Sustainability

 

  • From 2009 to 2011, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation awarded Williams a series of grants totaling $593,006 to help fund the renovation of Kellogg House as the college’s new environmental center.  The foundation’s support enabled the college to proceed with its ambitious plans to renovate the 18th century building to qualify it for certification under the Living Building Challenge.  The renovated and expanded center has been engineered to generate all its own electrical power and to collect and treat all the water it uses.  The surrounding landscape is being planted with a permaculture forest garden, row crops, native berries, and fruit trees.  The new center, which was dedicated on April 18, 2015 as the Class of 1966 Environmental Center, now serves as headquarters for both the Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Sustainability.

The Williams Environmental Center

The Class of 1966 Environmental Center

  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations also awarded the college a $248,400 grant (in 2013) to support the renovation of Kellogg House.  This grant supported the design and installation of an on-site water collection and treatment system that will provide all the water that Kellogg House needs, including water used for agriculture and gardening.  Kellogg’s water system is a unique pilot system—the first of its kind in Massachusetts—that draws upon a rainwater collection system for a public water supply.  Both the water system and the building will provide significant opportunities for teaching, student research, and experiential learning.

Note: November 10, 2016 marked the anniversary of the environmental center’s first year as a Living Building. The building met all but one of the seven rigorous requirements for full certification—that of using only the energy it produces and collects on-site—and an update on its progress was published.

Parsons Garden - part of the Williams Sustainable Garden Project

Parsons Garden – part of the Williams Sustainable Garden Project

  • In 2013, the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation renewed its support of the Williams College Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program (SFAP), pledging $169,000 to the program. The SFAP offered courses and programs in food sustainability, drawing attention to national and international issues surrounding food and farming. The program also addressed regional agriculture and campus food practices through programming that focused on sustainable food concepts, skills, and advocacy. The foundation helped inaugurate the SFAP with a grant of $250,000 in 2009.

Note: While the program no longer exists, its mission is woven into the sustainable food work on campus.  Its impact and history is preserved here and here.