Dec. 19, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU students obtain $5,000 grant to expand greening programs
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University Student Government Association received a $5,000 grant today from Pittsburgh 250 Community Connections to expand two greening programs on campus and into the Slippery Rock community.
Students will plant 100 trees and obtain at least 10 new bicycles for a Green Bike Initiative that makes loaner bicycles available to anyone on campus. Organizers want riders to use the bikes to reach the Slippery Rock business district and off-campus residences, minimizing reliance on emission-producing vehicles.
"Everyone is so focused on reducing his or her carbon footprint these days. With one grant, our students will be making a long-lasting impact on our campus community," said Diana Wolak, SRU's fiscal assistant for CoOperative Activities and the grant writer.
The $5,000 will be split between the tree planting and Green Bike programs. Students conceived and are leading both programs.
"I'm ecstatic," said Dan Cannon, a senior from Westlake, Ohio and co-founder of the Green Bike Initiative, which paints donated bicycles green for easy identification. "As a senior, it's a great thing to get this grant because I know the Green Bike Initiative has been successful and will now have the money to make an even larger impact in the future on the Slippery Rock University community."
SGA's "Green and Growing Initiative" grant application was one of 88 out of 540 proposals to receive funding from Pittsburgh 250 Community Connections. The non-profit organization promotes civic engagement in the 14 counties surrounding Pittsburgh. Grants are distributed through The Sprout Fun, a non-profit organization that supports innovative grassroots community projects.
SRU's Green Bike program, which includes members of the Cycling Club, will use the $2,500 to buy used bicycles and secure a mechanic and parts inventory for bicycle repairs. The program currently has 12 bicycles on campus currently. Other goals include soliciting donations of bicycles from local bike shops.
"The overall goal of the program is to get people to use their cars less," Cannon said.
SGA began a tree-planting program last spring by purchasing 15 trees from a local nursery and 100 saplings from the Arbor Day Foundation for the beautification of campus. The grant will allow SGA to purchase an additional 100 trees that will be planted on and off campus and dedicated on Arbor Day (April 25.)
SGA President Larry Brink, a senior from Uniontown, said 50 saplings will be planted behind N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.
"The Slippery Rock University community will be enriched by students' demonstrating their commitment to alternative transportation and the environment," Wolak said. "Our goal is to ensure that Slippery Rock is an eco-friendly place to live, visit and learn."
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.