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Accreditation for landscape management, operations

December 10th, 2014 @ 10:13 am by Carol Shu

The following article was written by Dave Jones, for UC Davis Dateline.

Photo of the Grounds and Landscape Services staff

Group photo of the Grounds and Landscape Services team

Every institution of higher education knows the importance of accreditation, like UC Davis’ recent 10-year renewal from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Now we have another accreditation to be proud of — for landscape management and operations on the Davis campus. The best-in-the-nation accreditation is from the Professional Grounds Management Society, which evaluated UC Davis Grounds and Landscape Services’ principles and practices for “attractive, healthy, sustainable and high quality” grounds.

The accreditation program is new this year: Only three campuses made the cut in the first round, with UC Davis the only one in California and the only one to get the top rating of four stars.

Carey Avery, Nelson Randolph, and Tyson Mantor (center three) accepting the accreditation award at a ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky.

Carey Avery, Nelson Randolph, and Tyson Mantor (center three) accepting the accreditation award at a ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I could not be more proud of our team,” said Cary Avery, an associate director in Campus Planning and Community Resources. He leads Grounds and Landscape Services and has his own accreditation from the Professional Grounds Management Society, as a certified grounds manager.

“The group of employees that we have working to maintain the health and safety of our campus environment is a top-notch group of people,” Avery said. “They care about each other, this place and the environment.”

The accreditation team had good things to say about Avery: “After talking and listening to Cary’s direct reports and representatives from the work force, it is clear that his leadership style and focus on relationship building are key factors to a harmonious, caring and dedicated workplace environment. “

Which brings us to the work itself: “Many people think that we are just a ‘mow-and-blow’ operation,” Avery said. “They’d be wrong. We have a hand in everything that happens outside.”

Here is a partial list, beyond the mowing and the blowing and raking:

  • Tree care.
  • Cleanup after storms.
  • Irrigation.
  • Sports turf maintenance (including the application of chalk lines).
  • Assist students in their use of landscape installations for school projects, and help faculty members with tree care demonstrations for students.
  • Manage everyday trash and recyclable collection, as well as event cleanup and zero-waste operations.

And, because they’re out and about all day, groundskeepers also give directions to lost visitors, Avery said.

“We have even been contacted by the Raptor Center to rescue an injured bird from a tree top! If this team can help, they will be there. They are incredible people.”

From Green Star to 4 stars

In 2006, the campus earned the highest rating of Grand Star in the Professional Grounds Management Society’s Green Star Awards program, which, according to Avery, was more about aesthetics. “The Grand Star wasn’t about our management practices, how we treat our customers or employees,” he said. “There’s no team that visits to make sure you are doing what you say you are doing.”

The new accreditation program, including site visits, focuses on environmental stewardship, economic performance and social responsibility.

“Collectively, the landscape management team projected a wealth of knowledge on contemporary grounds management strategies as well as a good familiarity with emerging management ideologies and innovations,” the accreditation team wrote. “Cary’s knowledge and effective use of sound grounds management strategies is evident from observing the results of site appropriate work processes and procedures and the delivery of an appreciable grounds product.”

Year-to-year water savings: 20 percent

UC Davis’ sustainability score reflected water savings of about 80 million gallons since Jan. 1, a reduction of more than 20 percent from the year before. Amid the state’s three-year drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has asked all institutions of higher learning to reduce water use by at least that much by the year 2020.

“We’ve done it already, and we hope to do even better next year,” Avery said.

He said the campus has 10 years of experience with “smart” control irrigation, and this allowed for an immediate cut of 20 percent or more in turf watering except on fields that are used for athletics or that have heavy use.

Continued analysis will allow for irrigation cuts of up to 50 percent in certain areas, depending on tree irrigation needs.

“New technologies now also allow our team to further refine irrigation settings with more site-specific information, including plant and soil type, and sun exposure,” Avery said.

“Landscapes where this technology has been implemented only receive water application when the soil and plant material reach a certain allowable depletion level.”

Also, the grounds crew has shut off all fountains and fixes irrigation leaks and overspray problems as quickly as possible after learning of them. To report leaks or overspray, call Facilities Management, (530) 752-1655.

Unique features

In its executive summary, the evaluation team observed: “The University of California, Davis, has a very attractive campus with a visual appearance that can quickly and effectively generate interpretive discussions.

“There are a variety of landscaped areas and features that do not typically appear with as much regularity in the traditional campus setting” — the diversity of drought-tolerant and adaptive plantings (including those in several landscape conversions), the ground cover materials, bio swales and rain gardens, living walls and fences, and naturalized areas strategically interwoven throughout the campus.

“Clearly the integration of these types of sustainability elements with older or existing landscaped areas is a great challenge, and required strategies from a different maintenance and management paradigm,” the review team stated. “The University of California, Davis, campus displays a keen responsiveness to this reality.”

The accreditation report concluded: “The Grounds and Landscape Services unit (of the Arboretum and Public Garden) is playing a vital role in the university’s aspiration to provide an extraordinary experience as a visitor-centered destination, particularly at a time when the campus is in the midst of a historic and severe drought.”

 

Read the original article in Dateline.

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Your Energy Use Resource is Here!

November 26th, 2014 @ 8:45 am by Carol Shu

This guest post comes from the Facilities Management Energy Conservation Office, which develops and implements energy projects and initiatives across the campus. The office also manages the Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) program for the campus.

Imagine that you are grocery shopping, there are no prices on any of the items in the store, and there is no check out required. Instead, you just grab whatever you need off of the shelves whenever you need it. When the end of the month rolls around, the store sends you a grocery bill. This might sound crazy, but that is exactly how we purchase and pay for energy in our homes, offices, schools, etc. On the UC Davis campus, most people just use the resources and never think about the cost because they don’t pay or even see the bill.

You may not be responsible for paying the bills for your office, laboratory, or housing on campus, but you can still stay informed about how much energy your building is using and how that relates to the usage in other buildings on campus. The Energy Conservation Office would like to introduce you to CEED, the Campus Energy Education Dashboard.

Graphic of the Campus Energy Education Dashboard homepage.

Visit the Campus Energy Education Dashboard at eco.ucdavis.edu.

Our first CEED release in early November includes a full energy breakdown for the Student Community Center and Ghausi Hall, along with energy ratings for a handful of other buildings on campus. While we work on further developments and adding more buildings to the Dashboard we would love for you to join the Energy Education experience.

To get involved, there are a few options to choose. You can:

  1. Check out the interactive map on the CEED homepage to review energy use for a variety of campus buildings.
  2. Use the Thermal Feedback Cow on my.ucdavis.edu to let us know how you’re feeling in your building.
  3. Send us an email with comments or questions about energy usage on campus at energyfeedback@ucdavis.edu.

 

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Sustainable Travel Options for the Holidays

November 5th, 2014 @ 5:28 pm by Carol Shu

UPDATE: College students can now save 20% off select routes (includes Capital Corridor),  until June 16, 2015. For more details, visit  Amtrak California: http://www.amtrakcalifornia.com/deals/students-save-20.

This guest post comes from Leslie Mancebo, Transportation Demand and Marketing Coordinator for UC Davis Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS). Leslie manages the goClub, the campus’ alternative transportation program. Here are her tips for getting home for the holidays: 

Each day, I talk to students and employees at UC Davis about traveling to campus car-free but now that November is here, it is time to start thinking about holiday travel. Many members of the UC Davis community do not have regular access to a vehicle so TAPS has put together a car-free travel guide that can be found here. Some popular options include:

Thumbnail of guide

Transportation & Parking Services’ guide to using sustainable transportation to get home for the holidays.

TRAIN
With comfortable seating, food and beverage service and free wi-fi on many routes, the train is a popular option for both students and employees. Amtrak California serves cities throughout the state and the Davis Amtrak Station is located in Downtown Davis at 840 2nd Street. The station is easily accessible using the Unitrans Line A that runs from the Silo Bus Terminal on campus. Unitrans will run special schedules around the holidays to accommodate students using Amtrak. Unitrans Schedule can be found at http://unitrans.ucdavis.edu and Amtrak ticket information can be found at http://amtrak.com.

BERKELEY BUS
The Berkeley Bus travels between the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses twice per day, Monday-Friday. Reservations are required and can be made online, up to two weeks in advance at http://fleet.ucdavis.edu. Spaces on the bus fill up fast.

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
The Sacramento Airport is easily accessible by Yolobus route 42A which provides service between the UC Davis Memorial Union bus terminal and the airport. Around the holidays, Unitrans and Yolobus provide additional airport shuttle service. Rides on both Yolobus and Unitrans are free for undergraduate students with a student ID. More information can be found at http://unitrans.ucdavis.edu and http://yolobus.com.

The Oakland Airport can be reached by Amtrak and the San Francisco Airport can be reached using a combination of Amtrak and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). More information can be found at http://amtrak.com and http://bart.gov.

CARPOOL
Zimride is our online network for carpool matching exclusively for UC Davis students and employees to help you link up with other students traveling to the same hometown. Drivers can sell their empty seats and passengers can find an inexpensive ride out of town. You can post or look for a ride at http://zimride.ucdavis.edu. It is free to join!

If you need help navigating your transportation options, please give me a call at 530-752-6453 or send an email to goclub@ucdavis.edu.

Leslie Mancebo, Transportation Demand and Marketing Coordinator
Transportation and Parking Services
p: 530-752-6453 / e: goclub@ucdavis.edu

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UC Davis Rises to the Challenge Once Again

October 30th, 2014 @ 1:56 pm by Carol Shu

This post is written by Jean Kim, Waste Reduction and Recycling Staff Assistant.

Photo of Aggie Stadium

Aggie Stadium aims to be a zero waste stadium.
Photo credit: Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

GameDay Challenge is an annual competition between colleges and universities to reduce or eliminate waste produced at football games. Schools track and report the amount of waste that is produced and how much is diverted from the landfill. Participants are then ranked to show which schools were the most successful.

UC Davis will rise up to the GameDay Challenge again this year! In previous years we were recognized for our sustainability practices and we were declared the Diversion Rate Champion in 2010 and 2011. This year we will do our best to regain that title.

We will be calculating the amount of waste diverted for the Parent and Family Weekend Game on November 1st!! Please come out to show some school pride and support for your UC Davis Football Team (Go Aggies!!).

In order to ensure that we have extremely positive results from this game, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Program (WRR) has taken several measures.   First and foremost, WRR has drastically reduced the amount of waste that is introduced into the stadium by prohibiting several items from both students and vendors. Second, any items that are brought in are required to be either recyclable or compostable. Finally, WRR strives to educate the public how to properly dispose of their trash. Volunteers and staff will readily provide information to anyone that is unsure of which category to place their trash, diverting as much waste as possible away from the landfill.Logo of GameDay Recycling Challenge

Keep in mind that every piece of waste diverted matters, so remind your fellow peers about what can and cannot go into the recycling or compost bins!

GameDay Challenge is a way to award collegiate stadiums for their zero waste efforts. However, our goal goes much further than just winning this challenge – we strive towards a more sustainable campus. Aggie Stadium’s success is an inspiration to actively promote and implement ways to become zero waste throughout campus, not just at the stadium!

Be on the lookout for more updates on GameDay Challenge!

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Entering the 2015 Solar Decathlon!

December 3rd, 2013 @ 11:02 am by Camille Kirk

This guest post comes from William Abernathy, a staff writer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. UC Davis is applying to enter the Solar Decathlon, a prestigious competition. We hope you will help us successfully enter! Read more about the competition application and how to get involved:

The UC Davis community has set in motion an effort to enter the 2015 Solar Decathlon, the US Department of Energy’s ZNE_One_Solar_Decintercollegiate challenge to design and build a zero-net-energy home. We’ve had our first meeting and are madly scrambling to get our application together in time. Though time is short and the odds are long, we have an amazing entry: a marketable zero-net-energy residence for migrant laborers. We hope that the Davis entry will form the basis for more sustainable housing to contribute to the Domes site, and that our experiments with green living will contribute to new opportunities, both for interdisciplinary study and for product commercialization.

To get there, we need people with an interest and expertise in design, engineering, market analysis, agricultural economics, social justice and migrant issues, and project management. A good attitude and a willingness to do good work will be a big help as well.

To join us, students should fill out the student participation form (a Google form), which tells us who you are, what you can do, and how we can reach you. Faculty or staff should fill out the faculty/staff participation form (also a Google form).

Thanks very much to all who wish to contribute!

– William Abernathy (wabernat@ucdavis.edu)

 

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Take Charge: Plug In and Go!

April 12th, 2013 @ 11:50 am by Camille Kirk

Plug-in-and-go-posterA Plug in and Go Electric Vehicle Showcase is coming to UC Davis, the birthplace of the plug-in hybrid!

Students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to learn more about hybrid and full battery electric vehicles on Tuesday, April 16th from 11:00am – 2:00pm at the Silo.

Transportation and Parking Services has collaborated with regional advocacy groups and auto dealerships to organize Take Charge: Plug in and Go. There will be an opportunity for licensed drivers to test drive plug-in electric vehicles from Ford, GM, Nissan and Mitsubishi in Parking Lot 43 (adjacent to the Silo).

Additional information about local electric vehicle resources will be provided by UC Davis Fleet Services, TAPS and the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District in the Silo Courtyard.

Video from the Take Charge EV Coalition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo3NWJllp7g&feature=youtu.be

Hope to see you there!

 

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CCE Now Hiring Students for 2013-14 Academic Year

April 1st, 2013 @ 5:10 pm by Camille Kirk

The following post is from Tessa Artale, a fourth-year Sociology and Spanish double major, and the Director of the ASUCD Campus Center for the Environment:

ASUCD’s Campus Center for the Environment (CCE) is now hiring for the 2013-2014 academic year!

If you want to get involved in sustainability projects on campus, gain leadership skills, and work with an enthusiastic hard-working staff this is the job for you.

The paid internship positions currently open are:

  • Unit Director
  • Sustainability Education Coordinator
  • Media Coordinator
  • Campus Club and Events Coordinator
  • Sustainability Advisor
  • Volunteer Coordinator/CSSC Liaison

The job descriptions can be found at this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gJvHfi-OXErM6uIQUos3giL36QynUHAoGIqOBg-6E38/edit?usp=sharing .

To learn more about CCE you can visit our Website, Facebook, or ASUCD Site, or contact current Unit Director Tessa Artale at tjartale@ucdavis.edu.

Positions will remain posted through April 11th; don’t wait – apply!

 

 

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Volunteer Opportunity and Gift Card Award, up to $75.00!

March 5th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm by Camille Kirk

Have you ever wondered what people throw away at UC Davis? Or, how much is being thrown away? We have, too, and we need your help to find out.

The UC Davis Waste Reduction and Recycling Program is embarking on a waste characterization study to determine what is currently hauled from campus to the landfill.  This study involves going through UC Davis waste and sorting the materials into categories (recycling, compost and landfill). The study will show the amount and type of material our campus community is throwing away as trash that could have been recycled or composted, and will help UC Davis determine actions to move towards becoming a zero-waste campus.

We are offering a reward for those who are interested in volunteering with us! We want to thank our volunteers for helping us move closer to a zero-waste campus. For every 3 hours of volunteer time, you will receive a $15 Visa gift card (up to a maximum of $75.00). If you, or anyone you know, is interested in joining us on a Friday from March 8 until April 19, please email recycling@ucdavis.edu AND sign up for volunteer shifts on this linked Volunteer Shifts document. Please also sign up for a mandatory training seminar on this linked Training Seminar document. Let us know if you have a conflict with the training seminar times and we’ll work with you to find a time for the training.

If you have any questions, feel free to email recycling@ucdavis.edu or call (530)752-7456.

Come help UC Davis tackle our trash! We hope to see you on a Friday soon!

Thank you,
Waste Reduction and Recycling Program
Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

 

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March 13: Free E-waste Drop-off (Campus Units Only)

March 5th, 2013 @ 1:49 pm by Camille Kirk

Bargain Barn is offering another of their free e-waste drop-off events. E-waste needs to be disposed of legally, which means it cannot be thrown in the landfill trashcan. The drop-off events are a great service for the campus community. Here’s the announcement from Bargain Barn:

When: Wednesday, March 13, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: Hopkins Services Complex, 615 Hopkins Rd. (Across from the University Airport)

Items Accepted: Non-functioning* University owned desktop (or smaller) electronic items such as:

  • desktop/laptop computers
  • monitors
  • keyboards and mice
  • speakers
  • phones
  • printers and faxes
  • PDA’s
  • TV’s and VCR/DVD players
  • projectors
  • typewriters
  • microwaves
  • shredders
  • software
  • cords/cables

We’ll also accept small lab items, such as shakers and water baths

* Please note that the Bargain Barn picks-up marketable functioning items at no charge.

Not accepted for drop off** are:

  • items with UCD property stickers
  • items requiring decommissioning (e.g., containing oil or refrigerant) or containing hazardous chemicals
  • household batteries (can be placed for pick-up with your campus mail)
  • toners (can be placed for pick-up with your campus mail)

**We reserve the right to refuse any item.

Please prepare your items as follows:

  • Please remove items from their original packaging
  • Do not place items in small boxes
  • Batteries must be removed from the casing on UPS units

Large drop-offs: If you plan on dropping off a large quantity (50 or more items), please let us know so that we can plan accordingly.

Call (530) 752-2145 or e-mail for other eligibility questions.

 

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Davis Screening of “American Meat” on February 6th

January 25th, 2013 @ 8:28 am by Camille Kirk

The guest post below is by Amanda Wentworth, a third-year Community and Regional Development Major and the Club/Event Coordinator for the ASUCD Campus Center for the Environment:

The Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) is widely considered the ancestor of the domestic chicken; a rooster at UC Davis.

The Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) is widely considered the ancestor of the domestic chicken; a rooster at UC Davis.

Can sustainable farming feed America? Find out: Don’t miss an upcoming screening of the documentary film, American Meat, at Hunt 100 on February 6th, 6-9 p.m.

American Meat is a pro-farmer look at cattle, hog, and chicken production in the U.S. This is a great opportunity, as the film is coming through Davis specifically to be screened for our community!

The event is free and open to the public and is hosted by ASUCD Campus Center for the Environment. Following the film will be a lively Q&A with the film’s director Graham Meriwether. Snacks will be provided and there will be free Chipotle burrito vouchers for everyone attending!

Three core actionable principles guide American Meat’s nationwide Young Farmers Screening Series: (1) thank America’s farmers; (2) support young farmers; and (3) food choices matter.

Come learn more about these actionable principles:  Join us for this important and fun event! And, please spread the word! Follow American Meat on Facebook  and check out our Davis page for local event information.

 

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