whose firm, Cowles Landscape Architecture, provides landscape architecture services in North Florida and beyond. Cowles developed a landscape plan aimed at densifying the park’s vegetation with new plantings of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees, while keeping the original design concept of “The Clearing.” Cowles provided his design services at no cost to the university and also helped coordinate the planting.

“We were excited about the beautification of GreenCo Park and we welcomed the challenge to complete it,” said Green Coalition President Kesha Ellis. “We even had a lot of students who wanted to become a member of FAMU Green Coalition after this event.” Green Coalition member Tedra Cooper noted, “It was a lot of hard work, but in the end, it was laughter, smiles, and satisfaction of the work that was done.” Angely A. Tiburcio, Vice-President of FAMU Green Coalition, noted that the project demonstrates the support from the student body, faculty, and administration to bring sustainability to the FAMU campus.

The project was enthusiastically supported by Green Coalition co-advisors Olivier Chamel, a professor in the School of Architecture, and Abena Ojetayo, FAMU Sustainability Institute chief executive officer. “This park illustrates the willingness of students to engage in hands-on efforts to spur the evolution of FAMU as a living laboratory of sustainability,” said Ojetayo. The efforts of the FAMU Plant Operations and Maintenance (POM) department were crucial to the project, doing advance work on the site to remove old materials, repair irrigation lines, install new topsoil and supply equipment and tools for the volunteers. One crucial repair carried out by POM staff was fixing the rain-fed irrigation system that captures rain falling on the roof of Jackson Davis Hall, sending it from gutters into a tank behind the hall. The tank is connected to the irrigation system. Thanks to the rooftop collection system, the garden can be watered primarily by rainwater, making it nearly self-sustaining for water use.

Other assistance for the project came from the Royal Court. Miss Florida A&M, Dominique James, helped to promote turn-out and was on hand to help with the plantings.

The garden was dedicated as part of FAMU’s Earth Month festivities on April 24.


GameDay Recycling and RecycleMania Challenge Show That Real Rattlers Recycle

FAMU re-established a tradition of recycling at home football games during the Fall 2014 football season by participating in the nationwide GameDay Recycling Challenge, a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at home football games.

Volunteers collected total of 1,140 pounds of materials; diverting that amount from landfill and to recycling. FAMU was the only university participating in the GameDay Recycling Challenge from the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) and placed 13th out of 15 for recycling and 12th out of 15 for greenhouse gas reduction.

Student volunteers were recruited during the Homecoming Volunteer Meeting hosted by the FAMU Student Government Association and the Office of Student Activities. E-mail blasts were also sent out on FAMUinfo during the week of every home football game. Prior to the start of every home game, FAMU EH&S provided volunteers with recycle signs and t-shirts that read “Real Rattlers Recycle” as well as gloves, trash pickers and bags.

Recycling volunteers positioned themselves next to recycle bins where they monitored recycle bins, informed fans about materials that can be recycled, and engaged fans about the importance of recycling as part of our outreach efforts. During halftime, a Public Service Announcement (PSA) informed game day attendees and fans about recycling and its benefits and provided locations of recycle bins in and around the football stadium. The volunteers collected plastic bottles and aluminum cans from fan seating areas and from recycle bins placed at the concourse areas in and around Bragg Memorial Stadium during and after the game. Recycling volunteers also sorted recyclables.

The effort was organized and led by student interns with support from staff at the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) department and the Sustainability Institute The effort was supported by FAMU Athletics Department, and Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) department.

The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a partnership between the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and EPA’s WasteWise program.

A similar effort in the Spring semester collects recyclables at home basketball games as part of the RecycleMania national competition.

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Sustainability @ FAMU

Sustainability at Florida A&M University is about the teaching, research and application of environmental and resource stewardship so people and planet prosper. The Sustainability Institute serves as the hub of all sustainability-related efforts at the university, bringing students, staff, faculty and the community together around creative collaborations.

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