As part of a nationwide event to recognize achievements in sustainability and identify new environmental initiatives, UW-Whitewater will celebrate Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
One of the highlights of this year's event is a community prairie seed collection.
"This is a way to restore the natural habitat that Whitewater once had," said Wesley Enterline, sustainability coordinator. "The prairie species plants are drought tolerant, disease-free, native to the area and low in cost, which makes the seed collections worth it."
Seeds will be harvested from the UW-Whitewater nature preserve near Perkins Stadium and planted as part of a restoration project near the Indian Mounds Parkway subdivision along the western border of Whitewater. This donation will help the city return this historic site to the types of native vegetation and landscape that was found during the time when the natives in this area established it as a sacred location. It will honor the cultural heritage of the site, but also will help raise awareness of this little-known local feature among the campus community, Enterline said.
Volunteers are encouraged to help with the prairie seed collections. The first will be hosted by Creative Marketing Unlimited on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 12:15-2:15 p.m. Participants will meet at the campus water feature on the north mall. Beta Alpha Psi will host a second seed collection on Friday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the prairie kiosk located on Schwager Road across from the Lawcon baseball field near Wellers Hall.
Students Allied for a Green Earth will be hosting a trash cleanup along the nature trails on Oct. 24.
UW-Whitewater is also working to improve overall energy efficiency through various projects, especially lighting. A project to convert 900 light fixtures by parking lots and sidewalks is under way.
"These light fixtures will use LED technology, which provides a clearer light at night with lower energy consumption and less maintenance," Enterline said. "This new lighting system will save UW-Whitewater more than $30,000 per year at current electricity rates, and will also provide a safer environment at night for students."
For more information on UW-Whitewater sustainability initiatives, go to http://www.uww.edu/sustainability.