By Adrienne LaBranche Tucker, Ph.D., Associate Director of The Green Institute @ Heartland Community College
On October 28th, Heartland Community College in Normal, IL hosted the 6th annual Governor Quinn’s Green Government Coordinating Council Sustainable Universities and Colleges Symposium. Around 350 attendees from all across Illinois joined in a day of higher education sustainability best practice sharing. The day’s activities started with presentations from Heartland Community College’s President, Dr. Alan Goben, the Town of Normal Mayor, Chris Koos, the Executive Director of the Illinois Green Economy Network, Julie Elzanati, and of course Governor Pat Quinn.
Speakers, workshops, and panel discussions covered topics such as sustainable renovation and construction, energy efficiency, renewable energy, conservation, environmental education and service learning, water and waste reduction, student engagement in greening the campus, applications of benchmarking and reporting tools like the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, STARS, ACUPCC and more.
The remainder of the day included breakout sessions covering topics from implementing the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact to implementing geothermal on your campus and sustaining employment through workforce development and training. Attendees also investigated the Town of Normal’s two Mitsubishi “i” EV cars along with local dealers’ Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf all while enjoying locally sourced food thanks to the Normal Community West High School culinary arts program.
Every year the symposium offers free attendance thanks to the support of exhibitors and sponsors. This year 13 organization sponsoring from a $500 to $2,000 level, 12 nonprofit exhibitors and 6 for profit exhibitors supported the cost. All food and paper waste was collected for the Illinois State University compost farm.
Here is a local news article about the event: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/education/article_ec6871da-01c5-11e1-b18e-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story