Daemen College Sustainability Initiatives Featured by National Wildlife Federation

Daemen College Sustainability Initiatives Featured by National Wildlife Federation  


National Wildlife Federation-Published Resource Signals Sea Change on American Campuses


December 5, 2011



Contacts:     Mike Andrei

                  Director-College Relations




                  Dr. Brenda L. Young

                  Professor of Biology

                  Program Director-Local

                  and Global Sustainability




Daemen College is among the American colleges and universities that have made substantial capital and intellectual investments to the cause of economic and environmental sustainability. Several of Daemen’s efforts toward sustainability on campus and through the curriculum are included in the National Wildlife Federation’s campus sustainability case study database, at www.nwf.org/campuscasestudies, and now lists close to 100 new campus studies added for 2011. The database, which has added almost 100 new campus studies for 2011,  highlights efforts by colleges and universities to dramatically reduce pollution; waste and costs; and implement recycling, energy efficiency improvements, alternative transportation systems, and green jobs training programs.


            Daemen College sustainability initiatives and programs included in the NWF database include:


            Habitat: In 2002-2003 Daemen students beautified the campus by the creating a meditation garden. The freshman class selected a meditation garden as their group project during their first-year experience course, and plans were made to develop the garden in Spring, 2003. Additionally, the class of 2006 planned to establish and maintain their garden during their college years. Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society also planted a flowering crabapple tree on Earth Day.


Energy: In 2005-2006, Daemen College increased and improved campus awareness of sustainable practices, particularly energy usage. In October, 2011, Daemen College joined 32 other college and universities across the nation in The Billion Dollar Green Challenge. The Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in selfmanaged revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. Participating schools will achieve reduction in operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating regenerating funds for future projects. The Challenge was launched at the October 2011 AASHE Conference with 32 Founding Circle institutions, which, in addition to Daemen, include Arizona State University; Caltech; Dartmouth; Harvard; and Stanford, among many others.


Environmental Education or Outreach: In 2008-2009, Daemen’s faculty and students created the Ecotrail for environmental education, reflection, and observation in the outdoor environment. The Daemen Ecotrail is one of the most visible manifestations of Daemen’s environmental commitment. Professor of Biology Dr. Brenda Young and Associate Professor of Graphic Design Kevin J. Kegler first presented the Ecotrail project at a campus-wide faculty meeting a few years ago. A green roof demonstration project is visible atop the trailhead building; the shed’s roofs are planted with robust succulents which help to control storm water. Green roofs also help insulate heated buildings, protect roof surfaces and improve aesthetics by creating a natural park-like space. The Ecotrail also features a rain garden, a natural area that helps absorb water coming in from the surrounding lawns and parking areas. The Ecotrail is home to ground hogs, turkeys, birds, deer, and the occasional fox. There is also a weather station just off the trail’s south end, which measures temperature, humidity, wind speed, and rainfall.


Building Design 2010-2011: The Research and Information Commons (RIC) – a campus model for energy-efficiency and green practices – opened in 2009 and has been awarded Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The RIC is built with design features to conserve energy, water, and other resources; maximize the use of recycled materials; and minimize the use of toxic materials. The RIC is among the first free-standing “green” buildings on a Western New York college campus, and also functions as a core component of the Daemen Global and Local Sustainbility Program. 


In 2012, Daemen College will open its second ‘green’ building, the Visual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC). Retrofitted into the former Marian Library building, the VPAC will make efficient use of the existing space without expanding the College’s footprint. It is designed to achieve LEED certification as a ‘green’ building, and will utilize geothermal heating and cooling to contain energy costs.           


Published each year since 1989, NWF’s Campus Ecology sustainability case study database includes more than 600 case studies from campuses across the U.S. spanning more than a decade. It has become a ready resource for students, faculty, administrators, community leaders, and others interested in the role of colleges and universities in protecting the public health and welfare by reducing waste, pollution and congestion in their communities. The database is searchable by topic, year and school, and includes information on each college’s project goals, successes, challenges, funding strategies and project leaders.


NWF’s Campus Ecology program works with several hundred campuses nationwide each year on efforts to advance student leadership, reduce carbon pollution and support career education.

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Daemen Professors & Students from several departments work at a public clinic to provide free medical care in Progreso Dos in the Dominican Republic during the semester break.

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