Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cuyamaca College receives statewide recognition for sustainable landscaping

     Cuyamaca College has been selected as one of three community colleges in the state to win the inaugural Energy and Sustainability Awards competition from the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

     The college was recognized in the area of faculty/student initiatives for promoting sustainable landscaping at the Rancho San Diego campus. The initiative was the result of meetings held in 2007 with 23 Cuyamaca College faculty members who discussed moving beyond water conservation to a broader sustainable urban landscape approach.

     The campus began using sustainable practices for storm water, green waste, energy conservation and resource management. Cuyamaca College was also lauded for establishing the annual Sustainable Urban Landscape conference, which has attracted more than 250 industry professionals each year since it began in 2008.

     The college also created a sustainable urban landscape degree and certificate program, with the first graduates expected this June. The curriculum for the sustainable urban landscape program has since been adopted by MiraCosta College and Southwestern College.

     Other winners were Citrus College in Glendora for district leadership, and Butte College in Oroville for facilities and operations.

     “These three colleges are shining examples of what our system has accomplished, what we are doing now and what we can do in the future in providing leadership to the rest of the state on energy and sustainability issues,” said Scott Himelstein, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

     Cuyamaca College President Mark J. Zacovic said Cuyamaca College has long been a leader in promoting sustainable landscaping.

     “Visit this beautiful campus and it’s easy to see why protecting our natural resources is such a high priority,” he said. “We were green from the early days of sustainability. We pride ourselves in having the foresight to recognize its importance and potential as it relates to economic and workforce development.”

     Representatives from the colleges will be given the awards at the May 8 Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.

     Cuyamaca College, part of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, opened its doors in 1978. It now serves almost 10,000 full- and part-time students each semester.