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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Green Fund awards campus grants

 
 

With the announcement of the Spring 2014 grant recipients, the Aggie Green Fund Advisory Board allocated about $233,000 to nine different sustainability projects around campus.
The board has been allocating funds since 2011, and the money comes from the university advancement fee.
Sophia Mora, student intern at the office of sustainability and freshman business honors major, said the nine projects include, among others, funding for the Big Belly recycling bins and water filling stations and a “visual recycling” program in the chemistry department that uses a color-coded system to guide people as to what is recyclable.
Another organization benefitting from the grants is Howdy Farm, which has two projects being funded. Mora said one project will allow the farm to hire and pay a
volunteer coordinator.
Corey Wahl, agricultural research technician and staff advisor for Howdy Farm, said the grant will be beneficial to improving the farm in other ways, such as assisting the garden after its move from its
original location.
“Since the farm had to move locations because of the new dorms that are going in, it really stalled us because we went two semesters without hardly making any money from selling vegetables because we didn’t have enough space and we were trying to move,” Wahl said. “This grant money is really going to help us get back in the swing of things and get some money flowing in so that we can plan future projects and future research for students and expand the farm.”
Now that the grants have been allocated, Mora said the board will stay in touch to monitor the progress of each project.
“Each grant is assigned an Aggie Green Fund advisory member who is sort of in charge with managing and keeping up with how the project is going along its path,” Mora said.
Kelly Wellman, university sustainability officer and advisor for the committee, said the grant money allows sustainability projects to remain active
on campus.
“The grants provide the opportunity for environmental change to happen, so what I mean by that it’s a tough financial environment right now, and the seed money from the Aggie Green Fund allows for projects to happen that might otherwise not be allocated for funding,” Wellman said.
Wellman said the Office of Sustainability has used funds to install water bottle filling stations on campus, and the fund has acted as a catalyst for other buildings to install stations
as well.
“We have installed 20 from Aggie Green Fund, but due to popularity, success and demand, other buildings have installed them on their own,” Wellman said. “It kind of serves as that spark. It gives people a chance to try something out, see if it’s going to be effective and feasible, desirable and then it goes from there.”
Wellman said there are limitations as to which projects can be funded by the grant.
“The project has to impact the Texas A&M campus,” Wellman said. “You couldn’t apply for a project and it be in one of the cities and not impact Texas A&M. It is designed to be a local improvement for our campus.”

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