The Wildlife Society Student Chapter at UMD, students in Environmental Science & Policy, and students in Environmental Science & Technology proposed a Nest Box Program to increase biodiversity on campus. Twenty nest boxes, scaled to accommodate a variety of native species of birds and bats, will be installed in green spaces on campus and monitored for occupancy. The nest boxes will provide shelter and security for these vulnerable species to reproduce and increase their populations.
Dylan Kletter, a student enrolled in the Sustainability Studies Minor, proposes to construct a small rain garden at the northwest corner of the Reckord Armory. This project would capture stormwater and enhance the aesthetics at a location in the core of campus . Polluted rainwater runoff is as a major pollution source to waterways. A rain garden will allow rainwater to infiltrate into the soil, reducing discharge rates into local creeks and streams and preventing, causing bank erosion and overall deterioration of the natural system.
Hillel received a small grant to make improvements at its JFarm, a student-run vegetable and herb garden. The grant will go toward the following supplies needed to expand the garden and turn it into a more robust educational tool:
The Research Greenhouse Complex (RGC) proposes to implement a method of sub irrigation, called ebb and flow, to reduce water usage. Compared to the common practice of overhead watering with drip irrigation, where you water the plant until the soil is saturated and the excess water drains through the bottom of the pot, the method of sub irrigation is much more water efficient. An ebb and flow system requires a ridged, watertight bench top that plants are grown on directly, a reservoir to store the water, and a pump.
Gemstone Team BIKES plans to create a unique bikeshare system tailored to the specific needs of college students. The team will create a “smart lock” that will be permanently attached to all the bicycles in the bikeshare. The team seeks to create a quality smart lock that achieves a balance between bicycle security and user convenience.
The Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life proposes to install ceramic window film on all of the existing windows at #1 Fraternity Row. This is an effort to improve the energy efficiency of the building and test a product that may prove to be less expensive than replacing current windows while delivering energy efficiency benefits similar to those of replacement windows.
The Office of Sustainability and Student Sustainability Committee of the SGA propose to enhance the reach of the University Sustainability Fund by providing mini-grants to sustainability projects that are unable to receive grants through the existing Fund process. Mini-grants are more flexible than Sustainability Fund grants in the following ways:
The Maryland Educational & Sustainable Activities Lab (MESA) Mobile is a large robot that has been constructed to serve as an outreach and educational tool. It is designed to demonstrate all components of solar power generation, storage, distribution and efficient use along with general technology and robotics.
Continuing with their stormwater management efforts on campus, Maryland Sustainability Engineering (MDSE) partnered with Facilities Management (FM) to design and build a bioretention facility near the Paint Branch Trail. MDSE received $8,000 from the Sustainability Fund to purchase materials and equipment to successfully implement the project. The project broke ground on November 22, 2014, and was successfully completed on March 28, 2015, as the feature service project for the Good Neighbor Day Initiative.