Somerset Community College Getting Even Greener

fish and wildlife
Earth Day Celebration visitors visit the Fish and Wildlife exhibit at the 2012 event.
The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF’s) Campus Ecology program recently released 112 new case studies featuring the best green projects of 2012. These innovative efforts, from renewable energy systems to campus organic farms, can now be seen in a single online resource from NWF which shows that colleges and universities around the country, including Somerset Community College (SCC), are making a substantial investment in the sustainability of their campuses, communities and their curriculum.

The NWF Campus Ecology sustainability case study database, the only resource of its kind, is available online thanks in part to the support of The Kendeda Fund. More than one hundred new case studies highlight efforts to dramatically reduce pollution, waste, and costs, including recycling, energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installations and green jobs training programs.

For 2012, SCC had one case study included in NWF Campus Ecology’s Best of 2012 resources which can be viewed on their NWF website.

The case study revolves around the annual SCC Earth Day celebration. Since its beginning seven years ago, the SCC Earth Day event has grown from 100 community and college attendees to over 750. The celebration is a model of collaboration internally and externally, engaging numerous departments, students, faculty and staff at the college as well as government agencies, education institutions and business and industry across the southern Kentucky region. The overarching goal of the event is to increase community awareness of environmental issues in a family-oriented outdoor event. Designed to generate an appreciation of natural areas and wildlife, event activities encourage personal responsibility and stewardship of the planet. Each year the college aims to increase attendance and to involve additional community leaders, businesses, and science professionals in the planning and implementation of the celebration.

Published each year since 1989, NWF’s Campus Ecology sustainability case study database has become an indispensable resource for students, faculty, administrators, community leaders and others interested in the role of colleges and universities in protecting the health of our planet. The database is searchable by topic, year, school, and state and includes information on each institution’s project goals, successes, challenges, funding strategies and project leaders.

“We are thrilled to have the annual Earth Day celebration featured by the NWF as a national case study,” said Loris Sherman, SCC professor of Biology. “The SCC Earth Day celebration has become something the community has embraced and looks forward to each year. We hope to continue to grow and improve the event in years to come.”

The next celebration date at the college has been set for April 21, 2013.

“This resource helps colleges and universities learn how campuses are tackling their energy and water consumption challenges, and about their strategies to protect and restore green space. The database also gives campuses an opportunity to share their successes nationwide while receiving recognition for their commitment and hard work,” said Kristy Jones, senior manager of Campus Ecology Programs, National Wildlife Federation.

NWF’s Campus Ecology program works with several hundred campuses nationwide each year on efforts to advance student leadership, reduce carbon pollution and support career education.

“NWF’s campus ecology program is about empowering student leaders and their allies to transform the curriculum, campus and community. These case studies are testament to the dramatic progress students and other campus leaders have made,” said Julian Keniry, senior director of Campus & Community Leadership, National Wildlife Federation.

Schools wanting to learn more about NWF’s Campus Ecology program can go to www.CampusEcology.org.

Since its inception in 1989, National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology program has gained respect as a national leader in campus sustainability and the climate action movement. The program has long recognized the opportunities for higher education to lead society to a clean, just, and economically-sound energy future. By providing tools, training and expertise, NWF has empowered students and inspired conservation stewardship on hundreds of campuses nationwide.