Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.54
Liaison Becky Haney
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2020

STARS v2.2

Calvin University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Becky Haney
Associate Professor
Economics
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Plaster Creek Stewards

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The Plaster Creek Stewards (PCS) initiative is a collaboration of Calvin faculty, staff, students, and community partners working together to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed, the most damaged urban waterway in West Michigan.

Link to home page on the website: http://www.calvin.edu/admin/provost/pcw/

1. Scope: PCS works with community partners to provide opportunities where members of the college community join together with residents and businesses from the broader Grand Rapids community to address social equity and wellbeing through initiatives such as the High School "Green Team," Upstream/Downstream partnerships. We contribute to economic prosperity by providing jobs, job training, and experience for high school and college students. We also generate contract opportunities for local engineering firms, landscapers, and constructions companies. By restoring the watershed, we are contributing to ecological and public health on a community or regional scale. By introducing native plants and native habitats we are increasing biodiversity and ecosystem services.

2. Duration: The damage to this urban watershed has been ongoing for over 100 years. We have made a long-term commitment to reversing this degradation. We are working to bring systemic change and we anticipate it will take 20-30 years to accomplish. So far, we have received $3M in grants to focus on watershed education, research, and restoration.

3. Commitment: The Calvin institutional commitment includes providing faculty time and recognition that this is watershed restoration work is legitimate scholarship. Calvin absorbs many indirect costs including: office space, greenhouse facilities, laboratory space, classrooms, meeting venues, etc.The Science Division of the college has supported summer undergraduate research assistants and summer stipends for faculty researchers.

4. Governance: The PCS leadership team is engaged with stakeholders, such as neighborhood associations, community non-profit organizations, local churches, local schools, downstream residents (vulnerable populations), and Calvin faculty, staff and students in program development, implementation and evaluation.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
West Michigan Environmental Action Council

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

WMEAC and Calvin have a long history of collaborating on education, watershed restoration and creating sustainable communities.

We have partnered with them on grants, and have supplied plant material. Students have interned and faculty have served on their board.

The mission of WMEAC as stated on their website (https://wmeac.org/ideal/) support the triple bottom line and as part of IDEAL, this partnership works "to build a community of powerful voices of traditionally marginalized people to protect the future of their communities."


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Grand Valley Metro Council

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

Calvin College completed an Urban Waters Small Grant in 2016 from the EPA in partnership with with Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC) who assisted in planning and development for a Green Infrastructure Low-Impact Development Initiative to help address urban stormwater management in the Lower Grand River Watershed in West Michigan.

Calvin College/Plaster Creek Stewards is working in partnership with the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW), a program of the GVMC, to administer a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant (2016-2020) to implement the Grand River Rainscaping Project, a storm-water capture project, and watershed education and restoration.

The following link describes aspects of this collaborative effort:

https://www.lgrow.org/rainscaping/

a) Timeframe(s): Calvin began its collaboration with GVMC over a decade ago. Our current work related to regional rainscaping is ongoing, and will be for years to come.

b) Multiple Dimensions: This partnership is multifaceted and multi-disciplinary. Together we are addressing the "triple bottom line:" social and environmental justice issues in our community and forging upstream/downstream connections.

c) Institutional Support: Calvin faculty and administrators have served as board members for GVMC. Calvin has also applied for and received grants in partnership with GVMC.

d) Campus and Local Community Engagement: The Lower Grand River Organizations of Watersheds (LGROW) is a project of GVMC and Calvin has helped facilitate campus and community engagement.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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This information was gathered through interviews with Gail Heffner and Dave Warners.

One of our desires is to increase the leadership opportunities for underrepresented groups in these and all of our partnerships.

URL added for Plaster Creek Stewards (1.25.19 JW)

The Bunker Interpretive Center frequently hosts groups that it collaborates with, including the Wild Ones, River City Chapter, and the West Michigan Conservation Network (of which Calvin is a founding member). 6.24.19 JW

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