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June Meeting Notes

June 11, 2002

Outline:

1) RWG Webpage

2) Sustainability Coordinator

3) North Campus Water Conservation

note: It was decided that the RWG would meet over the summer

1) RWG Webpage

The projector was not working so the final version of the webpage could not be displayed. Members were encouraged to view the page on their own computers to ensure that previously suggested corrections have been taken into account.

2) Sustainability Coordinator

Jesse Foote presented his proposal for the creation of a Sustainability Coordinator position at Dartmouth. The proposal outlines the history of the environmental movement at Dartmouth, shows the need for coordination among the many groups and individuals on campus who currently work towards sustainability, and demonstrated the benefits this position will bring to the college, including financial return, improved reputation, and the training of students to confront the environmental problems faced by the world today.

The group had many suggestions for content and emphasis of the proposal. There was general enthusiasm for the creation of the position, but many wanted to see a job description and more specifics, including concrete examples of what this person will do and how he or she will interact with departments. There was debate about what would be emphasized. Some members stressed the importance of educating the campus and community about environmental issues and publicizing environmental initiatives taken by the college. Other members thought the position should center on creating and implementing a resource conservation plan.

3) North Campus Water Conservation

Reed Bergwall showed maps of potential development of the north part of campus and where future green spaces will be and what their patterns of use might include. There will likely be two big green spaces that will get active use by students and may need irrigation. Jack Wilson described how the LEED process works in this situation, giving points for irrigating less spaces, not irrigating at all, or using rain water or non-potable water to irrigate. John Gratiot listed the current spaces irrigated by the college and many of the problems that have to be dealt with. Factors that will have to be decided upon include the make-up of the soil used (high clay can create a quagmire when watered, high sand can be easily destroyed by cleats) and the type of vegetation used (some types of vegetation require little or no watering, though the college has tried unsuccessfully to grow these on campus; shrubs need a lot of work but little water). The main problem with using rainwater and grey water is the storage expense. Water could also be pumped from the river, though the current pump system for the golf course is insufficient. Bill Hochstin noted that without irrigation, pesticides often must be used to control weeds. It was also noted that if no irrigation was designed into the system now, but it was decided later that water was needed, it would take much more work to add a system, and that system would be less efficient then one designed in from the beginning. The general consensus was to avoid irrigation if possible, with exceptions being made for ceremonial spaces, and that further research should be done on all the options.

Last Updated: 1/14/09