Throughout the year, Richland Community College provides sustainable-living opportunities for our community. Whether the College is teaching about the importance of planting trees or assisting the community in safely and responsibly disposing of electronics, each event is incredibly important to the environment we all share.
Tree Planting Seminar
Richland Community College, in conjunction with Southern Illinois University, hosted a tree planting mini-workshop in the spring of 2012. The workshop included a presentation by Emily Hanson, Southern Illinois University Community Forestry Outreach, about tree planting and care. An actual tree planting demonstration was also held, and each participant received a copy of the Tree Owner’s Manual.
Tree Campus USA
Ecoland is the Environmental Club at Richland Community College. This group focuses on innovative solutions to ecological problems through volunteering and service projects, such as “Sustainable Saturday Electronics Recycling and Can-do Food Drive,” Decatur Celebration Cleanup, Green Team, used notebook/binder collection, Earthweek festivities, and Forums to Action (F2A). F2A is a dynamic program that develops new student leaders to drive solution oriented clean energy collaborations between their campuses and communities.
Echo Nord is a student at Richland Community College working with Focus the Nation, a national non-profit organization committed to clean energy leadership development to investigate clean energy roadblocks and solutions in our community through their Forums-to-Action (F2A) Program. During the spring 2013 semester, she will be exploring what environmental challenges are facing our campus and community. She will plan a Clean Energy Forum to address these challenges, and then develop and implement dynamic solutions and projects on the ground.
In the fall 2012 semester, Echo participated in national and regional webinars with other student leaders across the United States, as well as weekly check-ins with a coach at the headquarters of Focus the Nation. She currently is seeking other Richland students interested in dedicating their time to helping plan Earth Week (April 2013) at Richland Community College and inviting clean energy experts to campus to create awareness of issues related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change. Echo is currently enrolled in an independent study at Richland with Benjamin Newton, Sustainability Coordinator, serving as her advisor in the Focus the Nation program. If you know any students that would like to be involved in Focus the Nation or helping plan Richland Community College’s Earth Week activities, please contact Echo Nord at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ben Newton at email@example.com. For more information feel free to visit the Focus the Nation website.
Planning, Administration, and Engagement Sustainability Committee
Richland’s sustainability committee was initially formed to review and gather information for the STARS report. Members of this committee were charged with reporting baseline information regarding the College’s current sustainability efforts in regard to the STARS criteria and to provide recommendations to the CIP Team (6-08) about which STARS criteria to pursue. The committee spent a great deal of time researching the initial STARS criteria, and determining what “sustainability initiatives” the college already had in place. Initially, each committee member was assigned an area to research. Visits were conducted throughout the college to determine what STARS criteria Richland Community College had completed, which were in the planning stages, and which were not being considered currently. Periodic meetings were held to discuss the research and how to proceed. It was determined that the College is doing a great deal to enhance the sustainability of the College. The committee documented these findings. The committee now meets on an "as needed" basis.
Richland's Strategic Plan updated in 2011, encompasses three main goals. One of those goals is to “Cultivate a Sustainable Institutional Environment.” There are strategies within this goal dealing with environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and financial sustainability.
The 2011-2014 Strategic Plan approved in May 2011 was crafted with input from internal and stakeholders. Surveys were distributed and input was obtained from students, faculty and staff members as well as top-level administrators.