Lincoln Land Community College has been named one of 22 organizations across the state to win a 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award. From global corporations to small specialized businesses, the Illinois Sustainability Awards recognize significant achievements toward keeping the state’s economy green and going strong. LLCC was recognized for its commitment to sustainable campus operations.
“We are honored to receive an Illinois Sustainability Award,” said Dr. Judy Jozaitis, LLCC vice president of workforce development and community education, who accepted the award at a Chicago ceremony hosted by the Illinois Sustainability Technology Center – Prairie Research Institute. “Sustainability is a part of our culture at LLCC. It is embedded in our curriculum, put into practice on our campus and demonstrated to the individuals, organizations and businesses of our community, many of whom are on their own journey towards sustainability.”
Energy efficient upgrades to LLCC campus facilities have included installing roof top solar panels (also used for educational purposes), replacing aged boilers and chillers with high efficiency units, replacing constant volume air handlers with variable air volume handlers, replacing windows with energy efficient models and installing energy management systems.
The college adopted the use of 26 green cleaning products and switched all vending machines to Energy Star compliant models. The college paper reduction project has reduced paper usage across the campus by an average of 13 percent. Communal garden space has grown to 42 garden beds, two bee hives and two high tunnel greenhouses used to raise vegetables throughout the year.
In addition, 15 acres of native prairie landscapes at LLCC replaced high maintenance grass and created habitats for native wildlife. The native plant species added to the grounds provide learning opportunities for biology and environmental students. Establishing the prairies saved money, time and an estimated 200 gallons of gas, formerly used for mowing, annually.
LLCC’s Sustainability Team recently unveiled a new online guide, called “A Walk Through the Prairies,” that outlines walking paths and points of interest around the campus prairies.
The guide includes four suggested walking paths. It also describes the various plants walkers will encounter at various times of the year, and allows individuals to share their own prairie photos. The guide was created by LLCC geographic information system (GIS) student Megan Cantrall.
“During a walk through the campus prairies, you get to experience elements of art and science,” explains Steve Handy, LLCC grounds maintenance supervisor. “With the help of the online guide, which you can access from your smartphone during your walk, you learn more about the prairie and can share photos with others.”
The online guide is available on the LLCC website at www.llcc.edu/maps under “Springfield Campus Maps” for either mobile or desktop viewing.