Archive for the 'Landscaping & Habitat' Category

Congratulations to recipients of ACES sustainability awards

The University Sustainability Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this years sustainability awards in the ACES competition:

  • ACES Undergraduate Sustainability Award: Ruben Tovar, “Chemosensory Prey Preference in Neotropical Gastropod-eating Snakes”
  • ACES Graduate Sustainability Award: Mohamm Moghadam, “Infrared Imaging Detection of Oil Slick Heat Signature Patterns”

Douglas Klahr, ACES Sustainability Judging Coordinator and a member of the USC’s Curriculum, Research, and Community Engagement Working Group, commented:

Both of these awards were given for excellent poster presentations that featured not only top-notch graphics, but also text that was accessible to a well-educated general audience while still including disciplinary-specific language when it was absolutely essential to successfully convey the research. Ruben Tovar’s poster explicitly brought in biodiversity as an underlying component of the research, leading one judge to write: ‘Very articulate presentation, clear data. Fits quite well into sustainability.’ Mohamm Moghadam’s poster not only was closely tied to the issue of oil spills but also extremely timely, considering the BP fiasco of last year. One judge wrote: ‘Nice presentation, good preliminary data. Very relevant for sustainability.’ In addition to top-quality posters, both students also were dynamic and engaging presenters, which is part of the judging process, since poster entrants have to be available for 1.5 hours to explain their posters to judge who inquires.

Congratulations, gentlemen.

Community Garden at UT Arlington — Construction begins today

Thursday, March 3, 2011                               9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Friday, March 4, 2011                                     9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Saturday, March 5, 2011                                9:00 am to 12:00 pm

406 Summit Avenue (UTA Blvd and Summit)

Volunteers needed!

Citizen volunteer Craig Powell is heading up the construction phase while many other community stakeholders will be helping with photography, sign-in and information, volunteer support, publicity, and donations.  ALL volunteers will be required to sign a participant release form.

The focus for our construction days is planting bed assembly, placement and filling of 16 ft x 4 ft. cedar plots.  Portable Drill/Drivers will be a big help in moving the construction along quickly, so if you have a drill/driver please bring it.  Since we are working with rough cedar lumber, gloves will be very important, so please bring a pair with you.

Some considerations for construction day:

ü  Protect your eyes, hands and feet. Please bring safety glasses and gloves if you have them. Wear sturdy shoes, comfortable cloths and a hat.

ü  No open-toed shoes on the garden campus through construction

ü  Power will be available from the Sweet Center. Please bring extension cords and power strips for charging portable drills.

ü  We will organize into teams for construction of the beds, numbering, cutting and placing cardboard in the beds and filling the beds.

ü  We will need an array of tools; portable drills for pilot holes and screwing corner brackets together, shovels and rakes for filling beds. The City is providing box cutters. The University is cutting the 8 foot end pieces for us so we should not have a need for extensive use of skill saws.

ü  Please make sure your tools are marked with your name to avoid confusion.

ü  Hydrate often during the day.  This is going to be a physically demanding time, so we will have plenty of water on site.

UTA is providing coffee and some refreshments, so come prepared to work hard and meet some new people that you may end up gardening with.

Thank you in advance for your contributions and the great results we will see over the next three days!

Bill Gilmore, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation

717 W Main Street, Arlington, TX  76013-1855, 817-459-5499

Interdisciplinary Studies student promotes ‘aquaponics’

INTS senior Chowgene Koay is  on a crusade to promote aquaponics — a technique that uses live fish and natural water filtration to produce a year-round supply of fruits and vegetables on a household scale.

Shorthorn article, Dec. 5

Arlington Community Garden

On Saturday, December 4 at 9:00 am, a second meeting to discuss the development and operation of a community garden will be held in the Council Chamber of the Arlington Municipal Building located at 101 W Abram Street.  The proposed community garden is located on the UT Arlington campus on the west side of the SWEET Center at the approximate address of 406 Summit Avenue.

The half-acre site will accommodate more than 80 planting beds and offer a variety of amenities including irrigation, rain water harvesting, seating and shade.  The preliminary planning schedule is calling for a service day on Thursday, January 13, 2011 to construct the beds.  Planting of food producing planting will be scheduled for sometime in February 2011.

Bill Gilmore, Assistant Director for the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department, is especially interested in soliciting the assistance of community stakeholders who have an interest in contributing time and expertise for the Community Garden Council. The Garden Council will ultimately self-elect leadership positions and handle day to day operations for the garden.  UT Arlington and the City of Arlington officials will serve in advisory capacities to respond to questions or concerns outside the scope of the Council’s authority.

For more info:

Arlington Community Garden’s page on Facebook

Or contact Bill Gilmore by email or at 817-459-5499

Shorthorn article, Dec. 5

Landfills to Wildlife Habitats, July 7

Greta Calvery of Waste Management outlines the basic requirements of developing a certified Wildlife Habitat Council project and the responsibilities associated with the project. Bring a brown bag lunch; dessert and drinks provided. Registration required. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Guadalupe Room, E.H. Hereford University Center. Becky Valentich,, 2-1099.

Update on carbon footprint reduction

Yesterday I updated the PSC Steering Committee on the carbon footprint reduction initiative. The committee requested that Sustainability Director Meghna Tare prepare a proposal on how to formally get footprint reduction planning underway.


Special Events Center is expected to meet LEED Silver standard

The university has announced that the design for the $78 million Special Events Center is expected to qualify for a “silver” rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It incorporates numerous features to conserve energy and water, use native plants, and minimize waste. The building, to be completed in 2012, is expected to be the campus’ second LEED Silver building, following completion of the Engineering Research Building in 2011.

Star-Telegram story, Nov. 15

Press release, Nov. 12

North Central Texas Campus Climate Summit

On October 28th UTA hosted the North Central Texas Campus Climate Summit. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Texas at Arlington, the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program and the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability. The student groups involved with bringing this event to campus were:

Air & Waste Management Association at UTA

Environmental Society at UTA

International Business Society at UTA

Student Planning Association at UTA

UTA Volunteers

The first-ever North Central Texas Campus Climate Summit brought together over 50 participants from 15 different universities and colleges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The summit provided opportunities for faculty, students, staff and administrators from the region to get together to share ideas, best practices and resources to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. The main themes explored were 1) Transforming the Curriculum to Address Eco-literacy 2) Green Workforce Development and 3) Comprehensive Greening of Campus Operations.

NCTCCS Website

Program and Agenda

Mission Statement

Presentation Files

Workshop Descriptions

Sponsors and Organizers

Introduction to Texas Smartscape

Have you noticed the planting arrangement in front of the MAC? This is a good example of Texas Smartscaping.

Are you interested in learning more about Texas native plants and their use in gardening?

The City of Arlington is hosting two upcoming classes at the Arlington Soutwest Library.

Wednesday, July 22, 6-8p.m.
Wednesday, August 12, 6-8 p.m.
S.W. Library, 3311 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd.

Please click on the flyer for details on how to register:
Introduction to Texas Smartscape Flyer

AASHE overview for 2008

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, of which UT Arlington is a member, has issued its annual compendium of developments in campus sustainability. The 356-page volume provides an overview of sustainability efforts on hundreds of campuses, including UT Arlington.

AASHE Digest 2008 (pdf)