Campus News

Grant Winners to Generate Sustainability Innovations on Campus

Photo of Shawneetown garden
Thanks to a Sustainability Challenge Grant in 2014, the Shawneetown Community Garden on south campus has been revitalized.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2017) Six multidisciplinary groups of University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff will begin work on sustainability projects this semester after being selected to receive Sustainability Challenge Grants totaling $200,000. From sustainably sourced food to walkability and connectivity, the projects focus on opportunities across campus and beyond. 

The Sustainability Challenge Grant Program is designed to engage all members of the university community in the creation and implementation of ideas that will promote sustainability by simultaneously advancing economic vitality, ecological integrity and social equity.

“For the third year, we encouraged our campus community to develop initiatives that will advance economic vitality, ecological integrity and social equity, now and into the future,” said UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday. “The programs funded by Sustainability Challenge Grants not only drive collaboration on campus, but most importantly provide students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities. We are excited to see the development of this year’s projects.”

The 2017 Sustainability Challenge Grant Winners are:

  • Community Engaged Sustainability Education in the First Year Experience ($24,040)
  • Connectivity Promotes Community ($20,000)
  • Enhancing Student Development ($38,996)
  • Gathering at the Table ($24,111.98)
  • Measuring Up ($42,990)
  • Mobilizing Tree Ambassadors ($49,774)

To read descriptions of each project and information on departments and individual team members involved, please visit

"We continue to be impressed each year by the diversity and creativity of ideas generated by our campus community," said UK Sustainability Coordinator Shane Tedder. "This program has proven to be effective catalyst for engaging UK students, faculty and staff in solving sustainability-related challenges on campus and beyond."

The program is a joint effort of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the EnvironmentUK Office of Sustainability and the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Funding is provided by the Student Sustainability Council, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research. In the first three years of the program 20 projects have been awarded a total of $500,000 to pursue transformational, sustainability-driven projects.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue