Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.02
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Oct. 15, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-19: Community Sustainability Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
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Does the institution participate in community sustainability partnerships that meet the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with the local community:

1. Sustainable Blacksburg

Sustainable Blacksburg was born from a community celebration of “Environmental Awareness Week” in 2006. Now an independent non-profit corporation, Sustainable Blacksburg continues to partner with Virginia Tech and the Town of Blacksburg to host Sustainability Week each September. Other events in 2014 include a screening of A Fierce Green Fire and panel discussion with Virginia Tech professors and other civic and business leaders; help with YToss, booths at the Solstice and Steppin’ Out festivals, hosted library programs on Solarize Blacksburg and Greening the Holidays, and service projects such as battery recycling at the YMCA and up-cycling school lunch chip bags into pen pal envelopes for Warm Hearth retirement community residents. The Climate Action Plan working group is also comprised of people from Sustainable Blacksburg, the Town of Blacksburg, and Virginia Tech, as is the bike/pedestrian corridors committee. The current Sustainable Blacksburg board has representation from Virginia Tech, Friends of the Farmers’ Market, Master Naturalists, the VT YMCA, Valley Interfaith Child Care Center, and the Town of Blacksburg.

More information and a schedule for Sustainability Week 2014 can be found on our web site at http://sustainableblacksburgva.org.

2. Community Housing Partners

Community Housing Partners is a successful non-profit organization dedicated to planning, developing and managing affordable housing with sustainability ("people, planet, profit") as its principal objective. After a very successful partnership with Virginia Tech in the green job-training program CREATES (2008-2012), CHP continues to partner with the university in the Solarize Blacksburg campaign (with the Town of Blacksburg, 2014), and collaborates in training VT students in home energy retrofit methods.

For more information about Community Housing Partners, please see: http://www.communityhousingpartners.org/

3. The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center

The Catawba Sustainability Center serves as a location for exploring new strategies for facing earth’s key challenges. Teachers, students, and researchers of all ages and sectors collaborate to find solutions to global challenges, while interacting locally to achieve economic vitality, social prosperity, and environmental conservation. Located on 377 acres in the Catawba Valley, the Catawba Sustainability Center is a place to research, teach, and demonstrate sustainable practices.

The Catawba Sustainability Center works to advance collaboration with the community and the region by engaging with a broadly diverse group of partners and advisers. Students and faculty are involved in onsite research and hands-on learning activities and interface with the community to share their work. Projects include biofuel production, small farm incubator program, rotational grazing and silvopasture demonstration, conservation land management, and an American chestnut breeding orchard. Tours, classes, and workshops are offered regularly.

For more information about the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center, please see: http://www.vtrc.vt.edu/catawba/

4. Town of Blacksburg

In addition to Sustainability Week, Virginia Tech and the Town of Blacksburg have collaborated in the Town's application for the Department of Energy/Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition for community energy planning. The university is bringing a research perspective to the Town's application. In addition, university faculty have helped develop the successful 2014 Solarize Blacksburg campaign that has become a model for communities throughout the state.


The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:
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