Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 45.68
Liaison Tara Pike
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Nevada Las Vegas
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Tara Pike
Solid Waste and Recycling Manager
Rebel Recycling Program/FMA
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Tara Pike, the UNLV Sustainability and Recycling Manager, is a member and the chairperson of the Southern Nevada Christmas Tree Recycling Committee. She has been an active member since the late 1990s on the committee. UNLV is a founding member of the committee. The committee is comprised of non-profits, businesses and local governmental entities in Southern Nevada. The following organizations are on the committee:
City of Boulder City
City of Henderson
City of Las Vegas
City of North Las Vegas
Clark County Parks and Recreation
Clark Count School District
Clear Channel Outdoor
Conservation District of Southern Nevada
Cox Communications
Desert Green
First Choice Tree Service
Las Vegas Valley Water District
Lunas Recycling
Maplethorpe's Christmas Trees/Frosty's Christmas Trees
MGM Resorts International
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP)
Nevada Division of Forestry
Opportunity Village
PAR 3 Landscaping and Maintenance, Inc.
RC Willey
Republic Services
SB Landscaping
Southern Nevada Water Authority
Springs Preserve
Star Nursery
UNLV Rebel Recycling
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Vermeer Sales Southwest

The trees are chipped into mulch and the mulch is used in the local parks and at other areas of the city, which saves the tax payer money by reducing the need to purchase mulch that was created and trucked in from outside our Valley. The City of Henderson operates two days in which local residents can take as much mulch as they would like for free. These free days are educational but they also support the communities need to add mulch to their home landscapes to save water and increase plant health.

Mulch is important for plant health and it helps conserve water by reducing evaporation in our arid climate. The mulch is also a component in composting and is used by the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in their composting operations as a carbon input.

The committee also educates the public on the benefits of purchasing live trees grown in the USA as opposed to plastic trees made in China, which have a large carbon footprint. Studies show that people who keep their reusable plastic tree for 15 years are sustainable, while a live tree that is recycled is likewise sustainable because the trees sequester carbon as they grow. The best alternative is a potted tree that is replanted in a local park or green space.

Last year, the committee diverted over 15,000 trees from the landfill. The best year was 18,000 trees. The committee has set up over 20 drop off locations for the trees for the public. The goal is to transition the program into a curbside collection program at some point. And the committee spends a great deal of time educating the public about recycling and the program.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

1) UNLV's community service group partners up with the DASH program. DASH seeks to explore hunger and poverty by connecting UNLV students and people experiencing homelessness. By making, packing, and delivering peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunches, we hope to give students a glimpse of the plight of these disenfranchised populations and to give them a way to do something about it. After the program, we hope participants will take their involvement to the next level by seeking other ways to help the homeless community.

2) The UNLV School of Dental Medicine is committed to increasing access to quality oral health care for all Nevadans. In addition to educating future dentists, delivering specialty post-graduate training and continuing education courses, the school is making a difference today by providing oral health care through 50,000 – 60,000 patient visits per year to thousands of Nevadans.

The UNLV School of Dental Medicine operates several clinical programs at three facilities in Las Vegas. All sites are located along major bus routes and convenient for public transportation. The Shadow Lane Campus located at 1700 West Charleston Avenue is our primary teaching and clinical facility. Building “A” houses 165 dental treatment rooms for undergraduate Teams, Emergency Care, Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology, Oral Surgery, community services clinics, and Advanced Pediatrics, with adjunctive educational, clinical, laboratory and support. Building “D” provides additional space for graduate Orthodontics, endodontics and screening clinics, administrative and faculty offices, and the Faculty Dental Practice.

The UNLV SDM General Practice Residency is located at 1707 West Charleston Avenue. This state-of-the-art clinic provides post-graduate general dentistry education, clinical treatment, laboratory and support services, and interfaces with surgical center or hospital environments.

SDM on Main is a direct patient care clinic on the UNLV Main Campus at 4505 South Maryland Parkway. SDM on Main is designed to deliver general oral health care to students, staff, faculty, their families and the public

The UNLV School of Dental Medicine is committed to increasing access to quality oral health care for all Nevadans. For more information about our dental clinics, please follow the links below.

In addition, UNLV is a major supporter of cultural diversity and sustainable living. Every year, UNLV hosts Festival of Communities and GreenFEST. These festivals are a large combined event, that brings the UNLV community and the greater Las Vegas region together to learn about different ethnicities and sustainable organizations.

3) Springs Preserve
With collaboration with UNLV, the new home for the built DesertSol created by the UNLV's Solar Decathlon Team is at the Springs Preserve as a permanent exhibit.

4) Harry Reid Center
The Harry Reid Center (HRC) is a multidisciplinary research facility housing a variety of research projects on the UNLV campus. Faculty, staff, and students from the colleges of Sciences, Engineering, and Urban Affairs, as well as the School of Community Health Sciences, are conducting sophisticated research at the facility. The HRC seeks to support collaborative research, such as the type of projects being developed through the university’s Collaborative Research and Education (CoRE) initiative.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

1) Southern Nevada Strong
Southern Nevada Strong is a new collaborative regional planning effort, funded by a $3.5 million dollar grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides the resources to conduct in-depth research and community engagement efforts to look at issues facing our community and propose collaborative solutions. Southern Nevada Strong seeks to build a foundation for long-term economic success and community livelihood by better integrating: reliable transportation, housing, and job opportunities throughout Southern Nevada.

Specifically, Southern Nevada Strong will begin with in-depth research and analysis of our region so we have a clear picture of where we are now. It will bring together local community, business and political leaders to think about what we want our region to be like and how we can work together to achieve our goals. Southern Nevada Strong will also engage residents from across the valley to weigh in on these ideas and offer suggestions for how to make our communities stronger. This process will include a small number of demonstration projects that will model what this might look like in our local communities. The end product will be a regional plan that highlights implementation strategies and priority projects.

The project is leveraged by resources and in-kind matching funds from 13 regional partners. Consortium Partners include:

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV);
City of Henderson;
City of Las Vegas;
City of North Las Vegas;
City of Boulder City;
Clark County;
Regional Transportation Commission (RTC);
Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority (SNRHA);
Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA);
Clark County School District (CCSD);
Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD); and
Conservation District of Southern Nevada (CDSN).
A Consortium Committee will oversee the development of the Southern Nevada Strong plan and supporting activities. They are supported by six Task Groups who will focus on particular areas (such as housing or transportation) and will incorporate public input into the process. (http://www.southernnevadastrong.org/)

2) Downtown Design Center
The UNLV Downtown Design Center is a non-profit community design center located in downtown Las Vegas. It is administered by the School of Architecture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The School of Architecture has interior architecture, landscape architecture and regional planning and architecture. As the only professional school in Nevada, the School uses the Downtown Design Center to directly engage communities and advocate for the best planned and built environments in the State of Nevada, and the Great Basin and Mojave Desert Regions.

The Center has an administrative suite with UNLV administrators, faculty and graduate assistants, two studio classrooms for UNLV students and conference room. These resources may be used to assist communities and organizations in the state of Nevada with research, design, planning, technical assistance and creative innovation. The Center can also reach back into the University to assemble teams containing needed expertise in other disciplines.


3) TMC Legal Clinic
Ranked among the top clinical programs in the nation, our Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic provides students with practical legal experience as they represent and advocate for clients in need.

The clinic operates as an interdisciplinary law office. Students from the law school and other UNLV graduate schools collaborate under the direction of our experienced legal faculty. Law students take the lead in all aspects of client representation, including developing and maintaining the attorney-client relationship; formulating case strategy; and conducting fact investigation, legal research, and trial work.

4) Engelstad
The Engelstad Scholars program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) pairs scholarship with community engagement: UNLV students learn to form meaningful ties to the surrounding community through local service organizations, experiencing personal growth and character development in the process.

A $12.6 million gift to UNLV will be used to create an endowment that will pay for up to 100 full-tuition scholarships, university officials announced Tuesday.

The Engelstad Scholars program will initially fund 25 scholarships of up to $5,000 each, beginning in January 2010. From then on, as the endowment matures, it will be used to fund up to 100 scholarships a year.

Students will need to have earned a 3.25 grade-point average in high school and demonstrate financial need to qualify. As long as they keep their grades up, they could remain eligible for all four years of college. In addition, students will be required to complete 100 hours of community service through an approved charity each year.

It is also expected that the Foundation will announce it has reached the end of its Invent the Future campaign, a $500 million fundraising effort that kicked off in 2002.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

UNLV's Singapore Hotel College. UNLV Singapore was established in 2006 as UNLV’s branch in Asia. Under the administration of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, it currently offers international and American students the College’s curriculum leading to the UNLV Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management which can be completed in as few as three years of year-round study in both Singapore and Las Vegas. An accelerated two-year B.S. program is available to eligible Singapore citizen and permanent resident polytechnic diploma holders in affiliation with the Singapore Institute of Technology. Degree-seeking undergraduates must be fully admitted as UNLV students; they and visiting students may earn U.S. academic credits during spring and fall semesters, summer and winter sessions, or on study trips beginning and ending in Singapore. Customized and open-enrollment executive education is provided at Singapore’s National Library Building and at client facilities throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

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