UM Green Fund
The University of Mississippi Green Fund supports innovative sustainability projects on campus. Since its establishment in 2013, the Green Fund has awarded more than $58,000 of funding to 22 projects. Past projects include the establishment of the UM Compost Program, the installation of hydration stations and energy conservation projects in RC South and the J.D. Williams Library. All faculty, staff and students are eligible to propose a project. To learn more about the Green Fund, click the topics below.
Propose a Project
The UM Green Fund accepts project proposals once year in November. This year’s project proposals must be e-mailed to email@example.com by 5pm on March 8th, 2021. All UM students, staff, and faculty are eligible and encouraged to submit project proposals. The Green Fund exists to increase, promote, publicize, and fund sustainability at the University of Mississippi, with the express intent to improve the quality of life for all members of the campus community.
Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria:
- Impact: Projects should help the university advance the university’s commitment to sustainability and operational efficiency.
- Visibility: Projects should have an education and outreach component.
- Feasibility: Dream big, yet projects should be realistic and achievable.
Proposals should seek to address a sustainability goal, including but not limited to the following:
- Reducing campus waste
- Efficient use and conservation of energy, water and other resources
- Advancing UM’s transportation programs
- Increasing the university’s use of renewable energy from sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable energy technology
- Educating the campus community about environmental sustainability
- Making environmentally informed and sustainable choices more accessible to students, faculty, staff, and the Ole Miss community
- Reducing Ole Miss’ greenhouse gas emissions
- Improving the operational efficiency of campus buildings and infrastructure
All projects are required to have a mechanism for evaluation and follow up. At a minimum, a project plan must include a report made to the Green Fund Committee after implementation. The Green Fund will not fund projects that are solely for research purposes; however, a research component will not disqualify a project for funding.
Proposals should include the following sections in 4-10 pages:
- Project Overview
- Project Purpose and Goals
- Project Details and Timeline – Provide details about how the project will work, who will implement the project, and any details the committee should consider. Identify partners the project will need to be implemented and indicate whether you have reached out to the partners yet. (Note: It is preferred that you have reached out to these partners before submitting your proposal. If you need help identifying who those partners might be, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Budget – For those projects that include an additional funding source, please include the amount of the additional funding and a letter of support from the contributing entity.
- Student Engagement – How will the project seek to inform or engage the student body?
- Project Evaluation – Please include a method of gathering data about how the project is working. What data will you gather and how?
- Proposal Contacts – Identify a primary and secondary contact
- Conflict of Interest – Have any of the Green Fund Committee members been involved in this project? If Yes, please identify committee members.
Preference and priority will be given to project proposals that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Demonstrate the greatest reduction in the University of Mississippi’s negative environmental impacts for the least cost.
- Include a strong campus participation component.
- Yield cost savings to the university.
- Incorporate additional or matching funds from sources other than the Green Fund
Selection Process and Timeline
The Committee accepts proposals once per year in November. The UMGF committee will review all project proposals and select an initial round of proposals to consider. Proposers selected during the first round may be invited to speak at the public hearing/forum. One member from the project group must be present at that event to present and answer questions about the project. Following the public meeting, the committee and, in some cases, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance will make final selections.
Green Fund Committee & History
The UMGF committee is charged with the stewardship of the UMGF on behalf of the University of Mississippi. The committee is comprised of students, faculty and staff members.
Current Committee Member Profiles:
Kendall McDonald – Committee Chairperson, Project Manager, Office of Sustainability (Non-Voting)
Shannon Richardson – Staff Representative, Student Affairs
Dean Hansen — Staff Representative, Facilities Management
If you are a student, faculty or staff member interested in serving on the UM Green Fund, e-mail email@example.com.
Donate to the UM Green Fund
To support the UM Green Fund, the university provides a baseline contribution of $15,000 per year. The fund is also supported by donations from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. UM will match each student contribution by 50 percent.
Students who wish to donate should do so through the MyOleMiss portal. Faculty, staff, alumni and community members can do so through the UM Foundation.
Your support is vital to the impact of the UM Green Fund on campus sustainability.
UM Compost Program
The university’s composting program began as a pilot project funded through the UM Green Fund in 2013. The project composted pre-consumer food waste from the Marketplace at the Residential Colleges. After a successful first year, the Green Fund Committee voted to fund the expansion of the UM Compost Program. The program is now in its fifth year and is a housed within the UM Office of Sustainability. It composts pre-consumer food waste from all residential dining locations including Ole Miss Catering and P.O.D. locations. Since its establishment in 2013, the program has successfully diverted more than 52 tons of food waste. Learn more here.
Lenoir Dining Green Restaurant Certification
The Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management’s student-run restaurant, Lenoir Dining, is in the process of seeking certification from the Green Restaurant Association. Prior to beginning the certification process, nutrition and hospitality management faculty worked with Facilities Management to make energy efficient upgrades, conserve water and recycle in the facility. Additionally, all students who work in Lenoir Dining are trained on how to compost through the UM Compost Program. Lenoir Dining also features a sustainable menu at least once per semester, highlighting locally produced ingredients. Because this is a lab operated by students, all undergraduate students and some graduate students will learn firsthand what is required to achieve, maintain and improve sustainable restaurant practices on a daily basis.
Native Plant Installation
Phase two of a project to incorporate more native plants into the university’s landscape was completed in 2017. In November, student volunteers, representatives from Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, and UM faculty and staff planted more than 2200 Christmas fern and wood aster on half an acre of campus near Fraternity Row. Phase one of the project was completed in April 2015, when UM ornithology students installed 142 native plants in the same area to enhance wildlife habitat and provide an educational tool on the importance of native species.
Complete Streets Pop Up Project
In collaboration with the City of Oxford, members of the Active Transportation Advisory Committee and Office of Sustainability installed a temporary demonstration project on Gertrude Ford Boulevard in April. This pop-up project utilized “Complete Street” strategies, meaning it used street design techniques that accommodated all users of the road, including cyclists and pedestrians. The project is ongoing and aims to enhance the road using nonpermanent modifications such as bike line buffers and crosswalk signage, while also collecting community feedback to better inform future design decisions regarding this road. Feedback collected during April and May was overwhelmingly positive, and indicated that the project had accomplished its goal by creating a safer bike lane for cyclists and calming motor traffic.
Ole Miss Market Days
Ole Miss Market Days were a series of on-campus farmers markets intended to educate students, faculty and staff about the importance and many benefits of eating locally as well as to provide resources about where to purchase local foods in Oxford. Through the Green Fund, this event provided access to local produce, honey, bread, Gulf seafood, cooking demonstrations, free samples and more.
Mississippi River Dance
University Of Mississippi student dancers joined dance groups across the nation to bring awareness to water issues as part of the National Water Dance 2016. Students in the university’s Mississippi: The Dance Company performed in the waters of Mud Island’s Mississippi River replica.
The Mississippi River Water Dance began with a poetry reading by UM students. The dance moved along the model of the river, followed by the audience. Throughout the performance, docents recited facts about the river and its culture. The dance was live-streamed on the National Water Dance’s website, along with dances from across the nation.
Library Low-E Film
This summer the J.D. Williams Library has installed Low-E Film on the library’s south facing windows, including those in the Faulkner Room, thanks to funding provided by the UM Green Fund. The film works by reflecting 57% of total solar energy, thus keeping cooling costs down. This project is expected to lower the Library’s energy use in those rooms between 10-40% and to pay for itself in 3 years. The project was proposed by the Library’s staff members, who are diligently working to record energy data on the project and increase student awareness of the energy savings that stem from sustainable building practices such as this. The project leaders are Librarian and Green Team Chair Buffy Choinski and Library Operations Manager Stan Whitehorn.
Campus Hydration Stations
The UM Green Fund funded several of the campus’ first hydration stations to encourage the use of reusable water bottles. Locations funded by the Green Fund include Brevard Hall, Holman Hall, the law school and the J.D. Williams Library.
H2Otty Toddy Water Bottles
The first project funded by the UM Green Fund was the H2Otty Toddy Water Bottle project proposed by writing professor Milly West and her Freshman Writing Class. Their project sold reusable H2Otty Toddy Water Bottles at the 2013 Sustainability Fair as a part of Green Week. The water bottles were sold to raise student awareness of the waste created by non-reusable water bottles and to promote reusable water bottle use. The proceeds of the water bottle sales raised just over $2,000 that was put back into the Green Fund.