|Submission Date||Feb. 27, 2018|
IN-24: Innovation A
|1.00 / 1.00||
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
The Loy Farm Tour Program provides attendees with a unique experience of visiting a solar farm and the Elon Environmental Center, which includes the responsible design studio and agricultural farm, in a one hour tour experience. The Office of Sustainability offers tours to students, faculty and staff by request for classes, student organizations or other campus groups. Scheduled Loy Farm Tours are offered periodically throughout the year for special events or programs, such as Homecoming, Family Weekend, Planning Week and Phoenix Cup. Loy Farm Tours are provided to non-campus groups as well upon request. The solar farm and Elon Environmental Center are on campus property that is not contiguous to the main campus and transportation is provided to and from Loy Farm for campus tour groups.
The Loy Farm Tour demonstrates sustainability solutions in real-world applications right on campus. At the solar farm, participants learn why and how Elon is involved in the project and project specifics, such as the expected generation and where the generated energy goes. This includes information about Elon’s carbon neutrality goal and transitions into how participants can improve their own habits to reduce their carbon footprint. At the Elon Environmental Center participants see and learn about the responsible design studio, sustainable agriculture practices and a prairie restoration project. Information about how these resources are included in courses and research is shared as well as student volunteer opportunities. Most of the food harvested at the farm is utilized by Campus Kitchen, an on-campus service opportunity through the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. Campus Kitchen utilizes the harvested food along with other donations to prepare meals delivered to those in need in the local community.
The Office of Sustainability has been offering Loy Farm Tours since the 2015-2016 academic year and over 2,000 people (mostly Elon students) have participated in a tour. Participants provide positive feedback via tour evaluation forms with over 90% agreeing or strongly agreeing with each of the following: I have a better understanding of how sustainability can be addressed in ‘real world’ applications; I am more aware of campus resources regarding sustainability and the presenters were enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the information they presented. The Office plans to continue to offer tours as long as there is interest from the campus community. Use of the solar farm for educational purposes is part of the lease agreement with the solar farm owner/operator who leases the land from the university.
Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission: