Seven Projects to Receive UK Sustainability Challenge Grants

by Whitney Harder

(Nov. 25, 2014) — The University of Kentucky President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee recently announced seven sustainability projects receiving grants, a total of $100,000 in funding, from the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program. A wide range of sustainability projects were chosen, from North Limestone neighborhood initiatives to "microcomputers" that monitor individual sustainability impact on campus.  

The grant program issued a campus-wide call for proposals Aug. 15 seeking interdisciplinary, sustainability-driven proposals. By the deadline of Oct. 15, the program received 22 proposals requesting more than $450,000. Through an extensive review process, seven projects were selected to fund this year.

2014 UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Projects:

  • University of Kentucky Food Summit - Awarded $6,690.
  • Big Blue Impact: Making Sustainability Visible - Awarded $10,000.
  • Development of Sustainable Bus Stops - Awarded $18,200.
  • The Campus Tree Initiative: Enhancing sustainability through engagement with the urban tree canopy on UK campus and beyond - Awarded $17,760.
  • Arboretum Drive BioSwale Demonstration and Education Project - Awarded $15,000.
  • Empowerment for North Limestone Neighborhood Sustainability: Establishing Public Spaces and Arts - Awarded $17,350.
  • Cultivating Place for a Sustainable Community: Revitalizing the Shawneetown Community Garden - Awarded $15,000.

To read descriptions of each project and information on departments and individual team members involved, please click here.

"The campus response to the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program has been tremendous with outstanding proposals from nearly two dozen interdisciplinary teams," said Shane Tedder, University of Kentucky sustainability coordinator. "The seven projects selected for funding all demonstrated a clear focus on sustainability and transformational potential for the campus. These projects also involve high levels of meaningful student engagement and make innovative use of the campus as a living laboratory."

The Sustainability Challenge Grant Program was developed as a collaborative effort of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability the Environment (TFISE) and the UK Office of Sustainability. As 2014 is the inaugural year for the program, the steering committee hopes to continue to offer the grants on an annual basis. 

"The support of a diverse group of administrators reinforces the ingenuity of the program and should help maintain its continuity into the future," said Rebecca McCulley, interim director for the TFISE and member of the Sustainability Challenge Grant steering committee. "The infusion of funds for faculty, student and staff-generated sustainability projects represents a significant commitment from our administration, and is testimony of their belief in the transformative force present on our campus."

Funding for the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program is provided by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and AdministrationOffice of the Vice President for Research and the Student Sustainability Council.

Awards will be celebrated at a ceremony held in conjunction with the TFISE Research Showcase Dec. 1. Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. following the research poster session beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Hilary J. Boone Center

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