Cecelia Shao / The Dartmouth Staff
The Green Community Fund is part of the College's $1 million Green Revolving Loan Fund, according to Office of Sustainability director Rosi Kerr. The remaining $900,000 will be used for projects originating from Facilities, Operations and Management, including the installation of a ventilation system in Baker-Berry Library and Moore Hall that will adjust energy consumption based on building activity, according to energy engineer Steve Shadford.
"We're excited to continue doing the work that we're doing," Shadford said. "It's going to be really interesting to see what comes out of this whole process of the community fund."
The College leverages 10 percent of savings from energy efficiency projects and applies them to the new community fund, according to Joe Indvik '10, one of the fund's founders.
"You have kind of a continuing conveyor belt of funding to facilitate student leadership and sustainability," he said.
The fund will accept applications until the end of February, according to sustainability program manager Jenna Muscos. A committee of students and faculty will evaluate the applications, she said.
Students in the Environmental Problem Analysis and Policy Formation seminar in Spring 2010 first proposed to launch Green Revolving Loan Fund, according to Indvik. The course aimed to identify an environmental issue and propose a potential policy to solve the problem.
"There had been many generations of students proposing great ideas in sustainability, some of which got implemented and some of which didn't for reasons that were sort of mysterious, because pretty much all of them were good ideas," Indvik said. "What we discovered was that it was the financing mechanisms that were lacking in many of these cases."
Even after they graduated, the students continued to develop their project and remained in contact with the sustainability office, she said.
The sustainability office had difficulty managing the logistics of implementing the fund. After graduation, Indvik directed most of his efforts toward maintaining the project's momentum and finding ways for the fund to work in the College's "accounting architecture," he said.
The Green Revolving Loan Fund differs from other colleges' initiatives in its community fund component, which was added after former Chief Financial Officer Steven Kadish suggested that they use the student body's entrepreneurial talent, Indvik said.
Stephanie Gardner '10, who was also in the course, said she remembered how difficult it was to secure funding for sustainable projects while she was a student.
"My organizations didn't have very large budgets or even any budget, so we were trying to pull off these great ideas on essentially creativity and student power," Gardner said. "So I'm really excited about this community aspect of the fund. I think it's going to be an incredible resource for the passionate and dedicated students we have at Dartmouth."
Sustainability and energy efficiency have become high priorities for colleges, according to Bari Wien '10, who was in the same environmental science course and helped start the fund. The community fund will help bring students' ideas to fruition.
"There's a whole other element of education there," Wien said. "It's not just proposal writing. It's actual implementation."
Alison Polton-Simon '14, president of Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering, said that she is excited for the opportunities the community fund will bring. The opportunity to access more funding for sustainability projects could enable DHE to implement more local projects, she said.
Polton-Simon is a former member of The Dartmouth Staff.
"I can see projects in the future where DHE applies for funding to do work at the farm or explore local application for the projects we have in our portfolio already," Polton-Simon said.
The Green Revolving Loan Fund was established in 2011 in conjunction with the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, a program designed to promote energy efficiency at U.S. colleges.