Grounds and Operations | Sustainability Efforts at Judson University Christian College

Grounds and Operations

The Plant-Operations Department has been hard at work this year implementing different methods and products that will make Judson a cleaner, greener, more sustainable campus.

Green Cleaning

  • Low VOC Paint is used on campus for better indoor air quality
  • Green Seal Cleaning chemicals are used because they are healthier and greener
  • Micro-fiber mops and towels are used for cleaning and then laundered to be re-used
  • "Blue Cleaning" is used with electronic ionized water (no chemicals are being used in this process, yet it still kills 99.9% of germs)
    1. Fitness Center gym floor is cleaned with this method
    2. Ionized spray bottles are used on a rotational basis
    3. An auto scrubber is used for HAWAC floors
    4. Low moisture carpet machines are used in various locations

Woodland Conservation

Our campus practices woodland conservation, indirectly impacting the preservation of habitat. We have a no-building zone along the river wetlands area and along the Tyler Creek area. Stream bank restoration projects over the past three years have also included plant species conducive to habitat preservation.

Energy Saving Projects

  1. New thermostats have been installed in Plant-ops, Fitness, Creekside, and the Thompson Center
  2. Thermostats have been installed in individual rooms for floors 2-7 of Lindner Tower utilizing infrared technology
  3. A campus-wide lighting project is currently underway around campus to install lower wattage bulbs and occupancy sensor
  4. Plant-Operations is scheduled to receive a new radiant heat system in November 2011
  5. LED lighting is starting to be used in select locations on campus

Tyler Creek Re-Stabilization Project

Tyler Creek (a Fox River tributary) runs through the Judson campus. The creek has experienced a significant flooding problem in recent years due to upstream development. In an effort to stabilize the creek banks and water quality, the University initiated a planting project in 2008 to introduce trees, grasses, and other native plantings that would help stabilize the soil along the river banks.

Then, in 2011, the Illinois EPA arranged for funding to complete the stream re-stabilization process. "The project includes preparing design specifications for the installation of best management practices to stabilize approximately 830 feet of eroding streambank and 200 feet of eroding stream channel. In addition, 0.3 acres of riparian buffer will be installed. Streambanks will be stabilized using a combination of stone toe protection, vegetated geogrids, slope regrading, minor clearing of non-native vegetation, and re-vegetation of deep-rooted native plants. Stream channel stabilization will be achieved through the modification of two existing on-line dams into artificial riffles. The riparian buffer strip will be planted with native vegetation to filter runoff and help reduce fecal coliform loadings by discouraging waterfall from accessing the stream." (Source: Illinois EPA Agreement #3191106).


Over the past decade, Judson University has made a conscientious move towards sustainable landscaping practices. New landscaping includes:

  • Trees and Shrubs: Kentucky Coffee Tree, Black Walnut, White Oak, Pin Oak, American Linden, River Birch, Northern Redbud, New Jersey Tea, Buttonbush, Gray Dogwood, American Witchhazel, Fragrant Sumac, Staghorn Sumac, Austrian Pine, Browns Yew, Purple Leaf Wintercreeper
  • Stormwater Plantings: Brown Fox Sedge, Spike Rush, Virginia Wild Rye, Torrey’s Rush, Rice Cut Grass, Softstem, Swamp Milkweed, Water Plantain, Monkey Flower, and Broad-Leaf Arrowhead.
  • Low Prairie Plantings: Little Blue Stem, Prairie Wild Rye, Prairie Switch grass, Prairie Drop Seed, Thimbleweed, Wild Columbine, Butterfly Milkweed, Smooth Blue Aser, While Wild Indigo, and Partridge Peas.

In addition to these plantings, Judson University has made significant ecological landscape improvements to the campus grounds. A 70-stall parking lot that was in the middle of a collection of campus buildings was moved to perimeter location which is nearly completely screened from view, but still in close proximity. It was replaced with a sustainable landscape “quadrangle” scheme that incorporates a series of complementary ecological elements including: down lighting; stormwater flow, control and storage; bioswale elements filtering phosphorous and other ground water pollutants; and infiltration through retention and permeable surfaces, with resultant evapo-transportation. Evapo-transpiration is a natural process that oxygenates the air and yields fresh air at the places of air intake at the nearby facilities. The indigenous landscape is significantly enhanced and protects biodiversity and ecosystems, while also serving as an outdoor classroom in ecology and sustainable landscape.

Hazardous Waste

We safely dispose of the following waste:

  • Mercury for florescent lamps
  • Mercury thermostats
  • Batteries
  • Motor oils
  • Cooking grease
  • Chemicals in the science building

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