Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.65
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Beth Schommer
Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
Chancellor's Office
"---" 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”?:
Yes

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

Powerful Choices! advisory committee: Develop conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy solutions for the City of River Falls, including but not limited to, educational programming in the public schools, scholarships for conservation minors entering UWRF, development of a solar garden and solar rooftops, community behavior change and overall programming to meet our sustainability goals. UWRF faculty and staff attend Powerful Choices! meetings to collaborate on initiatives and programs. Specific examples of collaboration include promotion of the St. Croix Summit and Climate Summit events to be held at UWRF as well as presentations on the KinniConsortium initiative. The city of River Falls is implementing a blue bike program in spring 2016. Through Powerful Choices! advisory committee, UWRF has become a partner and campus will be home to one of the four bike rack locations in town. UWRF representatives present to the larger group as needed to foster community support and will continue to participate and engage with Powerful Choices! advisory committee to continue to build the sustainability awareness and support across community stakeholders.

In the past year, the River Falls Municipal Utilities installed their community solar garden, the first of its kind in the state, and UWRF will be one of the larger shareholders with possibly as much as 10% of the solar garden panels being purchased from UWRF.
St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity: Formal partnering and integration of students and faculty for planning, design, and construction of the Eco-Village, providing 18 LEED Platinum, net zero energy homes and a community commons building, integrated with community gardens, edible landscape, rainwater harvest, shared electric transportation, and walkable community, among other attributes.
Assisting the River Falls School District and its Sustainability Team (consisting of teachers, administrators, and parents) in design and implementation of their strategic planning objectives including behavior change games such as Cool Choices!

+ Date Revised: March 15, 2016

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

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

Sustainable Community Proclamation, in effect since it was signed jointly by the River Falls Mayor, UWRF Chancellor, and River Falls School Superintendent.


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

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

Construction is underway on the new St. Croix River Crossing between Oak Park Height, MN and St. Joseph, WI. UW-River Falls serves on the Growth Mitigation Advisory Team charged with mitigating the environmental impact of the project and the population and economic growth expected to result from the project. UW-River Falls is the lead organization in facilitating inter-governmental collaboration among the communities where the majority of economic and population growth is expected. To date, UW-River Falls has sponsored an economic impact study and sponsored attendance at events focusing on the water quality of the St. Croix River. UW-River Falls has begun work on a program to assist communities with planning and zoning to ensure that economic and population growth takes place in an environmentally friendly manner.

UWRF is also developing a project to partner on Rain to Rivers and is looking into organizing an Intergovernmental Collaboration event to link planning and implementation opportunities associated with water quality improvement.


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

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls recently established a goal of enrolling 147 international students by the fall 2017 semester.

"Meaningful engagement with people from different cultures and experiences better prepares our students for an increasingly global and diverse world, and enhances our campus and broader community," said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen.

Roughly 20 elementary education majors from Zhejiang International Studies University (ZISU) in Hangzhou, China, are taking courses at UW-River Falls and will be in elementary school classrooms in River Falls on Fridays, learning and being mentored by River Falls elementary school teachers.

"The partnership between ZISU, the School District of River Falls, and UWRF is a great example of what is possible when institutions work together for the good of our students and community," said Van Galen.

Several international education opportunities offered to UWRF students also contain a sustainability component, such as the Brazil: Food, Culture and Sustainability program over J-Term, where among other activities, students stay on an organic farm, learning cheesemaking and sustainable coffee bean farming in the area of Mococa. Other J-Term include the Costa Rica Sustainability program, which looks at preservation of natural resources for the sake of environmentally-based tourism, and the UWRF: Puebla & Mexico City Service Learning course, a spring break service-learning program offering students the opportunity to combine academic theory with real-life experiences, engage in civic responsibility and better understand one’s role in society through community-service experiences.

The UWRF Office of Sustainability also has sustainability partnerships with the other University of Wisconsin colleges. The group collaborates on issues facing the state . Primary communication is done through monthly teleconferences as well as an annual conference. The 2015 conference was held at UW-Whitewater.

The Office of Sustainability is also a member of the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), which is a national network of colleges and universities that provides a network to share best practices about recycling, composting, and sustainable materials management. UWRF Sustainability Coordinator (Mark Klapatch) attended a zero-waste workshop sponsored by CURC as part of the 2015 AASHE Conference in Minneapolis. The knowledge gained at that workshop has led to the hiring of a student intern who will focus on Waste Minimization at UWRF during the Spring 2016 semester.


The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.