history of sustainability on campus

Sustainability at Ursinus College got its start through projects and programs that originated in the Environmental Studies Department.  Through the hard work of faculty members Dr. Richard Wallace, Dr. Leah Joseph, and Dr. Patrick Hurley, and the dedication of many students, the College became the host to an organic garden (then farm), a naturalized stormwater basin, the Sustainable Move-Out program, watershed restoration, a trayless system in our dining hall, the Sustainable Move-In program, and more.  Our students wrote the first Green House Gas Inventory and the first draft of a climate action plan for the college.

In 2010, the College hired two staff members to create what would become the Office of Sustainability (OS).  The OS pulled together various programs and housed them under one roof: those listed above as well as the Bikeshare program and a group of students who were working on a variety of programs.  This group of students and their projects eventually morphed into what is now our UCGreen Sustainability Fellows program.  Since forming the OS, we have expanded to include energy, water, food, a farm stand, communications, and more to our list of programs. We have also added Sustainability Week: a week-long, campus-wide celebration of sustainability to our annual programs.

We completed and submitted the first finalized Climate and Sustainability Action Plan in June 2013.  This plan was signed by President Bobby Fong.

Organic Farm - Ongoing
The Ursinus Organic Farm was founded by ENV alumna Katy Diana '06 as her Summer Fellows project in 2004. It has been constantly evolving under the guiding hands of many UC students (current and graduates), including Devyn Madson '09, Kyle Shelton '11, Julia Bull '12, and Travis Maider '13, Rob Kelly '13, and Dean Scott '13.  2013 was our first year participating in the Collegeville Farmers' Market.

Naturalized Stormwater Basin - 2005
This area, in the north-west corner of campus, was transformed from a drainage basin to an area that supports native plants and animals through the diligence and creativity of Ursinus students.  These students worked with ENV faculty and Facilities staff to create a tranquil, pristine, natural setting in the Collegeville area. The wetland promises to enhance everyone’s knowledge that comes into contact with it. 

Green Roof Project - Ongoing
Ursinus College has been researching the possibility of constructing a green roof somewhere on campus.  The research that has gone into this project has been ongoing for the past few years.  Testing to see what plants would best suit a green roof system here on campus as well as ensuring the water filtered through the green roof will be safe are examples of some of the research that went into building this project.


 Past Speakers & Events

Over the years Ursinus College has promoted awareness of the environment and sustainability by hosting guest speakers who are experts in the field.  Students have had the opportunity over the years to meet these speakers and interact with them on a level that can only be found on a college campus that makes events like these accessible. Speakers have included: Frances Moore Lappe, Anna Lappe, Katie Trip, Manny Howard, Steve Sandstrom, Sen. John Rafferty, Michael Nelson, Screening of Green Fire (about Aldo Leopold), and more...




About Us

What is Sustainability?

History of UC Sustainability

Meet Our Staff



Sustainability Program Coordinator
Brandon Hoover
Pfahler 112G

Campus Sustainability Planner
Shannon Spencer
Pfahler 112G