NVC Supports Environmental Sustainability
To support the Alamo Colleges' environmental sustainability policies, NVC strives to integrate environmental sustainability and eco-literacy into all aspects of campus life. Our environmental sustainability initiative has three inter-related aspects:
• Curriculum and eco-literacy
• Campus operations
• Community outreach
In our curricula, NVC is beginning to work with faculty to help them to infuse more sustainability theory and practice into coursework across disciplines. We actively work with operational managers on campus and partner organizations in the local community to identify opportunities for our students to engage in project based service learning opportunities that support sustainable solutions and learning.
In campus operations NVC strives to lighten our own "footprint" and become a more sustainable campus while creating an environment that models and reinforces for our students what they learn about sustainability in the classroom. Some of these initiatives include completion of the gray water irrigation system that will allow NVC to use the non-potable water from the lake to irrigate the campus. Implementation of this system will enable us to add plants and grass seed to campus landscaping for erosion control, increased water holding capacity, better water quality in the lake, and increase the aesthetic value of the campus environment. NVC has also over the past two years, removed 50% of non-native plants in the campus landscaping, adding native plants that are better able to thrive in our semi-arid climate and requiring less fertilizer and water.
In our community outreach efforts, we continually work to "spread the message" about the critical importance of more sustainable decision-making. NVC leaders feel that it is important to share what we have learned with others and to learn from others as well to improve our sustainability efforts, thus reinforcing our "life-long learning" model of education. As part of this effort NVC now has an environmentally focused webpage entitled eNVironmental Commitment. This page helps to inform our students, employees and the community about what NVC is doing to accomplish our environmental initiatives. It also helps to encourage students, employees and community members to get involved by participating in or volunteering at our environmental events or with local “green” organizations, and by becoming more knowledgeable about issues that are impacting our environment today. Here’s a link to get you there quickly http://www.alamo.edu/nvc/environmental/.