Queensborough Community College Receives Three Grants to Further Sustainability

January 23, 2012

Queensborough Community College has been selected to receive up to $1,000,000 in funding through the Green Innovation Grant Program, funded through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Green Innovation Grant Program. Parking lots—which often occupy enormous amounts of space—are notorious sources of pollution. To help combat this problem, Queensborough will reconstruct its largest parking lot on campus, replacing hard asphalt with porous asphalt and creating two planted areas (bioswales) to retain rain water and filter pollutants.  This will result in a reduction of up to 4 million gallons per year in the volume of storm water runoff which is currently flowing through a storm sewer directly to the Alley Creek wetlands and Little Neck Bay, part of Long Island Sound. The bioswales afford the opportunity to create a new tree-lined pedestrian entrance to the campus, linking the main gate and the main quadrangle. The strategies of stormwater management will also be introduced to Queensborough’s students through service learning projects, opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom in order to serve the community. Queensborough has a robust service learning program that involves some 800 students in a wide variety of study areas. Environmental topics that center on this project can be applied to the College’s annual Earth Day celebration, biology and chemistry assignments and much more.

Under a grant from Coulomb Technologies, Inc., Queensborough’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECET) has installed two electric charging stations on campus that will service the campus fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles.  The electric energy used to charge the vehicles is offset by photovoltaic solar panels installed on the roof of the Technology Building.

Nearly 60 light fixtures located in the underpass which connects the Medical Arts and Science Buildings at Queensborough have been switched from outdated 458 watt lamps to 25 watt LED retrofit kits. This green initiative— funded by an $18,354 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and completed in the fall of 2011—is projected to save up to $20,000 per year in electricity costs.