Instrumental in UMF being recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives for its energy solutions, the Sustainable Campus Coalition is a coalition of students, faculty, staff and community members that promotes environmental sustainability on campus and in the area community.
The Sustainable Campus Coalition is a coalition of students, faculty, staff, and community members that promotes environmental sustainability on campus and in the area community. Its commitment to innovative environmental practices and collaboration with others is at its core.
Dedicated to making environmental stewardship at UMF a priority, the Sustainable Campus Coalition was instrumental in UMF being honored by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 for energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gases and long-term energy costs and being an inspiration in making a clean energy campus a reality.
Making “Going Green” Fun
The Sustainable Campus Coalition organizes and hosts a number of fun annual events at UMF and in the surrounding Farmington community designed to promote awareness of sustainability issues in creative and fun ways. The events typically draw a wide cross-section of the campus and community participants.
Some of the Sustainable Campus Coalition’s annual events
- Trash Day
- 350 Day
- Campus Energy Challenge
- Recycled Sledding Contest
- Salvage and Recycle
- UMF Sustainability Carnival
- Earth Day Celebration
- and more
Goals of the Sustainable Campus Coalition:
- To reduce the environmental impact of the campus
- To educate ourselves, the campus, and the community about environmental sustainability in order to encourage everyone to reduce their impact
- To promote collaboration, camaraderie and a bond among students, faculty, staff and the community
- To have fun pursuing the first three goals.
The mission of the Sustainable Campus Coalition has broadened to include public education, collaborations with community organizations, municipalities and schools, assessment and mitigation planning associated with greenhouse gas emissions, improvement of recycling on campus, development of a campus organic garden and orchard, encouragement of local food and institutional composting, and reduction of automobile idling.
A 2014-15 “50 Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College”
— Best Choice Schools.com
The University of Maine at Farmington was named a 2014-15 “50 Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College” by Best Choice Schools.com, a noted college search website. It reviewed more than 300 universities across the U.S., and selected just 50 fifty it believes to be the very best eco-friendly schools that cost less than $25,000 a year (according to the net price calculator provided by the National Center for Education Statistics).
Best Choice Schools recognized UMF to be among a number of colleges that have proven themselves as dedicated to the idea of sustainable living. It noted UMF’s two new LEED-certified campus buildings (Frances Allen Black Hall and Education Center). It also mentioned the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition, a campus orgnization that initiates a number of projects to encourage campus sustainability.
The website singled out a popular UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition project — its annual Recycled Sledding Contest, brings students together to create sleds out of recycled materials.
The Sustainable Campus Coalition’s Leadership Role on Campus
In addition to its leadership role in extensive (and very popular) campus-wide recycling programs, food and waste reduction in the dining halls, indoor and outdoor campus lighting energy reduction and more, the Sustainable Campus Coalition serves the UMF administration as advisors on all things green.
The largely student-led group makes recommendations and offers solutions to a wide range of energy efficiency and environmental issues on campus — and the administration actually acts on their advice! (This doesn’t happen at all colleges.)
The Sustainable Campus Coalition was instrumental in the planning of a major geo-thermal heating / cooling project on campus begun in 2013. By using cutting-edge geo-thermal pumps (hidden under the campus green) the University will tremendously reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to heat and cool several major campus buildings, including its two-winged Natural Sciences buildings and labs.
The Sustainable Campus Coalition was heavily involved in the planning and advising for the University’s first green building, the Francis Allen Black Residence Hall. Opened in 2005, the five stories tall suite-style residence hall features recycling stations on each floor; sensor lighting throughout the building; and low toxic-emitting carpet, paint and sealants. Francis Allen Black Hall was UMF’s first “green” building, earning LEED Green Building Certification from the United States Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a national rating system designed to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.)
The organization was also instrumental in ensuring the UMF Education Center, the second largest building on the UMF campus, was constructed and maintained using environmentally-friendly heating, cooling and air quality systems; light, electricity and water systems; floor, wall, and ceiling coverings; incorporated recycling, recycled materials and local materials; landscaping, transportation and furnishings. Opened in 2006, the UMF Education Center also earned LEED Green Building Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.