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Student & Community Outreach

Gateway continues to increase awareness of sustainability issues among campus and community members through education and outreach and empower students, staff and community members to take sustainability actions.

Sustainability Goal

Increase awareness of sustainability issues among campus and community members through education and outreach and empower students, staff and community members to take sustainability actions.

Latest Achievements

Green observances. The college sponsors annual community celebrations designed to share information and engage residents in activities that help them live in more environmentally friendly ways.

  • Celebrate Earth Day. Held on the Saturday closest to Earth Day in April, the Celebrate Earth Day events on the Kenosha and Elkhorn campuses celebrate the environment with displays, workshops, hands-on activities for people of all ages, and other environment-related activities. Hundreds of community members attend the events, sponsored by Snap-on Incorporated. The Elkhorn events are also supported by the Elkhorn Parks and Recreation Department and the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce.
     
  • EcoFest Racine. Held for the first time in March 2016 on the Racine campus, EcoFest Racine is organized with Greening Greater Racine. It features cooking demonstrations, 20-minute informational presentations, children's activities, and informational displays from more than 50 product and service vendors, educational institutions, nature centers and parks, and community organizations. Admission is free, and healthy refreshments are available.

Green Scholars. The Green Scholars program encourages students to learn about sustainability, get involved, and earn recognition when they graduate. They earn points for specific green activities, from using compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs, to packing waste-free lunches, to riding a bicycle or using public transit, to buying an energy-efficient refrigerator. Those who collect at least 50 points graduate as Green Scholars. For additional information, contact Sue Walther at walthers@gtc.edu or (262) 564-3612.

Green Print. Gateway’s "Green Print" initiative is aimed at reducing the college’s carbon footprint by streamlining ink cartridge recycling, reducing the number of machines in use and eliminating unnecessary printing. The effort requires staff and students to use more centrally located machines and to login to print, allowing the college to track paper and energy usage. Visit the Printing on Campus page to learn more.

Green communities. Gateway has joined the Racine Sustainable Business Network to support improvements in the community, the college and the environment.

Summer camps. Gateway’s summer camp program, offered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kenosha County in partnership with Snap-on Incorporated, includes two week-long sessions with environmental themes. A solar energy week includes hands-on activities that include cooking in solar ovens and building and racing solar-powered cars. A sustainability week covers horticulture, native birds, renewable energy, recycling, and exploration of the Center for Sustainable Living.

Farmer’s Market. The Kenosha campus hosts a weekly Urban Farm and Market in summer and fall, featuring produce grown on campus through the Horticulture Program. Local farmers offer products such as honey and eggs.

Nature trail. A 1/4-mile Nature Discovery Trail on the Center for Sustainable Living property, funded by the Kloss Foundation and supported by Kathy and Joseph Madrigrano Jr., includes five stations with activities involving solar energy, recycling and composting, birds, trees and insects. The trail is available for field trips.

Web page. A sustainability web page helps students and community members review college goals and view dashboards that show how initiatives such as energy savings are progressing toward goals.

Campus map. Maps have been developed showing the sustainability features at all campuses, including solar photovoltaic and hot water systems, wind generators, prairie plantings, rain gardens, the Center for Sustainable Living, and other highlights.

Plans for the Future

As part of its sustainability initiatives, Gateway Technical College will model social responsibility, integrity and transparency to its publics. Specific communication initiatives are to include:

Sustainability teams. District and campus teams will assist in shaping the direction of sustainability at the college and on the individual campuses. They will also assist with some of the activities listed in this plan.

Educational signage. Signage will be placed on campuses to highlight sustainability features. Indoors, table tent signs will be provided to encourage behaviors such as recycling, use of tap-water bottles instead of bottled water, and printing double-sided documents (or forgoing printing). Outside, signage will indicate points of interest such as renewable energy systems, hybrid-vehicle parking spaces, electric car chargers, recycling containers, and bicycle racks. Signs will include the Sustainable Gateway logo.

Student involvement. Events will include sustainability book clubs on the campuses and “dumpster dive” activities where students learn what goes into trash containers and items (such as hazardous materials and recyclables) that do no belong there.

Special events. The existing program of guest lectures and documentary films for students and community members will be expanded.

Group tours. Sustainability-focused campus tours will be conducted for community organizations, followed by discussions of college sustainability initiatives.

Awards. A Sustainability Champion award program will be created for instructors, staff, community and students as part of the annual February employee recognition program.

Community partnerships. The college will expand partnerships around sustainability with business and community groups through training and service on boards of directors. The college will also take part in sustainability initiatives in partnerships with other educational institutions.