Red & Blue On College Green
lenape garden turtle
JULY 2013
Marie Witt

Collaboration Creates New Campus-wide Green Services


For Penn to reach its sustainability goals, it is clear that a combination of individual and collective commitment is necessary. At Penn Business Services, we see our role as providing services to make it easier for the campus community to exercise eco-friendly practices in ways that complement their every-day activities. With the support of Penn Green Fund grants, the City of Philadelphia, community organizations such as Goodwill, and our campus partners, we are proud to have introduced a number of new sustainability initiatives this spring and summer.


Transportation Services -To encourage the use of electric vehicles, we now offer two Electric Vehicle charging stations to Penn parking patrons in our Law Lot at 34th & Chestnut Streets, through our partnership with the Blink Network. We also are proud of the installation of a Propane Fueling Station at South Bank. As the only privately operated propane station in Philadelphia, we are able to provide more sustainable fuel for University vehicles at a significant cost savings, while saving staff time by allowing on-site refueling. Thanks to a Green Fund grant, we soon will offer support to Penn's robust cycling community by installing two bike repair stations on campus. Open to all, these stations will provide basic tools and a mounting bracket to enable cyclists to easily inflate tires and perform simple repairs on their own bicycles.


Waste Minimization - Now in its fifth year, PennMOVES collected a record number of items from campus during student move-out. This year, we offered the items directly to Goodwill Industries for its new store in West Philadelphia.  Permanent collection bins at Sansom Place and Hamilton Village will allow for year-round donations. Ben's Attic, Penn's online exchange, has been enhanced through a Green Fund grant, making the website easier to use for those wanting to re-use or donate furniture and office supplies.  In August, incoming freshman and transfer students will receive reusable water bottles to encourage the use of tap or filtered water rather than bottled.  And, in our dining halls, we are introducing returnable, microwave-safe, anti-microbial clamshell containers for takeout food, eliminating Styrofoam containers.


More efforts are planned such as the Managed Print initiative, available to any school or center wishing to improve efficiency and reduce costs of in-office printing; continued expansion of our highly successful Sustainable Transportation Initiative; and green programs in our campus residences and dining facilities. As we approach the fifth year of the Climate Action Plan, Business Services together with our partners will continue to look for innovative ways to ensure that the Penn Community has an array of options to facilitate environmental stewardship.


With best wishes for the summer,


Marie Witt

Vice President, Business Services

Lenape Botanical Garden Opens
Kids Get a Taste of Compost Tea
Paul Meyer Receives AGPA Award
ISAC Summer Research Assistants 2013
BFS Grant to David Grazian
Composting at The Dirt Factory
Harnwell Eco-Reps Clean Up Move-Out
What's Out There Weekend Philadelphia
VIDEO: Kitchen at Enterprise Center
Leading the Green: Prof. Bethany Wiggin
 Penn Green Campus Partnership Website
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Red & Blue On College Green Archives

garden opening
New Green Space Honors Native American Heritage

Approved for a Green Fund grant in Fall 2012, the Lenape Botanical Garden came into full bloom in May. During a "soft opening" on Alumni Weekend, the project sponsors, alumni, and members of the Lenape Nation gathered to celebrate this new green space on campus. Elements of the garden design, as well as the species of plants used in this space at the Greenfield Intercultural Center (GIC), all relate to the themes and environment embraced by Native Americans.  Read more in an article in the Penn Current, and on the GIC website.

truck spraying tea Penn Children Get a Taste of Compost Tea

Facilities & Real Estate Services hosted more than 40 children of Penn employees on April 25, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day. A demonstration on Compost Tea introduced visiting kids to one of the many ways this department helps to "green" Penn's Campus. University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren and Landscape Planner Chloe Cerwinka showed how different types of organic waste and paper products are collected and sent to an off-site processing facility where they break down into a rich compost. Completing the cycle, the material returns to Penn where it is turned into a fertile "tea" used as an all-natural, nutrient-dense spray on campus landscapes to build healthy soil.


Continuing the "green" education, the young guests got to see worms at work in a compost sample, where they aerate and digest organic material that goes back into the soil. Many children planted sunflower or pea seeds in soil to take home and begin their own garden.


morris garden Arboretum's Paul Meyer Wins American Public Garden Association Award

Paul Meyer, Executive Director at the Morris Arboretum, received the APGA Award of Merit at the association's recent conference in Phoenix. The award recognizes an APGA member who has performed with distinction in the field of public horticulture and has excelled in the public garden profession at an institution.


Mr. Meyer has served the Morris Arboretum for a total of 37 years, with 22 years as executive director. He has undertaken a dozen plant exploration trips to the Far East and is known as one of the finest plant hunters of his generation. Learn more at and


2012 ISAC poster session Summer Interns "Green" Penn Courses

As summer begins, so do student research assistants working to infuse themes of environmental sustainability into a variety of courses as part of the Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) program. These ISAC research assistants will conduct research, create reading lists, and prepare class presentations that will be used in the coming academic year.


 Professors who are a part of ISAC attended a workshop in April, where they began to vision the "greening" of their subject areas. Mark Alan Hughes, Professor of Practice in the School of Design, and Penn Architecture Lecturer Leslie Billheymer will be developing their new course, Sustainability in Practice, with the assistance of rising College senior, Rosemary Santos. Professor Hughes applied for an ISAC research assistant this year because, he said, "I participated as a content expert in last summer's workshop and was intrigued by all the courses being developed." For courses in Penn Design, he said, "Sustainability is a practice operating across a variety of scales and skills. Sustainability in Practice will explore the ways that decision makers use systems analysis and design thinking to confront the career-defining challenges facing the next generation of leaders. Networks of practice from across North America and around the globe will provide case material and guest lectures." ... READ MORE


david grazian Prof. Grazian Receives BFS Course Design Grant

David Grazian, Associate Professor of Sociology, will receive a Ben Franklin Scholars (BFS) Course Design Grant for the seminar, Where the Wild Things Aren't: Zoos, Science Museums, and the Culture of Nature. According to Professor Grazian, the course has three goals: "First, we will be addressing issues of environmental sustainability by specifically exploring whether zoos and science museums are able to function as both centers of global conservation and institutions tasked with increasing public awareness and education about biodiversity, species and habitat preservation, and other vital environmental concerns. Second, students will be encouraged to learn through hands-on engagement in the community, specifically by exploring cultural attractions and other sites of public life in the city through active participant-observation. Third, my hope is that by engaging in this type of active and experiential learning, students will forge their own connections to the life of the city and the natural world in creative and imaginative ways." Where the Wild Things Aren't is planned to be offered in Fall 2014. ... READ MORE



Too Hot? Too Cold? There's an App For That!

This Spring, the Green Fund awarded four grants to Penn students, faculty, and staff to initiate innovative sustainability projects on campus: Green To Go Dining, Ben's Attic Enhancements, Bike Repair Stations, and GreenVote. The only student-lead project to receive a grant in this cycle, GreenVote is a mobile application in which users rate their thermal comfort levels while inside campus buildings. This data would be available in real-time to facility managers, enabling them to make better informed heating and cooling decisions that maximize building comfort and efficiency. ... READ MORE


composting lesson Home Composting 101 at The Dirt Factory

In April, the School of Arts & Sciences hosted a one-hour workshop on the basics of home composting, open to the entire Penn community. The workshop was held at the Dirt Factory, University City's own community composting facility, and included a presentation by Master Gardener Christine Tilles of Penn State. Ms. Tilles spoke on the different methods for at home composting, giving useful techniques for both urban and suburban dwellers. At the end of the workshop, 10 winners received a home composting unit so that they could start composting in the Spring. The workshop had "some great information and a very enthusiastic speaker.  I'm hoping to set up the bin this weekend so I can get my compost pile started up again," said Marie-Luise Faber, Biosafety Officer in Penn's Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety. 

staff eco reps mtg Sustainability Begins in Your Own Office

Numbers are up among Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps, having gone from just 60 participating in the program in 2012, to more than 100 as of this May. According to Andrea Kreiner, Sustainability Consultant, new Eco-Reps have signed up from the libraries, the dental school, the Netter Center, the Penn Museum, and the Hospital system. 


Will Hopkins is a research specialist in the Positive Psychology Center and was part of the team that worked to achieve a Level 3 Green Office Certification. He said that in his office, environmental sustainability gets complete support from supervisors, making his role as an Eco-Rep about sustaining an existing interest. Mr. Hopkins called the Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps program "an invaluable resource on campus." He continued, "It shows that Penn is committed to environmental sustainability in its day-to-day operations, and makes it that much easier to make progress.  One person is all it takes to make a difference, but having an organized group of people willing to give their time makes it that much easier."... READ MORE


Move Out Made More Orderly

Student Eco-Reps in Harnwell College House rose above the piles of papers, odd shoes, unopened boxes of pasta, and unwanted desk lamps to organize a reuse/recycle program during Move-Out. Hannah Min and Katie Herzog, both graduating seniors and RAs in Harnwell, saw "the massive mess that is generated at Move-Out" as their opportunity to complete their Spring term Eco-Rep project. "The problem, for us as Eco-Reps, was not the volume of the waste that's put into the halls, but rather the percentage of the waste that is recyclable or reusable in some capacity --that would be going to go into the landfill without our project," explained Ms. Min. 


The Harnwell Eco-Reps tried to make it easy for students moving out to sort their things for reuse or recycling, instead of throwing them in the trash. As Ms. Herzog explained it, "We had placed 24 35-gallon Rubbermaid bins in the building - one on each residential floor. We divided the PennMOVES donation list into three main categories, so each floor was designated as a drop-off for one of three categories. If a resident wanted to donate something that wasn't designated to his or her own floor, all they had to do was go up or down one flight of stairs."   ... READ MORE


olin and hollenberg tour What's Out There Visits Penn's Campus

Penn's campus was shown off for its urban park features during What's Out There Weekend Philadelphia, a program of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. The program featured a series of free, expert-guided tours highlighting the city's remarkable landscape legacy. More than two dozen different sites around Philly were toured in late May, including a West Philadelphia tour that visited College Green and a number of new open space projects on campus. The tour also visited The Woodlands, a historic cemetery just west of campus.

University Architect David Hollenberg, University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren, and urban designer Laurie Olin, entertained and informed the tour group as they led them through the center of campus and to Shoemaker Green and Penn Park. ...READ MORE


Kane Park path Kane Park Transforms 33rd Street
Kane Park creates a new open space at an important University gateway - the intersection of 33rd, 34th, and Spruce Streets. The design includes a central lawn area, trees to offer shade and beauty, benches, lighting, and seasonal plantings. Kane Park plantings include 21 trees, more than 300 shrubs, 400 plugs of grass, 1,300 daffodils, and nearly 8,000 perennials. The park surface incorporates permeable pavers, allowing rainwater to filter down to the stone below. A June 11 event celebrated the official opening of this green space, honoring Edward Kane, C'71, and his wife, Marty Wallace, for their gift to transform the park.


bike station

Penn's Cycling Commuters Get a Helping Hand

Two bike repair stations will open on campus in Fall 2013, thanks to a plan proposed by Business Services with support from Penn's Green Fund. A Penn Current article explains more about these new resources for cyclists.bicycle


The bicycle repair stations are one of four projects awarded Green Fund grants in April to seed innovative, sustainable ideas from students, faculty and staff.  Others are the GreenVote app, enhancements to the Ben's Attic website, and the pilot program of returnable, microwave-safe, anti-microbial clamshell containers for takeout food in the dining halls. This latest round brings the total number to 49 projects funded since the Green Fund's launch in 2009. 


rental kitchen

Made in the Neighborhood

Buying local and fresh has long been part of Bon Appétit's commitment to the Penn community. One part of this arrangement sources baked goods from the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises for sale in campus dining facilities. Watch a video, A Sweet Partnership with Local Chefs, that explains more about this "cookie contract" with the Enterprise Center.



bethany wigginBethany Wiggin, Associate Professor, Dept of Germanic Languages & Literatures

As she describes it, Bethany Wiggin "jumped at the chance" last summer to participate in the Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum program. She attended a workshop for faculty, and then was paired with a student research assistant to begin the process of developing her new course, Sustainability & Utopianism (ENGL 375.401). In this interview, Professor Wiggins describes the connection between an individual's vision of an ideal world and one's relationship to the world in reality that her Spring 2013 ISAC Course explored.