Last year, Hibbing Community College student group, Towards a Sustainable Campus (TASC) received a portion of a grant from Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon Program. The group chose to focus on commuting issues to and from campus. Just one year later, the group has tackled four types of transportation. Tanya Moldenhauer, a highly involved student participant explained the group’s accomplishments:
Biking: The community has donated 35 bicycles for our Bike Loan Program. Any currently registered student can take a bike out on loan for the school year. Bikes will be repaired, adjusted, and maintained at no cost to the student, and students can volunteer to be a bike worker if they wish to.
Busing: In conjunction with Hibbing Transit Authority, we have placed a portion of our funds toward offering free bus rides to and from the campus to any of their regularly scheduled stops. Prior to this, HCC has never been part of their service route. Currently, the bus comes to campus 3 times daily.
Carpooling: Several parking spots in the North parking lot have now been designated for carpools, and have corresponding signage indicating them as such. In this instance, “carpooling” is defined as “two or more passengers”, and it is requested that on days the holders of these passes drive alone, they use the honor system and leave the spaces for others who have additional passengers. Parking tickets may be given by campus security if a pass is not displayed on your rear-view mirror. Since many of our students drive from outlying and rural areas, there is a lot of potential for this to be a very productive way for carbon emissions to be reduced. Beginning March 1st, there will be an online database where riders and drivers can enter their requirements and be matched with others to get or give rides to/from school.
Walking: TASC is still in brainstorming sessions about how to best implement this portion of our strategy to help reduce our carbon footprint. We have had several good suggestions, and are in the process of deciding how to best implement them.
Led the faculty advisor, Donald Graves, the group continues to work on issues of commuting at Hibbing Community College. Current projects for the group include involving the Hibbing community in CERT’s Green Step Cities program and creating a “walking credit” to encourage students to walk to school. Students continue to take leadership roles, including Ms. Moldenhauer who used her multimedia design skills to design logos for TASC’s various campaigns and work around campus (the three logos included here are examples of Ms. Moldenhauer’s work.)
When asked why she puts in the extra time and work to be a part of TASC, Ms. Moldenhauer responded, “I have grandchildren now, and I worry about what their future holds. [Through TASC] we’re laying the ground work for future generations to carry the torch forward to help make the planet better.”