Vassar College was recently awarded a $50,000 Hudson River Estuary grant by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to create a plan for enhancing stormwater management through the use of green infrastructure practices on campus. Green infrastructure is the use of engineering and landscaping techniques that mimic natural systems to help reduce amounts of rain that run off a site. These techniques reduce flooding, improve groundwater recharge and reduce pollution of water resources.
The grant is part of a $3 million initiative spearheaded by Governor Cuomo to help communities improve recreation access, protect water quality, conserve open space, and increase storm resiliency in the Hudson River Estuary watershed. Through a partnership between the Sustainability Office and The Environmental Cooperative, Vassar will significantly progress toward becoming a more environmentally friendly college campus as well as benefiting the greater Poughkeepsie community by reducing runoff from campus. With this grant, Vassar will begin planning green infrastructure at the newly renovated Vassar dairy barns at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, home of The Environmental Cooperative, creating a demonstration site of green practices for the community.
The project will also build a framework of standard green infrastructure practices to eventually be incorporated into the Campus Master Plan and help to prioritize future implementation of sustainable stormwater management practices on campus. Included in the project are education and training workshops on green infrastructure for Vassar building and grounds staff, local municipal officials and community members.
“We are honored to receive a Hudson River Estuary grant, “ said Jen Rubbo, manager of The Environmental Cooperative. “Our work will begin in June, and we’re excited to use this opportunity to become better stewards of our land in ways that benefit not only Vassar and its students but the local community.”
About the Vassar College Office of Sustainability
Vassar College is committed to developing and maintaining a sustainable, environmentally responsible mode of operation, within the context of its educational mission, fiscal constraints, and responsibilities to students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, and the local community. This commitment to environmental responsibility is intended both to educate the College community about environmental issues and to minimize, as much as possible, the College’s impact on the environment. For more information about the Office of Sustainability visit: sustainability.vassar.edu
About The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns
The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns, located at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, is an outreach initiative by Vassar College. The mission of The Environmental Cooperative is to expand and coordinate conservation efforts and to strengthen place-based environmental awareness throughout the Hudson Valley by supporting current efforts, developing new programs and inspiring deeper engagement in conservation education, outreach, and research by the college, community and region. For more information, visit environmentalcooperative.vassar.edu
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.