Students from Montgomery County Community College’s Beta Tau Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at the West Campus spent the morning of Saturday, Oct. 19 cleaning up Riverfront Park in Pottstown. Thank you to faculty advisors James Bretz and Diana McFadden for providing photos!
Editor’s Note: Think Green features periodic updates about the activities of Montgomery County Community College’s student Environmental Club.
Students from Montgomery County Community College’s Adventure Club recently joined Environmental Club members in their work at Pennypack Farm & Education Center. Together, the students harvested sweet potatos, removed tomato, ocra and pepper plants, and filled in a ditch. Nine students participated in total.
Photos courtesy of MCCC’s Adventure Club
Montgomery County Community College will join hundreds of colleges and universities across the country to celebrate Campus Sustainability Day 2013, the theme of which is “Climate Adaptation: Resilient Campuses & Communities.”
In its 11th year, Campus Sustainability Day is designed to create awareness and facilitate discussion between students, faculty, staff and the community at large. While the day is officially observed on the fourth Wednesday in October, many institutions host activities through the week and month.
MCCC has two days of Campus Sustainability activities: Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the South Hall Cafeteria at the West Campus in Pottstown, and Wednesday, Oct. 30 in the Parkhouse Hall Atrium at the Central Campus in Blue Bell, both from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Each day will feature informational exhibits about a variety of “green” campus topics, including:
- Green Office Initiative
- Transportation Shuttle Program
- Green Lot
- Solar and Wind
- LEED Certification
- Eco-Graduation Gowns
- …and much more!
In addition to these, campus sustainability info will appear on campus television displays, and the Central Campus event will feature info from the College’s Environmental Club, as well as Campus Sustainability Tours, hosted by Assistant Professor of Biology Jerry Coleman.
The College is also asking community members to get involved by tweeting ways they are going green with the hash tag #mc3green. Responses tweeted by Nov. 1 with #mc3green will be compiled and posted to the College’s Think Green blog!
by Paul Goraczko, Think Green Correspondent
Montgomery County Community College‘s Ceramics Department recently revamped the way its reduction kiln is fired.
The project, entitled the “Cone 6 Transition Project,” is part of an effort to support the College’s commitment to sustainability.
The project was piloted by Dr. Aaron Shatzman, Dean of Social Sciences (who was serving as Interim Dean of Arts & Humanities at the time); Frank Short, Professor/Coordinator of Fine Arts; and Michael Connelly, Assistant Professor of Ceramics.
Previously, students’ ceramics projects were bisque-fired in an electric kiln and then glaze-fired in a natural gas-fired reduction kiln at Cone 10 (2360 degrees).
The transition has lowered the overall kiln firing temperature from Cone 10 to Cone 6 (2192 degrees).
The 168-degree difference between the two firing temperatures may not sound like a huge difference, but reducing the temperature at which the kiln is fired will have some green friendly effects.
“Although change is hard,” Connelly said,” the ceramics program should focus on the benefits of firing mid-range reduction.”
The change will save time and fuel, reduce the College’s carbon footprint, and lower costs.
Heating a kiln to Cone 10 can take anywhere from 10-12 hours, while Cone 6 takes only 8-10 hours. This translates not only to a 30% fuel savings, but also to savings in staffing, as each firing has to be overseen by a member of the College’s staff.
Reducing the firing temperature also adds longevity to the kiln by reducing the wear and tear. This translates to savings in the long term, because it will decrease the likelihood of having to replace the kiln prematurely.
Connelly admits that “ceramics is not the greenest of art forms,” but the Cone 6 Transition Project is just one way the department is helping the College to go green.
by Alana J. Mauger, Think Green Editor
For the third consecutive year, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned a platinum-level sustainability award from the Greater Valley Forge Management Association (GVF) on Sept. 9 during the organization’s annual Sustainability Breakfast.
MCCC was one of 29 organizations recognized for sustainability efforts in 2013. According to GVF, applicants represented more than 60,000 employees and close to 300 different workplace sustainability programs.
MCCC partners with GVF to operate a campus shuttle service between its Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses. Introduced in 2010 and expanded from a 14- to 20-passenger vehicle in 2012, 10,432 riders utilized the service in 2012-13, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. With an average daily ridership of 72 passengers, the shuttle helped to eliminate approximately 54,527 metric tons of carbon emissions and reduce vehicle usage by 522,144 miles over the past year.
In addition to the shuttle program, MCCC also employs Zimride, an industry leading rideshare service that provides a safe and easy way for students and staff to arrange carpooling through college community network that fully integrates with Facebook. Since launching Zimride in 2011, MCCC’s network has logged 1,197,760 carpool miles.
At the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, drivers of electric, hybrid, and conventional vehicles that average 25 MPG or greater, as well as carpoolers and shuttle riders, have the opportunity to park in the Green Lot — a designated, convenient 185-space parking lot adjacent to the Advanced Technology Center. Electric vehicle charging stations are available in the Green Lot, as well as in the South Hall parking lot at the West Campus in Pottstown.
Other transportation initiatives include a Segway program for public safety officers in Pottstown, electric and hybrid vehicles for public safety and facilities staff in Blue Bell, and an increased effort to promote bicycle accessibility at all MCCC locations.
Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Montgomery County Community College has put into place policies and procedures that reduce its carbon footprint. To learn more about the College’s sustainability initiative, visit mc3green.wordpress.com.
To celebrate International “Car Free Day” on Sept. 22, Communities in Motion, a GVFTMA Foundation, will award a $100 Wegman’s gift card to a participant of its Bicycle Challenge. To qualify, participants must log a transport trip between Friday, Sept. 20 and Monday, Sept. 23, then post a comment on the message board describing the nature of the trip and why you chose to go car free. To qualify, log your trip and post your comment by Sept. 30; a winner will be selected by Oct. 1.
For this contest, the distance of the trip does’t matter; it is the nature of the trip that counts. The trip should replace the use of your car, whether it be a jaunt to the grocery store, commute to work, or dinner with friends, make the trip by bike and you may be our lucky winner. Good luck, and keep on riding!
The National Bicycle Challenge runs from May 1 to Sept. 30. To date, 389 rides and 36 teams have traveled 245,957 miles locally, and 34,289 rides, 2,139 teams and 16,630,069 miles traveled nationally.
by Diane VanDyke
Montgomery County Community College will host the Tenth Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area Art Show, Aug. 28-Oct. 18, at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown.
Sponsored by the Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area, the art show features 83 original pieces of artwork that highlights the beautiful and unique qualities of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
Philadelphia artist Susannah Hart Thomer won Best of Show for her watercolor, “Escalation,” which depicts the spiral staircase located outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art leading to the Schuylkill River.
Second place went to Jonathan Bond, Kempton, Berks County, for his painting, “Lutz Tannery,” and third place went to Teresa McWilliams Farina, Royersford, for her pastel, “Pennypacker Mills Tranquility.” The Staff Choice Award went to Lori Quinque-Quinn, Perkiomenville, for her watercolor painting, “The Coyle Farm Winter Sheep.”
Honorable mentions were awarded to Walt Hug, Birdsboro, for his photograph, “Midnight at Memorial Hall,” and Arnold Winkler, Blue Bell, for his digital composite, “Valley Forge.”
This year’s show was juried by Terry Newman, owner of Newman Galleries in Philadelphia. He spent several hours examining the 107 entries before making his selections.
The hours for the gallery are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed weekends. For more information contact the SRHA at 484-945-0200 or the MCCC Galleries Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or email@example.com.
You can help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of The Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535. Friend and follow MCCC’s arts on facebook.com/DestinationArts.
The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, managed by the non-profit Schuylkill River Greenway Association, uses conservation, education, recreation, cultural and historic preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development. For more information about the SRHA visit schuylkillriver.org.
As part of its Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc., Montgomery County Community College plans to install 44 solar panels near the Advanced Technology Center “Green Lot” at the Central Campus in Blue Bell.
While the panels won’t power major parts of facilities on campus, the demo project will provide real-life teaching and learning opportunities students, faculty and staff, while helping the College further its commitment to sustainability.
Each solar panel will produce 285 watts of energy, for a combined 12,540 watts. (For perspective, most incandescent light bulbs produce between 30-150 watts.) Next to each panel is a display that will allow students and faculty to observe the actual amount of energy being generated in real-time.
by Julia Motis, Communications Intern
In response to the demand for greener products, Montgomery County Community College Campus Bookstores, operated by Barnes & Noble, now offer a large selection of environmentally-friendly school supplies and spirit wear.
The store also carries Champion clothing products, some of which are made out of a material called Eco® Fleece. This fabric is a type of polyester made from 100% certified plastic disposable water bottles, and it can be combined with other materials such as cotton to make an even better fabric. One 20-ounce bottle can make an entire sweatshirt! According to Champion, its Eco® Fleece products keep billions of these bottles out of landfills every year.
The College’s Campus Stores also carry various other products made from plastic bottles, such as ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils.
by Paul Goraczko, Think Green Correspondent
This year 10,432 riders took advantage of the free service that transports students, faculty, and staff between the College’s West Campus in Pottstown and the Central Campus in Blue Bell.
Last year, only 8,450 riders used the service. Thus, ridership is up 23 percent from last year.
The increase in ridership has had a number of green-friendly effects.
The Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA), the organization that manages the shuttle, estimates that the shuttle helped to eliminate the potential emission of 54,515.8 metric tons of greenhouse gases.
Additionally, with an average daily ridership of 72 passengers, the shuttle reduced vehicle usage by 3,546 miles daily. Thus, with 144 days of service, the shuttle reduced vehicle usage by more than half a million miles.
The increase in ridership has helped the College not only go green by reducing the College’s carbon footprint, it has also helped the College to save green.
The cost per rider from the 2011-2012 academic year was $10.50 per rider; this year, the cost per rider was only $8.96—a 15 percent decrease in the cost per rider from last year.
The campus shuttle also allowed the College to phase out its courier system in October 2012, thus reducing carbon output by an additional 12.5 metric tons per year and saving the College roughly $4,300 a year.
The College’s need to expand from a 14-passenger vehicle to a 20-passenger vehicle to accommodate increased student demand early in 2012 illustrates how the shuttle is yet another success story of the College’s Sustainability Initiative.
All told, the shuttle helped to eliminate about 54,527.5 metric tons of carbon emissions and save more than 522,144 miles of vehicle usage this academic year.
To defray costs and ensure efficiency, the College does not operate the shuttle during the summer. The College does, however, encourage students to use SEPTA or Zimride, the College’s ridesharing program.
Zimride is an industry leading rideshare service that provides a safe and easy way for students and staff to arrange carpooling through a College Community network that fully integrates with Facebook and Twitter.
The service encourages students to cut down gas costs, protect the environment, and meet new people.
Zimride is just another way that the college is keeping its commitment to carbon reduction.
Since combining efforts with Zimride, the College has posted 1,197,760 carpooling miles, which equates to a potential CO2 Reduction of 263,507 lbs.
And a reminder for all those who drive energy-efficient vehicles — the Green Lot by the Advanced Technology Center at the Central Campus remains open and available for those who carpool or those who drive vehicles with 25 MPG or greater.