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TCC’s Chesapeake Campus recognized for environmental excellence

Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake Campus has retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, an Audubon International program.

Participation is designed to help property managers plan, organize, implement and document comprehensive environmental management programs and receive recognition for their efforts. To reach certification, a property must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in areas including environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education and water and resource management.

The Chesapeake Campus was designated as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” in 2005. The campus became the first business/school property in the state of Virginia and 45th in the world to be designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The campus is recertified every two years.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Audubon International,” said Chesapeake Campus Provost Lisa Rhine. “Our campus is situated on a parcel of land with approximately 25 acres of natural wetlands and deciduous forests. Nature trails and observation stations were created to provide easy access to the natural areas, and are often used as outdoor classrooms by faculty members of several different disciplines including biology, geology, English and theater arts.”

From the start, Biology Professor Lisa Behm has worked to produce the evidence that the Chesapeake Campus meets the criteria for consideration by Audubon International’s Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.

“TCC has shown a strong commitment to its environmental programs. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the campus and for managing resources responsibly,” said Laura Karosic, associate director of environmental programs at Audubon International.

TCC was also recognized by the Elizabeth River Project as a Model Level Business for its exceptional pollution prevention and wildlife habitat results. The Chesapeake Campus received a 2014 River Stars award for Sustained Distinguished Performance. Of note this year is the solar laboratory added to give students hands-on training for the solar energy field. The energy generated from the solar array can be viewed from a campus building lobby and online. The information delineated includes air emissions offset and gallons of fuel saved. In addition, the campus added a 1.75 acre no-mow zone.