Lewis and Clark Community College has been selected as the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Green Genome Overall Award winner.
Sustainability has long been important to L&C. With recycling bins marked for specific materials scattered across campus, and huge solar panels decorating the Trimpe building, it’s no wonder that L&C won the AACC and SEED Green Genome Overall.
According to theseedcenter.org, the Green Genome Award is based on standards from the SEED Center’s publication, “The Community College Green Genome Framework: Integrating Sustainability and Clean Technology Workforce Development into the Institution’s DNA.”
On their site they state that, “the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) awards cash prizes to exemplary community colleges for their sustainability education initiatives through their SEED Center initiative.”
Chosen from thousands of schools across the nation, L&C was one of only nine schools to win the award. L&C was also chosen as the overall winner, receiving an additional $10,000 cash prize for exemplary efforts to promote sustainability education, practices, programs and training.
Nate Keener, the director of sustainability at L&C said, “L&C won the award because we demonstrated that sustainability is part of our DNA. It is a thread that runs through campus governance, program design and delivery, strategic partnerships, and community engagement. Other community colleges won individual awards for each of those subcategories, but LC stood out as a high achiever overall in every category.”
L&C expresses their green values in several ways: Recycling, Composting, Energy Saving Lighting, Energy Efficient Technology, Water Bottle Fillers, EcoRoad, Greener Transportation, Controlled Burns and Habitat Management, as well as Renewable/Alternative Energy Production.
The college not only expresses these values but teaches them in the classrooms as well. According to lc.edu/Campus_Sustainability, “The college not only features a number of sustainability-centered academic programs and courses, both credit and noncredit, but also infuses sustainability into the general curriculum.”
L&C’s green values don’t stop at everyday changes either. L&C has a Climate Action plan that, according to their site, states that L&C will “achieve carbon neutrality in 50 years, or Fiscal Year 2058.” Winning the Green Genome Award, let alone being the overall winner, is an impressive feat.
Keener stated: “Many of the college’s emissions can be solved with math. X number of dollars to install X number of solar panels to offset X amount of greenhouse gases. But our commuter emissions will take conscious, intentional, committed effort from students, staff, and faculty to reduce. We need to collectively rethink how we commute, and that will take time. We should begin organizing and communicating about commuting best practices now so we have plenty of time to implement improvements.”
L&C will continue to further their efforts to be a green college with a wonderful sustainability plan.
For more information on the Green Genome Award or L&C’s sustainability program, contact Nate Keener firstname.lastname@example.org.