Patriot Green Fund Awards First Grants

Posted: January 19, 2012 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: January 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

By Beth Pullias

Mason’s Patriot Green Fund Committee has chosen seven projects to fund as part of the Patriot Green Fund’s (PGF) first-ever award cycle in fall 2011.

The $100,000 fund was created last summer to make Mason’s campuses more sustainable. The fund provides $80,000 to be used for facility upgrades or installations and up to $20,000 for student research under the supervision of a Mason faculty member.

The committee of five students, two faculty members and two Facilities Management staff members selected projects that will have a positive impact on campus sustainability, including not only environmental, but also social and economic aspects. Projects chosen for funding must be self-sustaining or institutionalized after initial funding.

“Passion runs deep in the Sustainability Office, and we are excited about all of the projects,” explains Chris Baumgartner, sustainability outreach coordinator.

Approximately $50,000 was awarded in the first cycle. Five of the projects will drive infrastructure improvements, while the other two will support student-driven research. Infrastructure projects must take place on campus, but student research projects can focus on any of Mason’s surrounding communities.

The following projects were funded:

  • Danielle Wyman and Jen Beidel of the Office of Sustainability were awarded $17,750 to purchase 10 recycling centers that will be placed in the Johnson Center and University Hall on the Fairfax Campus. The recycling centers will have a shadow box display that will hold examples of recyclable materials to be placed in the corresponding recycling bin.
  • Christina Shotwell, enrollment services coordinator, was awarded $5,022 to implement a victory garden on the Prince William Campus for students, faculty and staff to grow their own food and, in the future, donate produce to local food kitchens in Prince William County.
  • Kathleen Curtis, executive assistant to the dean in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was awarded $4,835 to strategically place beehives around campus to teach students how beehives operate and the importance they play in sustainability on the Fairfax Campus.
  • Maheen Aziz, an environmental science and policy major, was awarded $4,524 to place mini trash bins at University Hall on the Fairfax Campus.
  • Scott Remer, a recent civil and infrastructure engineering graduate, and Lianne Roe, an environmental and sustainability studies major, were awarded $3,000 to use on an educational rain garden at the Tidewater residence hall on the Fairfax Campus.
  • Changwoo Ahn, an associate professor of environmental science and policy, was awarded $9,500 to purchase equipment for the West Campus Mesocosm on the Fairfax Campus.
  • Susan Keltner, an environmental science and public policy major, was awarded $5,858 to study how positive, negative and neutral climate messaging affected residents in various residence halls on the Fairfax Campus.

The funding will be available to the respective projects until May 31 unless special permission for an extension is requested.  

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