Project Name: Nature Village: Sustainable Family Living at UC Berkeley
2012 Grant Application
Project title: Nature Village: Sustainable Family Living at UC Berkeley
Sponsoring Organization/Fiscal Agent: The University Village office.
Total amount requested from TGIF: $18,861
Amount Requested as: Grant Loan (Estimated payback period of loan in months:___)
How did you hear about this grant?
From student in the Energy and Resources Group
Please give a brief history of this project/your organization. Describe the overall purpose (goals) of the project.
The University Village (UV) was created in 1956 to serve the many special needs of students with families. It currently provides housing for 974 student families, with 2,718 total residents, (1,775 students/spouses, and 943 children/dependents). A series of students and family programs are offered to support the residents in academic and family life. However, even though the design of the University Village incorporates certain environmental principles and its residents recycle some of their trash, there are no sustainability programs in place and several opportunities to reduce its environmental footprint are being missed.
In the fall of 2011 we formed Nature Village, a multidisciplinary group integrated by residents, UC Berkeley students, staff, campus sustainability groups, and non-profit organizations that work together with the overarching goal of promoting sustainable living practices at the University Village.
Reduce the Environmental Impact of the University Village.
Improve the knowledge and lifestyle practices of residents in relation to resource management, including water, energy, natural gas, and solid waste.
Open a new opportunity of Experiential Environmental Education for children and families.
Create a stronger sense of community and life experience at University Village through an active participation in environmental programs and activities.
What will be the process for implementing your project? Describe the key components and steps of your project.
Programs and Activities (See annex 1)
Assessment: Electricity, natural gas and water. Where are they coming from, how much and how are we using them. Track consumption and expenditures over time and make a record of it.
Resource Flow:Educational materials (map and brochures) created with the information of Resources and Waste assessments, showing residents where resources come from, how much and how we are using them, where our waste is going to and what is the environmental impact.
Sustainability Strategy:With the analysis of the assessment information, identify the opportunities to reduce resource use to find a viable way to reduce the environmental impact and expenditures.
UV Sustainability Recommendations: Management recommendations to reduce the environmental impact of the activities and services of the University Village.
Households Sustainability Practices:Application of the sustainability strategy at the household level, recommending low environmental impact practices, considering Reuse, Reduce and Recycle (options for different lifestyles due the multiculturalism).
"Cool Lifestyle Practices" – Resources: The “Welcome Package” will have all the information needed to efficiently handle Resources in their apartments, with tips for a sustainable lifestyle. Residents will also be informed that we track and care for the sustainability of the University Village.
Assessment: Assess quantity, processes, facilities, and practices for the disposal of trash, recycling, e-waste, over-sized and hazardous materials. Track the volume and practices over time.
Trash enclosures: Identify opportunities of improvement in the design of facilities to facilitate adequate assortment at disposal and reduce risks of collection. Improve signage to help the residents to properly sort and dispose their materials (including special waste).
Design "special waste" strategy: Define the processes and proper place to dispose e-waste, over-sized, reusable, and hazardous materials.
Composting: Campus Recycling & Refuse Services and University Village have already initially committed to pilot a composting program. Number of households and strategy to be defined.
"Cool Lifestyle Practices" – Waste: Create a waste guide for households to include in the “Welcome” package, which will have all the information needed to properly handle the waste from their apartments, with recommendation on how to adjust and settle down at their new life with a sustainable lifestyle. The “Moving Out” package will include resources to help residents move out and appropriately reuse, recycle, or dispose their belongings in a sustainable way.
“Cool Lifestyle Practices" Campaign: Create an accompaniment strategy for the residents considering the different needs and impacts where arriving and leaving. Distribute the “Welcome” and “Moving Out” packages with Resources (water, energy, natural gas) and Waste Management information. The publicity campaign will use the networks already in place in the University Village to communicate with residents. At least three Resident Volunteers will be trained to be “Cool lifestyle consultants” delivering the packages and offering a fast introduction for New Residents and helping Moving Out Residents to do so in an environmental friendly way.
Environmental Education & Outdoor Activities
Create the Environmental Education Group: Students, Resident Volunteers, and University Village Staff.
Village Natural Environment
Inventory: Plants, animals and natural elements in the Village and it´s close surroundings.
Map and Brochure: A visual guide to highlight where residents can enjoy particular natural elements in and near the University Village.
Path - Design: Route into the University Village to allow Residents or visitors to know and enjoy the wild life and natural elements, such as the garden, etc.
Path - Tours and Workshops: Tours programmed once per month to bring residents together to meet and enjoy nature close to home. Schedule workshops according an Environmental Education Program.
Early Environmental Education Activities: Plan educational activities with babies and toddlers to introduce them to natural elements, environments and care of nature.
Outdoor Family Activities: Walking or biking on the University Village surroundings, programmed once per month and special activities.
Participation in UV’s Social Events: Environmental Education activities and Outreach.
Which aspects of campus sustainability will your project address, and why is addressing these sustainability components important? Does your project tie into any current campus sustainability initiatives or help the campus reach specific sustainability goals? How does your project go above and beyond the requirements already mandated by UC Berkeley and/or state law?
This project addresses three main sustainability components:
Resources (electricity, gas, and water)
Waste Management (reusing; recycling; disposal of trash, special, and oversized items)
Environmental Education (resources, waste, and natural environment)
The development of this project helps to tie the sustainability initiatives into the University Village, some already on the way to be developed and new ones, combining it in a multidisciplinary way to reduce the environmental impact. Resident participation allows us to develop customized programs appropriate for the diverse family demographics and create a stronger sense of community.
The University Village goals are to reduce the environmental Impact of the Village, with the reduction of resource consumption, while reducing operational costs, through education and public engagement.
For the Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, this project represents one step to reach the UC-adopted goal of zero waste by 2020. An important step to the trash reduction is the composting pilot, the improved waste and recycling enclosures and bin signage, and the waste disposal guides for residents.
The Chancellor made a commitment last year to reduce the campus water usage. This project incorporates water conservation education in its sustainable living resource guides, and will account for water in its inventory of resource usage.
What quantifiable sustainability impacts will your project have and what will be the cost savings to the campus? How will you measure these impacts after your project is implemented in order to see if you have met your goal(s)? Please also use the CalCAP Statistics spreadsheet for your calculations and submit it separately from your application.The 2010 Campus Sustainability Report contains additional information on campus resource usage.
The UC Village is economically self-supporting, paying all of its expenses directly from collected rent. In 2011 it paid $1.4 million in utilities, including natural gas (space and water heating), electricity, water, trash, and recycling. With this data as reference, we will track of the monthly resources used and expenses, as well as amount of trash and recycling produced and diverted.
The University Village has a single meter for electricity, gas, and water, and its apartments do not have individual meters. Thus, the administration charges utilities evenly among residents (by blocks depending on apartment size) as part of their monthly rent bill regardless of their actual consumption. Facing a principal agent scenario, the lack of economic pressure to reduce resource consumption and properly sort trash and recycling, makes it is necessary to implement educational programs (such as Cool Lifestyle practices) in order to reduce the environmental impact of resident families and the University Village as a whole.
One of the benefits of the Nature Village project is cost reduction. Our objective is to reach a 5% reduction in the consumption of electricity, natural gas, and water. Since the annual cost of these three utilities is $1 million, we expect to generate $50,000 in cost-savings per year. We believe there is the potential to save even more as our program matures and expands. The University Village spends approximately $400,000 in waste management. We expect to contribute to the generation of cost-savings as well, but we could not generate an estimate due to the lack of waste management data.
Project Education, Outreach, and Publicity Plan
Note: This section is about letting the campus know what your project has accomplished after you’ve met your project goals. If outreach and education are the primary goals of your project and you have sufficiently answered these questions in the Project Description and Metrics & Measurability sections, you may leave these questions blank.
What is your plan for publicizing your project on campus? In addition to TGIF, who will you report your information to?
Several Nature Village programs will maintain a constant communication with students and their families at University Village. Additionally, we will publicize our progress and accomplishments on campus and within the University Village at least once a semester through channels of communication such as:
The Bright Green News of the Office of Sustainability
Green Campus website
University Village and Village Resident Association list serve
The Villager (University Village newsletter)
Bus stop - Reading wall
We will schedule a bimonthly meeting with partner organizations to report progress, updates, brainstorm strategies, and implementation plans.
Do you have any specific outreach goals? If so, how will they be measured?
The activities are going to be developed by a resident volunteer team that will be trained to work as educators and facilitators to other residents. In this way the program can reach a larger number of households. Because every family receives the “Welcome” information package when they move in, and because every family uses the trash enclosure areas when they take out their garbage and recycling, we hope to ideally reach every single family in University Village. During the first year of work we are going to utilize the networks already in use to reach the residents (University Village list of e-mail and website, “The Villager” newsletter, and Reading Walls at bus stops). Additionally, by training representatives from different cultures, we will seek to reach those informal networks that already exist in the Village (Latin moms, Chinese grandparents, American moms, etc) to spread the information and the interest to attend the workshops and activities (preferably offered in their own languages).
Due to the multicultural and multilingual characteristics of the village the information and most of the materials are going to be produced in at least the main four languages: English (35%), Chinese (17%), Korean (15%), and Spanish (6%). This strategy will allow us to reach 73% of the residents through their first language and the remaining 27% in English.
We will evaluate these goals by tracking the carbon footprint, trash and recycling amount and proper assortment by residents, as well as resident participation and involvement in educational activities.
Project Approvals (Projects will not be considered without the relevant approvals).
Do any aspects of your project require approval from an entity on or off campus? If so, please explain. (For example, a project which affects campus grounds or buildings must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services) For each described entity, please submit a completed “Project Approval” form. Project Approval forms will not be counted toward your application page limit.
Tavie Tipton, the University Village Manager, is an active team member of this project. All the activities included in this project will be carried out in the University Village, from tracking the use of natural resources, improvement of facilities, design of sustainability programs and educational activities with residents.
Lin King, Manager of Campus Recycling & Refuse Services, will be involved with the waste diversion and reduction components of the project.
Please identify the project leader(s) as well as the member of the project team responsible for reporting TGIF project updates (if different from the project leader). For each entity listed, please submit a completed “Project Approval” form. If you want to list additional team members, please add the entries. Additional team member information will not count toward your page limit.
Title and department
University Village Resident
510 898 8171
Relevant experience or knowledge for this project
Lludmila Moran is a Marine Biologist with a M.S. in Environmental Resource Management. Between 2005 and 2009, Lludmila directed an environmental consultancy agency that developed and managed conservation and income-generating programs for fishermen and ranchers living in nature protected areas in the peninsula of Baja California, Mexico. Lludmila became a resident of the University Village in 2010. Since 2011, has been a docent volunteer in the Bay Interpreting Training Program at the Nature Center in the Berkeley Marina, offering educational and experiential programs to children.
Title and department
Associate Director of Family Housing.
Residential Student Service Programs, University Village.
510 526 8505 Ext. 213
Relevant experience or knowledge for this project
Tavie Tipton has worked at Cal managing family housing since 1986. She started her career at UCB after moving from Chicago, where she managed several high rises, including the John Hancock building condominiums. She has been a part of the redevelopment of 976 Village apartments over the past 12 years.
Title and department
Campus Recycling and Refuse Services
510 643 4612
Relevant experience or knowledge for this project
Lin King completed his BS from UC Davis in Environmental Science and his MS at California State University, Fullerton, focusing on evaluating and reporting the status of recycling programs at all the CSUs where he became the first graduate student recycling coordinator at Fullerton. Lin recently joined UC Berkeley to lead the campus in reaching the UC Zero Waste by 2020 goals. He has managed the R4 Recycling Program at UC Davis for fifteen years and served as Vice President on the California Resource Recovery Association Board and is currently the Chair of the California Collegiate Recycling Council.
If your project team is partnering with other organizations, departments, individuals, or other stakeholders, please explain their involvement and include their contact information. For each named entity, please submit a completed “Project Approval” form. Project Approval forms will not be counted toward your application page limit.
Tavie Tipton, University Village Manager, will be able to provide information and support to carry out these activities in order to adopt and promote sustainability measures to reduce the environmental Impact of the University Village.
Berkeley Green Campus Program, run by the Alliance to Save Energy, has agreed to provide training, assistance and student coordinator hours to support the energy audit, assessment, training and resource guide component of this project. They have experience running similar projects in campus residence halls.
Campus Recycling and Refuse Services:
Lin King and his student staff assistants will be able to provide support from his student staff to run the compost pilot program, waste and recycling signage templates, and additional program assistance. The Compost Alliance, run through his office, has experience implementing pilot and large-scale compost programs in buildings on campus.
ReUSE Program, the campus student organization, will be involved with helping us strategize and implement a materials reuse and diversion program during move-out at the end of each school year to help us divert toys, furniture, clothes and household supplies.
How much of your project will students be involved in? What roles will students play in your project? Does your project target involvement of a certain section of the student body?
The involvement of students from Green Campus and Campus Recycling & Refuse Services is very important for this program by offering training workshops to Resident Volunteers, providing specialized equipment (such as kilowatt meters) for Resources assessments, and supporting our events. While students involved in sustainability are aware of efforts and programs on campus and in the traditional residence halls, most have very little knowledge or interaction with the student family population. This project would provide the valuable opportunity for students to learn how to develop effective sustainability programs appropriate for diverse cultures and demographics, as well as the rewarding experience of collaborating with dedicated residents of all ages and backgrounds. Class projects – we also will be asking engineering students to help design a simple, cardboard holding bin / structure to handle the large volume of cardboard (from boxes, etc.) that accumulates in the trash enclosures. We will be working with architecture students (incorporated with their group projects or senior project) to create the Nature Village Environment Map and brochure which includes the walking tour and iconic natural elements. In addition to drawing upon the traditional student population for involvement and support, this project will engage residents of University Village, whether they are students, spouses of students, or family members. This is a unique way to reach out to a significant portion of the UC Berkeley community that is not normally included in sustainability efforts on campus.
We will be hiring a student Coordinator Assistant to help with all aspects of the project. This paid position will help with both administrative duties associated with this project, as well as coordination of volunteers and student groups, planning and implementing the various components of this project, graphic designing if applicable, education and outreach, etc.
We will also hire a student to play a key role in program activities.
List all budget items for which funding is being requested under the appropriate category. Include cost and total amount for each item requested. Please be as detailed as possible. (Insert additional rows if necessary).
If you have price quotes from vendors or additional historical budget information for projects that have occurred previously or are on-going, please submit those with this application. Additional budget documentation will not be counted toward your application page limit.
Cost per Item
Equipment and Construction Costs
Publicity and Communication
Maps (Resources Flow & Village Natural Environment)
Cool Lifestyle Practices campaign materials
Welcome and Moving Out packages
Waste Signage (for trash enclosures)
Special Waste Signage (collectors)
Nature Village Main Board
Path signage (labels for natural elements and directions of the route)
If your project is implemented, does is require any on-going funding after its completion? What is your strategy for supporting the project after this initial period to cover replacement, operational, and renewal costs? (Note: TGIF is unlikely to provide funding beyond the initial year for ongoing projects).
The University Village Manger has agreed to devote part of the cost-savings generated from a reduction in the consumption of utilities to maintain the Nature Village project in future years.
Additionally, in future years we will seek fundraise and generate alliances with other organizations to expand the “Cool lifestyle practices” and Environmental Education and Outdoor Activities programs.
List all non-TGIF sources you are pursuing for funding, volunteer time, in-kind donations, etc.
Volunteer Village Residents participation will be organized in teams per activity, mainly in education and outdoors, outreach and evaluation. The residents will work in different ways along the project, from collect data, research, educational program design, offering feedback from their households, promotion with neighbors and community work.
The funding from TGIF in the composting pilot will be used in education and outreach activities.
In kind support would be receipt from UV along the project by the use of facilities, networks and basic equipment for measurements, cleanings and installations.
Please complete the following table to describe your project timeline. List milestones chronologically. For the “Timeframe” column, please estimate how long each task will take to be completed. (Insert additional rows if necessary).
Each one of the following items must be included on your timeline:
Project start date
Target date for project completion
Date by which you will need the first installment of TGIF money
Date by which you expect to have spent all TGIF funds
Target date for submitting final project report to TGIF
Any significant tasks or milestones along the way (For example: identifying an equipment vendor, begin installing equipment, finish installing equipment, etc.)
Timeframe (# of wks to completion)
Estimated completion date
For complete Project Timeline see Annex 2
We would like to start our project in June and thus it would be ideal to receive an initial installment in June or early July.