Boulton, Shipe Named PERC Campus Sustainability Champions

Allegheny College Sustainability Coordinator Kelly Boulton and junior David Shipe recently were named Campus Sustainability Champions of 2016 by the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC).

PERC honors select students, administrators, staff and faculty members as Campus Sustainability Champions for their exemplary work toward environmental sustainability efforts within their campuses or greater communities.

With Boulton’s guidance, Allegheny has made significant strides toward its goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2020. The colleges is now 75 percent of the way to achieving that goal.

Boulton has established a green purchasing agreement to ensure that the college buys products (such as paper and cleaning supplies) that meet green standards exclusively. As a result, the college has  completely transitioned to using recycled paper.

Boulton is also chief organizer of the annual October Energy Challenge in which the campus strives to reduce energy consumption. The money saved from the challenge is reinvested in solar panels, filtered water refill stations and other sustainability facilities to help  propel the campus toward  climate neutrality. Boulton’s efforts on campus also include the annual Trashion show, in which students design and showcase fashion statements made of recycled waste, and the bike share program to promote  access to sustainable transportation for students.

Boulton’s larger community efforts include organizing the annual DeHart Local Foods Dinner by reaching out to local farmers, businesses, the campus dining service, and student volunteers and inviting them to participate . She also has a part in managing the college’s forested land.

“I’m honored to be recognized as a PERC Campus Sustainability Champion this year,” Boulton said, “but even more honored to be a daily part of Allegheny’s deliberate, creative and dedicated efforts to consistently improve our institutional sustainability and be part of a resilient community.”

Shipe, of Freeport, Pa., is an ambassador of the sustainable food production effort on campus and in the greater Meadville community. As a student, he’s learned about food production by taking classes such as “Soil to Plate” and attending the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s annual Farming for the Future conference.

Last summer, Shipe dedicated his break to leading agricultural projects in the college’s on-campus garden. These projects included harvesting and processing grains.  He has also brought new life to the campus aquaponics system to grow lettuce and house Tilapia fish that are later sold to the on-campus dining service. Beyond those projects, Shipe also helps lead the student-run organization Edible Allegheny Campus, educating and motivating other students who have an interest in food production.

“I’m honored to have been recognized from among such a rich community of sustainability activism here at Allegheny,” Shipe said.

Scott Wissinger, professor of biology and environmental science, praised both the honorees.

“Kelly has been such an integral part of Allegheny’s work towards sustainability that often includes collaborative work with students like Dave,” Wissinger said. “His many contributions exemplify the many ways in which many environmental science students apply their academic, classroom knowledge to on- and off-campus initiatives that make a real difference in minimizing our footprint on the environment.”