New projects underway at Sustainability Center


University Communications and Creative Services

The University Sustainable Center has made some additions to their projects including vermicomposting and installation of a flower-shaped solar panel. Future plans for the center include adding a room to Southeastern’s Environmental Education Development (SEED) building.

The university’s Sustainability Center has new projects underway to maintain the ‘green’ in Green and Gold.

Although the center has put a hold on in-person tours, the staff has utilized their website and social media to share updates on their latest additions. Most recently, they have added vermicomposting, which is worm composting that produces organic soil with plant nutrients and beneficial microorganisms.

Gina Howell, a graduate assistant at the Sustainability Center, shared why the center added this method of sustainability.

“We decided to add vermicomposting to our center in hopes of educating on more sustainable agriculture,” explained Howell. “We are currently in the process of developing a composting yard to be used for our landscaping around campus. The ability to create resources from organic waste that would have otherwise ended in the landfill is a wonderful way to be sustainable.

The Sustainability Center has also planned to install a flower-shaped solar panel pole that will be eight feet in diameter. This new feature will be a landmark for the center’s new entrance that is also underway.

Howell revealed that the solar panel is one of many multiple new additions coming to the center.

“The energy cultivated from this flower will be harvested through a Tesla powerwall we are installing in our aquaponics greenhouse (that is also in the works) and used for power at the center,” said Howell.

In addition to greenhouses, the center is home to Southeastern’s Environmental Education Development (SEED) classroom, which is scheduled to receive upgrades as well.

“Future plans for the center include adding an additional room to our SEED building as a welcome center and additional educational room with new resources available,” explained Howell. “This, of course, is contingent on our funding available in the future. Nonetheless, we are very excited to be adding a new and more visible entrance to the center.”

Howell also mentioned the Sustainability Center’s plan to branch out virtually.

“Our staff is following the safety measures detailed in the university’s safe campus guide,” stated Howell. We have numerous resources available on our webpage to see all the current sustainable features on campus, including a sustainability map. We are hoping to add a virtual component to our webpage this fall to allow people to virtually take themselves for a tour around the center.”

Howell shared the significance of continuing to practice sustainability, even during unprecedented circumstances.

“Sustainability is about meeting our own needs without compromising future generations from meeting theirs too,” expressed Howell. “Our Sustainability Team hopes to educate and inspire our campus and community on how to make a sustainable difference in the lives of not only ourselves, but others and future generations.”

For any questions about the Sustainability Center’s initiatives, contact their office at 985-549-3333 or [email protected].