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Feature Story

National Wildlife Federation Honors Longwood for Sustainability Efforts

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Gina Caldwell Associate Editor

Longwood University is the only school in Virginia to earn an award in the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) competition Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming. 

The program honors U.S. schools that are advancing creative solutions to global warming on their campuses. Longwood is one of eight winning schools that were chosen from a national pool of entries. 

Longwood won the NWF’s video award for its outstanding green initiatives and programs. The university has implemented measures to promote a greener campus, from big projects like a transportation overhaul to a program to reduce cigarette litter. Amanda Thomas, ‘09, a liberal studies/elementary education major, and Jenna Rooney, ‘09, a liberal studies/special education major, developed the video "Longwood ... Creating A Sustainable Future" which can be viewed at www.longwood.edu/2009releases_10186.htm.

"This was a great opportunity for Longwood to showcase its sustainability efforts," said Kelly Martin, ’07, Longwood’s sustainability coordinator. "We have a lot to be proud of, not only because of our hard work to create a more sustainable campus, but also because we are the only Virginia institution to earn an award from the NWF in this video competition." Martin, along with Robin Dickson, multimedia specialist, and Louise Waller, space planning and real property manager, assisted Thomas and Rooney with producing the video.

The three-minute video provides details of Longwood’s many campus sustainability initiatives. The school’s landscape debris is composted and reused. Students living in university-owned housing within one mile of campus are required to walk or ride a bike to classes. The Health and Fitness Center is the first student recreation center in the southeast to be LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, a measure that saved $42,500 in energy costs in 2007. The trayless dining hall reduces food waste by two tons per month, and Longwood purchased athletic field press boxes constructed from recycled shipping containers. 

"Every one of our Chill Out winners deserves an Oscar for the example they have set," said Julian Keniry, director of Campus and Community Leadership for the NWF. "Campuses nationwide are demonstrating that we can combat global warming, protect habitat, and save money at the same time. These campuses are actually doing what the science says should be done to reduce the threat of global warming."

This year’s video contest was hosted by GoGreenTube.com, a new online video site that is focused solely on environmental and green videos. The winners were selected by the online community through a voting process. GoGreenTube.com partners with Carbon Fund and for each video that is watched by a logged-in user, one pound of CO2 is offset by a carbon credit.

Other winning schools in the contest were California State University Chancellor’s Office; California State University – Northridge; Humboldt State University (Arcata, Calif.); Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Buzzards Bay, Mass.); Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.); Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio); and the University of California, San Diego.

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