On April 20th and 21st Scott Lindgren and I attended the Partnership in Sustainability Conference at the UMass Boston Campus Center. The 2nd annual communities conference was held on Friday and Saturday was a day devoted to campuses. Even though the conference extended into the weekend there were almost 500 participants. There were 9 states, 94 communities and 45 campuses and schools represented. Each day offered the conference participants 16 different sessions throughout the day to attend. One of the sessions on Saturday featured Scott Lindgren and I along with Jenny Isler, the Sustainability Coordinator at Clark University as speakers. The ‘take home’ we were trying to portray during our portion of the session entitled “How do Design Professionals help with Campus Sustainability”, was that although there are many different measures and metrics to judge your campus sustainability, one might not be the perfect fit. We tried to highlight the importance of campuses taking ownership and determine what was important to their campus. We discussed using some of these measurement criteria’s as a starting point and to pick and choose from them to create their own guidebook to sustainability on their campus.
It was interesting to hear what communities and campuses across Massachusetts are doing to make a positive change. To name a few:
- Brad Swing, the Director of Energy Policy for the City of Boston shared with participants the unveiling of Greenovate Boston http://www.cityofboston.gov/environmentalandenergy/earthday.asp.
- David Colton, Easton Town Manager talked about how Easton was a Massachusetts Green Community http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/green-communities/ and their plans for a future solar field on their landfill.
- At lunch on Friday we also met Rachael Dutton from UMass Amherst who told us about the UMass Permaculture Conference www.UMassPermacultureConference.com coming up in June. She also told us about the 1000 pounds of food the UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative harvested the first season.