Five Sustainability Fund Projects That Changed UMD

  • Posted on: 19 September 2019
  • By: msmolins

Sustainability Fund

If you’ve spent any time on campus, chances are you’ve seen, sniffed, breathed in or otherwise benefitted from a University Sustainability Fund project.

Maybe you’ve refilled your bottle with filtered water at one of the scores of filling stations, saving money and reducing plastic waste. Or inhaled fresh air emanating from the plant-covered Biowall at McKeldin Library’s Footnotes Café. Or learned whether your paper plate belongs in the compost or garbage bin. (Answer: compost). Perhaps just knowing that UMD is using both resources and imagination to fight pollution and global warming sets your mind at ease.

Since 2011, the University Sustainability Fund has provided funding for proposals that promote environmental sustainability and enhance the student experience at UMD. Applications are now open for the $300,000 in grants available this year.

The fund bankrolls projects that increase renewable energy use, improve campus facilities’ energy efficiency, shrink the amount of waste sent to landfills, encourage sustainable behaviors and integrate sustainability into teaching, research and service at UMD.

It’s supported by student fees and administered through the University Sustainability Council. Since the fund began in 2011, more than 150 projects have received over $2 million in grants.

“Each year, our undergraduate students, the Office of Sustainability and the University Sustainability Council work very hard to ensure the fund is used well and for projects that make a difference," said Scott Lupin, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit their proposals before the priority deadline of Oct. 15. Winners will be announced next spring.


Community Learning Garden

This project, formerly known as the Public Health Garden, transformed an empty space between the Eppley Recreation Center and School of Public Health building into a place for the entire university to learn more about sustainable gardening practices. Now, multiple departments and colleges collaborate at the garden, and visitors can enjoy another green corner of campus. 

Want to get involved in the garden, meet other great gardeners, learn more about growing food, and get your hands dirty? The garden hosts open drop-in volunteer hours every Monday and Thursday from 4pm - 5pm. No experience is necessary! Learn more about wonderful garden community here:

This information was originally reported in Maryland Today. To read the full article, please click here. Photos by Edwin Remsberg and Stephanie S. Cordle, article by Andrew Muir and Dan Novak M.Jour. ’20