Explore your interest in sustainability with LSC’s newest distinction! Over two semesters, you’ll work with LSC’s Sustainability Coordinator, Environmental Science faculty and the City of Duluth’s terrestrial invasive species education and field work teams in a unique community-campus collaboration. Find more information about the program’s requirement and application process on LSC’s distinction webpage.
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March 1st, 2019
9:00 – 10:30
S-1913 Student Services Conference Room
Governing Core Members present: Mike M., Randy, Dave, Cliff, Nate, Jenna, Mary, Mike F, Deanne, Theresa, Heather, Kristi, Mark
General Members present:
9th Annual St. Louis River Summit at UWS – March 5-6
Protecting Duluth’s Green Space – A Public Forum March 6, 7:00pm at Lincoln Park Middle School
Climate Summit at UMD: “Will Duluth become a climate refuge city?” March 19-20. Deanne noted pre-registration is required.
We Are Water exhibit hosted by Fond du Lac Band of LS Chippewa at Great Lakes Aquarium – March 10-April 22nd
FREE DIY Energy-Efficiency Workshop March 13, 6-8:00 at Duluth Folk School
Talk Climate Institute from Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy – March 25-26 at AICHO
Our Planet, Our Future: Environmental Summit (organized by MPIRG), Thrs March 28th, 2:00-8:00 at the DECC, pre-registration encouraged
Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) annual conference is Sept 27-28 at Carleton College in Northfield. Call for proposals are currently open.
2019 AASHE Conference “Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy” – October 27-30 in Spokane, WA
SWCD Tree Care & Health Training March 21st, 6:00 at Harrison Community Center West Duluth
LSC’s April 18th Earth Day planning continued. Kristi suggested we get a solid framework today so a marketing request can be put to Jean for poster design. An additional planning meeting may be needed in a week or 2.
- Kristi suggested a theme “Grow at LSC”, with a focus on our new Eco-Entrepreneurship program (E-EP). Jenna noted perhaps an additional phrase following the title would better clarify the theme.
- The Council agreed it might be a nice change to host all events in the Atrium, where Mike can build a hydroponics demo.
- A large display with E-EP Program details will accompany the hydro/aquaponics display.
- Kristi also suggested a make-and-take seed and/or plant station; Mary volunteered to staff that station.
- The Council agreed to forego the usual speaker and video.
- Heather provided guidance on food. The Council agreed “ants-on-a-log” and variations on the celery snack would be a fun and interactive food offering, in addition to trail mix and a refreshment. Randy suggested we work with Food Farm to purchase some of their yummy carrots, which would work nicely with the celery fixin’s we’ll offer. Heather and Kristi will work together on the final grocery list. Kristi will inquire with Love Creamery to see if they might be able to offer a special Earth themed local ice cream treat.
- Kristi will invite our usual community tablers. Any additional contacts, particularly those relevant to our theme, can be forwarded to Kristi or invited directly.
- Heather reminded the Council the One Campus book read is “Lab Girl”, and discussions could be offered during the day or week.
- The Council may solicit names for the LSC farmsite, perhaps offering a prize if a winning name is used.
- Campus Clean Up will be promoted, as usual.
- All events will run from 11:00-1:00.
Deanne requested perhaps a small group get together for general sustainability discussions, Randy offered possibly using a shared book read to guide conversations.
Kristi brought the Regional Stormwater Protection Team (RSPT) annual dues of $330 for consideration. She shared the value we receive in reporting the groups collective outreach, a requirement of our annual MPCA MS4 permit. With no further discussion, Deanne motioned to pay the dues, Glenn seconded unopposed.
Kristi suggested the Sustainability Council reallocate their summer and FY20 student employee hours to E-EP, as they have not had an opportunity to request hours, and the budget is very tight. Kristi discussed this proposal with Al, an he was in favor. The E-EP has submitted a formal request outlining the needs, specifically for the first year, and our re-allocation will fulfill almost half that need. Following discussion, Glenn motioned to formally offer the re-allocation, Dave seconded unopposed.
Glenn briefly outlined the intent and strategy of our annual Miller Creek reforesting effort. The 2019 St Louis County SWCD tree order is now open. Glenn put together a $395 order, typical for most years. Following discussion, Mike M. motioned to purchase trees, Mike F. seconded unopposed.
Mike and Randy outlined the need for LSC Farm naming. The name should both reflect the educational, community, and growing role of the farm and Mike would like the name to be used in a produce label. Few ideas were shared. Send ideas to Kristi for use on Earth Day.
Kristi offered an update on the fall-start Sustainability Distinction cohort. A marketing package for all three distinctions is being compiled by Virginia Haynes. We’re trying to keep as many of the deadlines and framework pieces consistent across distinctions, but each will be a bit different. Application and recommendation forms, once completed, will be sent to all faculty and students. To fit the timeline of our supplementary activities, Kristi has requested preference be given to applications received by April 15, but we will continue to accept applications until our 10-student limit is reached.
Related, Kristi and Glenn met with Duluth Collaborative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA), the Duluth Invaders volunteer coordinator, as well as the City of Duluth’s overall volunteer coordinator. They are very excited to be part of the project, and will provide the training for our students to identify and remove buckthorn in identified project areas, both on campus and in the community. Students will complete 24 hours of volunteer time per semester. Additional supply purchase requests will be brought to Council at a later date for consideration.
Parallel, CISMA provides collaboration of identification, mapping and project planning. They requested we sign an MOU they’ve established, and have offered to help us develop and basic invasive terrestrial plant managed program for the campus. Kristi shared a copy of both the non-legally binding MOU and CISMA’s comprehensive Terrestrial Invasive Plant Management Plan. Kristi has also forwarded the MOU request to Al to get his signature approval/support. The Council agreed the MOU was a good idea, and mutually beneficial.
With respect to meeting time and transparency, Kristi requested a small group of individuals get together to outline a framework for deciding which memberships might be appropriate for the Council/LSC to pursue. Kristi offered to convene a group after Earth Day to discuss further.
Mark offered preliminary plans for the exterior entrance space on the east end of the S-building, including removal of the rusted red railing. Citing safety and difficult snow management, that area will be redesigned in the spring. Kristi shared that the Council had previously worked to improve the soil in that area, and had laid black plastic on the area last spring anticipation of planting this spring. We had also been responsible for maintaining the rocked area and it has been increasingly difficult to keep “tidy” in recent years. Many ideas to improve the landscaping in that area were shared, including edible landscape, salt tolerant species and even elevated or raised beds. Jenna and Rady offered examples from UMD, and Randy offered ongoing management experiences in campus raised beds. Mark agreed the Council should talk to Al about any ideas S-building landscape.
LSC Wellness/Nature Summer Camp (conversation tabled until April meeting)
Work Group and Student Employee Reports
Boris was not present to offer an update on the Café serveware inventory project
Kurt was not present to offer an update on RecycleMania.
FY 19 original budget: $8,450
Encumbrances to date:
- Prairie Restorations (tansy treatment): $300
- Menards: $200
- ShelDon: $140.52
- 4 Seasons Outdoor Svcs: $ 179
- AASHE annual dues: $280
- Printing: $13.42
Balance to-date: $7,287.11
Meeting adjourned, 10:30
Next regular monthly meeting: Friday April 5th, 9:00 am
Minutes respectfully submitted by Kristi Heintz, 3/4/2019. Posted to LSC Sustainability Council Blog and Employee Portal Committees page.
Thanks to our team of rock star volunteers, LSC has a new 1,000 square foot pollinator garden at the main entrance! This project is another example of our efforts to improve campus critter habitat and provide opportunity for our community to learn about new plants and planting techniques. This project was designed and installed by Shoreview Natives, and serves as our commemorative NWF Campus Pollinator Pledge project!
We’re all about learning new things; here is the plant identification list for our 1,200 NEW friends:
Find more information about our stormwater and native landscape efforts on the newest landscape signs installed around campus!
In early 2018, Lake Superior College applied for and was chosen to participate in Midwest Renewable Energy Associations’s (MREA) first 8-week PV Deployment for Institutions course along with 13 other higher education teams. The PV Deployment course was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More information about the course, including a list of participants, can be found at MREA’s news page (midwestrenew.org).
For this course, LSC’s newly formed “Solar Team” included the Vice President of Administration, Renewable Energy and Commercial & Residential Wiring faculty, and our campus Sustainability Coordinator. Over 8 weeks, building on the results of our 2017 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) solar feasibility analysis, the team created a draft Solar Power Roadmap for our own solar deployment. The team used resourced developed and compiled by MREA to model various solar deployment scenarios and consider not only the financial value of this renewable energy for the campus, but also consider the non-financial and indirect values of going solar.
In addition to “crunching numbers”, the MREA course prompted the team to dig deeper into local, state and larger considerations related to solar deployment. The team identified stakeholder engagement opportunities, identified relevant legal considerations, analyzed landscape and building-specific solar insolation potential, discussed various financing models, and finally heard from a number of developers and practitioners about pitfalls and tips for running a successful project – from planning to bid to implementation.
By assessing our own energy consumption patterns and using the solar modeling tools and resources used in the renewable energy industry, we now have a much better understanding of what’s possible, what’s probable, and perhaps most importantly, what simply won’t work for us. LSC’s Sustainability Council will continue to refine its Solar Power Roadmap as the campus moves toward achieving its carbon reduction and workforce training goals.
LSC’s approved Sustainable Purchasing (5.15) and Efficient Use of Water, Energy, and Other Resources (5.16) Policies offer suggested best practices for purchasing at the college. Our commitment to environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility are the foundation of these policies, and the intent is to prompt thoughtful discussion and decision making based on the US EPA’s definition and suggested utilization of Environmentally Preferable Products. Beyond purchasing, the policies address unique opportunities to reduce overall resource consumption though product sharing, increased reuse and purchasing durable and fixable goods, and implementing practices that achieve efficient overall energy use goals.
The following presentation (best viewed in full screen mode) offers an overview of the policies and prompting questions to use in making purchasing decisions.
Wednesday, April 20th is LSC’s Earth Day Celebration. This year, we’re focusing on the amazing natural resource right outside our front door: Miller Creek and surrounding trails. Find more information about our campus trails on the LSC Sustainability webpage. This year’s exciting focus events will include a well-traveled hiker and educator with the Superior Hiking Trail, Jo Swanson, and a campus scavenger hunt with prizes and community information tables.
What’s so NEAT about trails? Well, Jee Dangit, just ask Lenny:
10:00 – 11:30
Student Life Conference Room
Governing Council Members present: Deanne Roquet, Glenn Merrick, Kristi Heintz, Mike Francisco, Theresa Hornstein, Jane Marynik, Wade Gordon
General Members present: Nate Bronk, Janice Crede
Deanne mentioned Dick Haney’s offer to guide an early fall Boundary Waters trip, possibly in late September. Anyone interested should contact Deanne.
Deanne suggested we invite Dick Haney to sit on the Council as a community member. The Council agreed his wealth of knowledge and passion are invaluable to the Council as well as LSC, and she will offer this option to him.
Kristi framed the FY16 budget planning discussion by giving an FY15 budget summary. The Council was approved for an $8,400 budget in FY16. After discussion involving landscape supply needs, Deanne motioned to open POs with approved vendors up to $600. Mike seconded unopposed.
Related to landscaping, Wade suggested we acquire a storage cabinet or shed for landscape tools as an alternative to the inconvenient cold storage building. He will ask the building construction for a supplies estimate for a shed that they would construct this fall. Deanne motioned to move forward with that inquiry, Jane seconded unopposed.
Minnesota Waste Wise membership was due July 1st. After discussion related to member benefits and usefulness to the campus, the Council concluded we’d forego membership for at least a year, citing our requirement to report elsewhere and availability of numerous resources offered by AASHE and locally. Mike motioned not to continue membership, Deanne seconded unopposed.
AASHE registration for the October 25-28 conference in Minneapolis is now open. Anyone interested in attending should email Kristi asap. The next tier of registration fees will increase at the end of August. Once interest is known, the Council will set a travel budget.
Sustainability related purchasing and use policies and procedures have been through and approved by the Policy Committee and went through all campus comment period with no feedback. Kristi met with Al to discuss some minor questions he had related to the role/responsibility of the Business Office. They’ll now go to Pat then the Cabinet.
Related to sustainable purchasing and use, Wade suggested sustainability awards, recognition, or nominations for employees sustainability actions. Similarly, Carol asked if there was further movement on the “Green Office” opt-in program that was discussed in work groups a while back. The group’s chair has since left LSC, and the groups should re-convene, perhaps to discuss the award idea as well.
Kristi gave a compost expansion update. In late fall, an email went out to all employees, offering office suite compost bins and bags. These bins, along with 1 community bin in the Commons area will be the first phase in rolling out the expanded compost program. At about $28 per 48 compost bags, we’ll start the program small to reduce risk of bag waste and user complaints. Janice inquired about our Café’s compost practices. Kristi will work with Bruce to see if they want to proceed with vermicomposting or want to “single stream” their compost waste with the new program.
Kristi shared the energy reporting numbers she forwarded to James. She also suggested the Council arrange a work-group meeting to talk about reviewing B3 data and preparing summaries, and will send a meeting request.
Kristi gave an update on the placement of trees honoring Gary Kruchowski’s father. After discussion related to long-term care of trees and tricky terrain, with our Groundskeepers Janice and Jane, Kristi sent an email to Gary asking if he’d be willing to donate memorial benches instead of trees. She’ll report back to the committee when he responds.
Work Group and Student Employee Reports
Policy and Procedure: employee reminders, education, and training needs (printing, recycling, supplies, computers, small appliance)
Carol, Kristi, Mel, Wade
Sustainability Reporting/Benchmarking: GGI, ACUPCC, MnSCU Sustainability Reporting, Superior Compact, B3, publicizing info
*Kristi, Deanne, Bruce
Grants and Awards: Pre-grant drafts and collaboration with grant office on potential opportunities
*Deanne, Kristi, Wade
Landscape Planning: annual flower planting, rainwater harvesting, no-mow areas, rooftop gardening
*Kristi, Mike, Aaron, Theresa, maintenance rep, Wade
Sustainability in Curriculum
*Theresa, Kristi, Deanne, Glenn
-Garden Club update
FY15 Budget: $8,400
Encumbrances to date:
BALANCE as of today: $8,400
FY15-16 potential budget items
- Concourse lighting signage
- Ditch/swale/raingarden info signs
- Additional bike rack for main entrance
- Interpretive Trail bench, trash/recycling cans, exclosures
- Parking lot/rain garden info signs
- Sustainability kiosk
- MnSCU Sustainability Across Curriculum workshop
August 20th or 21st
Notes submitted to SC blog and LSC Employee Portal>Committees by Kristi Heintz
LSC is working with the University of Minnesota, Duluth, University of Wisconsin, Superior, College of St. Scholastica, and Fond du Lac College to celebrate World Water Week! Events at LSC will take place on Tuesday in the Atrium from 10:00-2:00. Bring your empty plastic water bottles, and add them to our bottle chain. Learn about the effects of plastics in our ecosystem, and attend the week’s great events to learn how to properly dispose of many household items.
This event was organized by the League of Women Voters. Posters created by UMD Graphic Design & Marketing student, Hannah Farmer.