Sustainability Tours and Presentations


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Sustainability is integrated into our operations and physical campus. Our campus buildings, landscapes, and operations provide examples of sustainable choices and serve as educational tools.

Call (218) 726-8198 or email sustain@d.umn.edu to schedule a get a first-hand look into what it takes to build, maintain, and operate a sustainable campus.

Sustainability Landscapes 

The use of alternative landscapes can be better for the environment and reduce maintenance costs (and subsequent carbon emissions and chemical use)  This tour will showcase edible and native landscapes, ways the campus captures and treats stormwater runoff (green roofs, pervious pavers, biofiltration, etc.), and preserves green spaces.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours available in fall, spring, or summer.)

Lesson Guidelines for UMD Stormwater/RainGarden Tours.

Sustainable Buildings

This tour will show how UMD buildings are built and improved to be energy efficient, minimize water use, and consumer fewer raw materials/resources.  With 5 LEED-certified buildings, and many buildings recently renovated responsibly, the tour will feature examples of energy-efficient technology, eco-friendly site-design, recycled and reclaimed materials, stormwater treatment, and features for human health and comfort.  A tour of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom is a popular building tour request, as it was built to both Passiv Haus standards and is the only LEED Platinum-certified building at the University of MN.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours can take place anytime during the year)

Lesson Guidelines for Green Buildings Tours

Rain Garden Tour

An in-depth tour of the largest rain garden in NE Minnesota right on campus.  Learn about stormwater runoff and hydrology, native plants, habitat improvement, and more.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours are best in early to late Fall, but can take place in late spring or anytime during summer courses.)

Lesson Guidelines for UMD Stormwater/RainGarden Tours.

Campus Waste Reduction Tour

It all starts with Dining Services: how do you feed thousands of student meals every day with virtually no waste heading to the landfill?  Find out by visiting the Dining Center to learn about waste reduction and pulping/composting.  Also, learn about the operational impact of compost collection: visit retail campus food operations, learn how to sort waste properly at UMD, and smell the loading dock for yourself!

Campus Energy Tour

This tour/presentation will give an overview of how and where UMD gets its energy to heat and power our buildings. The UMD Heating Plant, chiller plants, and solar renewable energy installations can all be featured and discussed.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours can take place anytime during the year.)

Sustainable Agriculture Project

Sustainable Agriculture Project: SAP@UMD formed in 2009 to institute education, research, and regional engagement around community food and agriculture systems in the western Lake Superior bioregion. SAP is a place-based ‘land lab’ comprised of fifteen acres at UMD’s Research and Field Studies Center (formerly the Northeast Agricultural Experimental Station). They manage a ten acre organic (transition) farm and work on a variety of food and agriculture projects in the region.  View a video about the project here.

Contact the Sustainable Agriculture Project to schedule a tour from early summer through late fall.

Natural Resources Research Institute 

The mission of the NRRI is to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. Often referred to as ‘the sustainability institute”, the NRRI tour offers a fast-paced tour to learn about the wide variety of research underway to promote a strong economy and a healthy environment.  Topics on reclaiming waste materials, re-using mining waste rock, and reviving local forestry resources.

Contact June Kallestad to schedule a tour anytime during the year.