Providing a central figure to guide and direct the campus' green efforts, David Burre, new part-time Sustainability Coordinator, has already made great progress in the short time he has been with LSC-Kingwood.
Burre, who has a long career in both environmental engineering and environmental consulting, explains the source of this new position. "The position really comes back to the president, Dr. Persson and her sojourn out to the Northwest where conservation and ecology is a very big thing. She brought all those ideas back here."
One of his first initiatives was to set up a sustainability council. The council's mission is to become a leader in the stewardship of human and natural resources through education and example by the administration, faculty, staff, and students of LSC-Kingwood.
The council consists of several committees, including: Recycling, Learning Garden, Conservation, Green Campus, Ecology and Sustainability Concept. These committees are made up of administration, faculty, staff and even LSC-Kingwood students.
Burre say in terms of sustainability, gardening is probably the ultimate use. Just recently Burre staked out a 50 foot by 50 foot Learning Garden on campus. The Learning Garden is still taking shape and will be both functional and beautiful. The learning garden committee plans to include vegetables, native plants to attract butterflies and benches for enjoying the natural space.
The Learning Garden will be a joint project with help from Humble ISD. "The garden will serve as the primary vehicle to integrate the handicapped students who come here from Humble ISD," says Noel Bezette, committee chair. "The garden will allow them to use their fine motor skills as well as provide therapeutic benefits for these students."
Burre says the Learning Garden will provide opportunities for student groups, like the college's Eco Club and community groups, like the Kingwood Garden Club, among others to become a part of the sustainability process.
A 200 acre wetland located between the college and the San Jacinto River and owned by the college will serve an important part in the plans. "Wetlands are one of the most important biological areas that we have," says Burre. "We hope to develop that into an outdoor learning center."
With upcoming expansion and renovations planned for the campus, the Green Campus committee will provide information on building green as well as updating existing structures to green standards.
Also in the works is streamlining and adopting a recycling program. The college has been recycling paper and aluminum cans, but will now collect plastic and is looking into a system-wide vendor for the safe disposal of E (electronic) waste.
The recycling committee reports that last year 32 tons of papers were recycled by LSC-Kingwood. That's equal to 550 mature trees or 107 cubic yards of landfill space. Burre plans to increase that number significantly through education and accessibility of recycling bins.
The committee is also in the process of purchasing new collection containers for all recyclables. These containers will be located across campus and clearly marked to encourage students, staff and visitors to separate recyclables from their waste.
"Awareness is a big part of my job. Right now, I'm focused on campus awareness and then we'll look outside the college to the community," said Burre.
For more information on any of the sustainability programs going on around campus or to get involved, email David.L.Burre@lonestar.edu.
Register today for May Mini-term (May 11-29), Summer Term I (June 1-July 7) and Summer Term II (July 9-Aug. 13). Students can register in one of three ways: phone, online or on campus. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-519-6625. Former and current students can register online at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu/registration.
For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With over 50,000 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas.