Conservation Council

Conservation Council Meeting

Minutes from March 18th (H) meeting

Present: Louise, Amanda, Molly, Catherine, Brad, Mary

  • Discussion started on the edible garden.

The idea is to have edible landscaping on campus (permaculture, apple trees, raspberries...

Molly talked to Cathy Shrady about her Zen garden. For the Zen garden, they had obtained funding from grants, which may not be applicable to our case. Kathy also indicated she would be willing to help.

Future directions:

a.       Find out about different possible funding sources (Mellon Grant, show connections between different groups or departments); how much time should we spend on getting additional sources of funding if Mellon doesn't work?

b.      How much $ needed?

c.       How much maintenance does this type of garden require, and who is in charge? (can't realistically be asking volunteers)

d.      Ask Kathy about the logistics of implementing/ starting a garden (how did Adm. Get involved? 

e.       Does the space need to be approved? It might be easier if it is in a centralized or designated area (more easily identified as a teaching tool).

Molly will look into $$ needed and will write a paragraph on this project (first shot at proposal)

  • Discussion then went on to discuss the "tree oriented" grounds forum.

The idea is to highlight what is done on campus about grounds sustainability.

Amanda will ask Matthias (absent) for an e-mail update. A date needs to be set. Suggestions included: Earth day (April 22d) and Arbor Day (April 30th) 4/27 (Tuesday)

Location: Student Center (large room upstairs, check for VP approval)

Suggestions included a tree hugging event (Louise), with pictures taken, and a geo-cashing event (Amanda). Marcus could/ may be able to present a "10 tips to beautify your lawn" (interesting for community members as well).

Other points:

  • ESREP (renewable energy payment plan) Blackbird café - March 29th (5-7 p.m.)
  • Youth Energy Fair, SUNY Canton - April 7th (9 a.m. -12 p.m.). Looking for student volunteers .

Conservation Council Minutes

Conservation Council minutes

March 4, 2010

Present: Louise Gava, Amanda Lavigne, Matthias Nevin, Lindsay Guerin, Catherine Boulatoff and Ben Ross.

Ben was invited to join us to discuss trees. His Senior project is on creating on planting trees on campus.

3p.m. The meeting started by discussing old business:

  • Anti-idling policy. Louise explained that the name of the policy was renamed "reduced anti-idling". Buildings and grounds has until March 15th to review and respond to the proposal (Louise)

Discussion started on what needs to be done next: what signs for vendors need to be put , etc.

  • Garden issue. Amanda asked if we needed to revitalize the issue. This is be discussed during our next meeting.
  • Planning for Ground Forum. Matthias was given the dates of Sunday, March 28 and Monday, March 29 for having the forum in the Winston room. It was agreed that these dates are too early to be ready on time.

The open forum is to raise awareness on faculty, staff, and students on what is currently being done to make the campus grounds more sustainable, and to inform everyone of the directions taken by Marcus that move SLU toward a more sustainable campus.

The timeline to keep during Spring break to keep things moving were highlighted:

a)      What special points do we want to bring out?

b)      Who should be on the panel? The panel should include individuals from the faculty, Staff, alum/ community member, and student. Suggestions included: Tom Coakley, Brad Baldwin, Karl Schonberg, or/ and someone from the broader community, such as Charlotte Ramsey. Marcus may also have some suggestions (for example, the person on the crew who picks up trash on Friday morning).

  • Arboretum or tree walk. The idea is to make people feel welcome on campus.

Louise mentioned her discussion with Kathy Craig, who is working with high school students on a project. They get to pick out five (5) types of trees that would be nice on campus. They were also picking the spots on campus where they should be planted.

We acknowledged that to make an arboretum requires a considerable amount of work. Different individuals are needed to make it a successful project; someone from biology, psychology, design...

Ben then talked about his senior project with Jon Rosales. Stage 1 is to create a sustainable woodlot on ESL property, using black locusts, and interspacing them with oak trees. Stage 2 is to plant more from the nursery (spruce, pine, locust). They will need to be transplanted. One hope is to have the trees ready to be cut by the time the boiler breaks down.

One question asked was whether SLU should grow its own trees (nursery) to replace current trees on campus.

One idea which spruced up was to have the Conservation Council sponsor a tree planting day.

Besides the Ben's project, it was mentioned that Jon Rosales and his class are already planting trees, as well as EAO on Earth day (April 2).

Maybe the planting day sponsored by CC could be a joined event with Arbor day. Or at least CC could piece together the different activities. Suggestions of activities included a "scavenger hunt" for elementary kids, or/and for students, "offering trees to community members", and a "hug a tree" event.

It was duly noted that DEC typically donates 53 trees. Amanda offered to contact DEC to see what they could offer.

Louise informed us of several things happening on campus:

  • Marcus is now reducing the use the Round-up, and instead is using lemon oil (also cheaper)
  • Sue Powers is looking for students to represent SLU to talk to high school students about environmental programs on campus at the Youth Energy expo. One potential problem is that this would take place on a Wed. from 10 a.m. to noon, that is when most SLU students are in class.
  • Students are also needed to entertain high school students. Example: using Amanda's thermo camera, or a bike generator. Amanda will contact Sue Powers.

Tasks given at the end of the meeting:

  • Get date for panel (Matthias)
  • Talk to Karl about Arboretum (Matthias)
  • Print tree walk from other schools (Matthias)

+  Erik Cooper (Amanda's advisee) looked at the creation of a special fund for environ./ sustain. Projects. He found out that such funds are relatively common in other colleges.

4 p.m. the meeting was adjourned.

Conservation Council Minutes

Conservation Council Meeting Minutes from 2/25/2010

Present: Louise Gava, Rick Scott, Amanda Lavigne, Andrew Skaggs, Matthias Nevins, Molly Parren


A special presentation was given by student Arturs Saburovs addressing his desire for SLU to join the UNEP Climate Neutral Network and to register our newly planted (and existing) trees with the UNEP Billion Tree Campaign.

Arturs asked the Council if it would be a signatory on a letter of support for these initiatives he would like to present to University President Bill Fox during a private meeting on 3/4/2010.

After a few questions, the members of the Council present all agreed that they would like the Council to sign the letter.  The chair agreed to act as signatory for the group, and would pass the letter around electronically so that individual member could weigh in on whether they would like their name specifically identified as a member of the Council, and thus identified specifically as a signee.

Arturs was thanked for his presentation, and left the meeting.

3:30 - Updates from tasks assigned during the last meeting:

  • Matthias-will look into possible dates and location for forum (after spring break) as well as consider the goals and format

Tried to contact Timberly Hewitt without much success to establish location.  Will try to request room through web-based form.

  • Lindsay and Matthias-will have meetings with admissions, biology and psychology about what an Arboretum might mean for them

Sent some emails without much response, but feels that there is support, it is just the time of year when people don't have much time to respond to every group email.  Will try an alternative communication method to try and engage stakeholders about this project.

  • Molly-will consider what possible edible landscape options we have-starting with looking to see what other schools have done.

Some examples found, some very interesting examples, mostly southern schools, but the possibility of an integrated garden with edible components including trees, and berry bushes providing food for human and animal consumers was presented.

An idea was put on the table about whether the Zen Garden process could act as a model for a project along these lines - Louise pointed out that the Zen garden was funded by a grant, but that the general framework for the project would probably be very applicable.  Molly will talk with Cathy Shrady about the Zen Garden process and report back.

  • Louise-will find five schools that are pesticide free to give Marcus some ideas

Some examples found, mostly in the North West, some partially pesticide free and some totally free (including athletic fields) Louise will work with Marcus to communicate this information.

  • Eric-will look into the amount that other schools ‘charge' students for a green fee

Eric was not at the meeting so this was tabled for the next discussion

3:50-4:00 - Assign tasks for the next week

ü  Amanda will distribute letter and act as signatory on hard copy

ü  Molly will contact Cathy Shrady and ask about the Zen Garden and how we might use that model

ü  Matthias, Lindsay will continue to try and engage arboretum project stakeholders

ü  Louise will work on getting feedback on the anti-idling policy, and will communicate her finding to Marcus

4:00 - Adjourn

Conservation Council Minutes

Conservation Council Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 18th 3-4pm Memorial Hall

Present: Eric Cooper, Louise Gava, Lindsay Guerin, Matthias Nevins, Molly Parren, Rick Scott, and Andrew Skaggs

1. Feedback on anti-idling policy (Louise): our draft policy is in the hands of the building and grounds committee.  They will review for next week's Wednesday meeting and provide feedback to us.  Facilities managers also saw and commented on the policy, as previously discussed the idea is accepted but we must tweak the action items to minimize potential confrontation or accident.  The new action item likely to be accepted is reporting the vehicle number or license plate to facilities or security.

2. Recap meeting with Marcus, consider action items:
-Sharing information about our landscaping with the broader community through a CC sponsored forum, possible panel form with lots of time for audience questions
-Andrew: questions why we can't have cans for recycling with our garbage cans
-Matthias: wonders if we have enough trash cans along the ‘drunk walk'
-Louise: perhaps CC should do a spring campaign to encourage a walk/bike friendly campus and downtown.  This could be coupled with anti-idling policy ‘unveiling,' improvement of bike routes to downtown, encouraging students to walk (not drive) to the gym and the beginning of the SLU arboretum project.
-Molly: noted that while berry bushes (perhaps along Romoda) are a great idea for edible landscaping they might not be easy to grow without pesticides.
-Lindsay: just presented on edible landscaping in her sustainable house class and if that project is selected perhaps ESL project and SLU project on main campus can work together
-Eric: edible landscaping and arboretum project combined if we plant cherry trees.   
-Louise: we have a paper map (very dated) which has location and type of trees (thanks to previous work of Karl McKnight).  Katie Craig will work with a group of Massena High School Students to GPS, update and recommend new trees for a small section of campus.  This should fit nicely into the larger project.

3. EAO and Thelmo Updates
-Molly: EAO has two groups right now, one that was working on the film series idea is now working to influence class gifts so they are more sustainable-considering helping grounds become more sustainable and deal with their budget issues through class gift
-Lindsay: EAO second group is working on campaign to ban bottled water.  Dasani will be banned once the stock runs out and Aquafina will be banned at the end of the year.  Hoping to show the film ‘Thirst' right at the time when Dasani is banned from campus
-Matthias: met with Corey (Thelmo President), talked mainly about a capital improvement fund where students would pay money ($25 a year?) and then groups would approach Thelmo with proposals for funding-Corey is still working out the details.  Matthias made the proposal that a portion of the fund be reserved for ‘green' uses only.  Thelmo also wants to work on advertizing, partnering with EAO and getting the Thelmo name out while raising environmental awareness. 

1. Matthias-will look into possible dates and location for forum (after spring break) as well as consider the goals and format
2. Lindsay and Matthias-will have meetings with admissions, biology and psychology about what an Arboretum might mean for them
3. Molly-will consider what possible edible landscape options we have-starting with looking to see what other schools have done
4. Eric-will look into the amount that other schools ‘charge' students for a green fee
5. Louise-will find five schools that are pesticide free to give Marcus some ideas

1. Remember to use AASHE as a resource for what other schools are doing
2. Ag Plastic Baling at Cornell Cooperative Extension on Route 68 Feb 23rd at 1pm
3. Youth Energy and Environment Expo and Science Fair at SUNY Canton April 7th, judges and volunteers needed
4. 2 Hour training session for renewable energy payment plan, early March, more details to follow 

Conservation Council Meeting

Come join our meeting, share your thoughts and get involved with other faculty, staff and students working toward a more sustainable campus though promotion of an anti-idling policy and ecologically focused landscape plan.

Conservation Council Meeting

Come join our meeting, share your thoughts and get involved with other faculty, staff and students working toward a more sustainable campus.

The agenda for our Thursday Meeting 3-4 Memorial Hall 102:

3:00-3:15 - Old business....Any feedback from anti-idling policy?
3:15-3:30 - Recap our meeting with Marcus - what did we learn, and how can we contribute?   
3:30-3:45 - Members time - what's going on in Thelmo and EAO?
3:45 - 4:00 - Define next steps for CC - assign tasks
4:00 - Adjourn

The Conservation Council's primary concern is with energy use and conservation on the University campus.  Its function is to lead a concerted effort throughout the University to reduce energy consumption, with a combination of short-range, intermediate, and long-range goals.

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