We were very pleased to present The Conservation Foundation’s 2015 Sustainable Development Award to Joliet Junior College for implementing numerous sustainable features on its 368-acre campus, including 124 acres of natural landscaping and savanna, wetland, and prairie restoration.
Our Conservation@Home and Conservation@Work Program Manager Jim Kleinwachter presented the award to Professor Maria Rafac, who has served as the college’s sustainability coordinator for the past decade, at our Fall Membership and Awards Dinner on November 19th.
“The Joliet Junior College campus is a model of sustainability,” Jim said. “Students and visitors have an opportunity to study while surrounded by the beauty of nature.”
Some of the sustainable features found on campus include:
· 124 acres of natural landscaping
· 65 acres of savanna, wetland, and prairie undergoing restoration
· A robust recycling program that has seen a 57 percent decrease in waste since 1987
· Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) registered greenhouse with a rain harvesting system
· LEED Gold Certified Health Profession Center that is 30 percent more energy efficient than standard construction
· Low emission parking with charging stations for electric vehicles
· 11-acre arboretum on campus
· Calcareous Fen on campus, with water drainage into Rock Run Creek
Joliet Junior College also offers 18 courses in sustainability and a 6-week sustainability course for faculty. Student involvement includes water quality testing, seed collection and planting, and on-campus restoration programs.
Conservation is definitely at work on the campus of Joliet Junior College, and we applaud them for their efforts. Not only are all of these sustainable features making a positive impact on JJC’s local environment, but they serve as excellent examples and learning opportunities for its students.