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UMBC Eco Orgs Newsletter: student news summary!

December 1, 2016 4:30 PM

UMBC Eco-Org Newsletter

Issue 1, Volume 1; December 2016

Compiled & Written by SGA Dept. of Environmental Affairs


This report is the first of its kind at UMBC to highlight eco-organizations progress and offer areas for collaboration. The newsletter aims to be a literacy tool for students to be aware of environmental actions on campus, educate how students can become involved in these efforts, and track eco-orgs progress and commitment to a sustainable future.  



UMBC prides itself for leading efforts to benefit communities through research, teaching, and innovation. In 2015 UMBC has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 15% from the baseline in 2007. UMBC is committed to reaching 25% reduction by 2025 through oversight of the Climate Action Plan. Student environmental affiliated groups on campus are also working throughout the semester to advocate and educate about environmental sustainability.


We invite everyone to peruse the Garden (across from the PAHB under the great white satellite), attend our general body meetings, and follow us on social media for dates, events, details! We’re about community, food, and earth…

  • Planted an assortment of culinary herbs

  • Cover cropped the garden in kale, rye, and clover

  • Planted two Jujubee fruit trees

  • Gleaned food waste for dinners & giveaways

  • Collaborated with Beyond Relief to feed the homeless in downtown Baltimore

Come join us and glean food waste from MOMs Organic Market every tuesday night -- with that food we host dinners in Harbor 2nd Floor South and giveaways in Harbor Courtyard alternating/week

Follow us on social media & Hope to see you soon!

Facebook: GROWUMBC

Sustainability Matters: UMBC has one full time staff person who tracks, communicates, and promotes environmental sustainability across campus, Tanvi Gadhia. If you have questions about sustainability regarding anything from infrastructure, buildings, energy, transportation, recycling, UMBC’s carbon footprint, courses, research, student orgs, and volunteerism, you can reach out to Tanvi to connect with contacts and information from across campus.

Harvest Fest: Dozens of students pledged to live green at Harvest Fest, the campus sustainability fair that brings together orgs and departments that help to green our campus.

Eco-Ambassadors:  UMBC's sustainability peer education and service-learning team has helped to advise and advance sustainability outreach and awareness across campus.

Green Office Program: As of November 2016, now 27 offices across UMBC have earned Green Office Certificates. Congratulations to the Provost's Office and President's Office for having received their certificates this month! UMBC's Provost and Vice President of Administration and Finance distributED certificates to 14 new offices who achieved certification in the 2016 calendar year during the Green Office Awards Reception in November 2016.  


Students for Environmental Awareness is an on-campus club spreading it's love and appreciation of our planet in various ways, such as raising awareness about important environmental issues and holding volunteer opportunities to get involved with the community. We have been know to participate in rallies and protests, table at UMBC events and petition on campus to help student's voices be heard. Just this past semester, we have held Retriever Treasure, a program to reduce landfill waste, held a volunteer event at Jug Bay, a wetland sanctuary in DC and tabled at Harvest Fest, the Fall campus sustainability fair.

The group meets every Monday 12-1 PM in Math/Psych Building, room 102.



The student government association at UMBC has been very active under President Bentley Corbett. President Corbett appoints directors for 9 departments. The SGA Department of Environmental affairs, directed by Rebecca Postowski and co-directed by Sarah Bicknell has been working to unite student eco-orgs on campus. To achieve this goal, the department has been working with other campus leaders in assisting projects, creating eco-org quarterly newsletters, and educating students environmental funding projects through two SGA funded initiatives; Green Paw and ProveIT.

The group meets every Wednesday at 4 pm in the Student Org space. Stop by for discussions on collaboration!


Stream Clean Ups: Every Friday, ETF hosts campus clean ups, meeting at 3:30pm for an environmental  discussion in the lower level of the Commons, then heading out to clean up Herbert Run stream on campus, collecting litter and removing invasive weeds at 4pm.

Eco Hour: In addition to cleaning the land and water, ETF is “on air” as well! We have our very own radio show on WMBC called Eco Hour which airs every Thursday at 6pm. We use this as a platform to promote sustainability, as well as share and discuss environmentally related news with UMBC students who may not hear much about the natural world around them on a day-to-day basis.


UMBC’s Geography and Environmental Systems Council of Majors, or GES COM, had a great semester picking pumpkins, learning about internships, and connecting students and faculty over lunch!  We will be celebrating the end of the semester and getting a necessary dose of winter greenery by planting houseplants on Friday, December 9 from 12:00 to 12:50 PM.  



Food Waste Dinner was a success! This is an extension of the weekly free food waste dinners for the students and homeless in Baltimore that Beyond Relief, The Garden, etc have been doing on Tuesdays. Volunteers are needed, who can learn about gleaning and help collect food, help with food collection, and help cook/prepare the meal.

GES Professor, Dr. Holland also joined us in facilitating a conversation about climate change. UMBC alum, Sierra Shamer discussed with students about environmental advocacy.

Zack Grzywacz, sophomore environmental science major, president of Environmental Task Force and member of The Garden. They organize weekly stream clean ups on campus. He told me he volunteers because "I'm trying to make the future a little less bleak. It gives me a sense of self worth to know I'm making a difference."



The GardenThomas Eliason:
Environmental Task ForceZack
Students for Environmental AwarenessMadeline
SGA Environmental AffairsSarah Bicknell:
GES COMJaelyn Bos:
Sustainability CoordinatorTanvi Gadhia

Upcoming Events:

Before the FloodDec 7th, 7pm Sports Zone
UMBC Eco-Hour Every Thursday 6-7 PM

Campus Clean upsEvery Friday at 4pm

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