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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


University of Arizona goes green with new grant program funds

Joey Fisher

Information from Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Academic Initiatives & Student Success. The UA Green Fund allocates funds each year to proposals that aim to make the campus more sustainable.

The UA Green Fund is a way for students and faculty to be a part of making campus a more sustainable environment.

Each year, proposals that will ultimately help in increasing the sustainability of the UA campus and the surrounding Tucson community are introduced by students or faculty. If approved, they receive Green Fund Annual Grants to fund their projects.

The Green Fund Annual Grant program began in 2010, said Ben Champion, director of the Office of Sustainability.

This year, the committee was given about a $400,000 budget to work with, the funding for which comes directly out of student tuition.

“Because the funding comes from students, [the proposals] need to have a significant amount of benefits to students,” Champion said. “The committee looks at how much students will be involved in the development of the proposal or implementing it, as well as if the students are benefiting from it.”

The UA Green Fund Committee reviews each proposal during a pre-proposal review process. If members determine that the idea will create a more sustainable campus environment, applicants are invited to introduce a full proposal to the committee, said Ellen Dunn, current member of the Green Fund Committee.

As a result of the Green Fund Annual Grant, many projects continue to see success on campus and in the Tucson community.
Greening the Game, a current project through Students for Sustainability within the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, is funded by the Green Fund and was founded by graduate student Natalie Lucas in 2012.

Greening the Game received $6,600 from the Green Fund in 2014 and is an effort to get athletic events at UA to be more “green,” said Kyle McGowan, project manager of Greening the Game.

After games, employees of Greening the Game collect recyclable materials that were left inside the stadium and dispose of them properly, McGowan said.

Greening the Game currently has six employees and employs members of the Wildcat Running Club and the Global Medical Brigades, all of whom are paid through the funding received through their Green Fund Annual Grant.

In 2012, Greening the Game collected 25.4 tons of recycling, a number that has doubled since collecting 56.9 tons in 2014, McGowan added.

McGowan said that since 2012, the project has grown steadily and now partners with Arizona Athletics. Those with the project hope to take over softball games this spring and, ultimately, to be present at all Arizona athletic events in the future. Champion said that he is excited for the future of the Green Fund Grant projects, especially the Green Engagement Guide that coincides with the university’s 100 percent engagement plan.

The Green Engagement Guide is an online guide that helps connect students with engagement experiences that have to do with sustainability that will be built into the universities engagement plan, Champion said.

“It’s growing rapidly and becoming much more than a pilot project led by students,” Champion said. “It’s a multi-governmental collaboration with UA and the city of Tucson. The Green Fund [Annual] Grant can grow and be really entrepreneurial, and who knows where it could end up?”


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