by Rebecca Strocchio for SUST 210
Joliet Junior College, the nation’s first community college, has developed a concern for sustainability in the past several years. The college has worked to become more energy efficient with LEED certified buildings. Every year its Sustainability Committee strives to achieve a greater level of sustainability. They are currently broadening their goals from environmental conservation to social and economic sustainability. Figure 1 illustrates how environmental, social, and economic sustainability initiatives underway at JJC are all inter-linked with college’s mission of sustainability.
Plans to incorporate all areas of the college, as well as extend the institution’s reach within the Joliet-area community are already in the works. By becoming a more complete sustainable college campus, JJC has a chance to receive global recognition. This would be a great accomplishment for the college, one that would put the relationship of JJC to nature on the map.
One of their notable accomplishments, along with several recent LEED building initiatives, is their Farmer’s Market, which takes place Thursdays from May through September. This market provides an outlet for the community to obtain fresh locally grown food and an opportunity to cultivate relationships among people with similar interests.
Along with the above-mentioned programs, JJC has taken the initiative in several other areas of sustainability. They have worked to involve themselves with the City of Joliet’s Rain Barrel Program, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and Joliet Public Utilities Water Conservation Program. Through partnering with these programs, JJC has helped to recycle more paper, installed low-flow aerators to decrease the usage of water, planted more drought-resistant crops, and provided gently used or new building materials at a more reasonable cost.
Overall JJC has been working and will continue to work on creating a more “green” environment for the school and its surrounding community. The college’s initiative is one that should be an example of for other colleges in the area, one that will hopefully spark a movement of more sustainable future. Continue to keep your eyes open for new achievements and strides forward in the sustainability efforts of Joliet Junior College.
Each week during the Fall 2014 semester, students in Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 210 Sustainable Future and SUST 240 Waste classes at Roosevelt University will contribute blog posts on urban and suburban sustainability issues to the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website.