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SDSU Students Lead Campus Environmental Effort

San Diego State University students are spending time and their own money on campus environmental projects. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has details on campus efforts to reduce waste and save energy.

SDSU students helped children plant rosemary seeds and six western sycamore trees at the Children's Center as part of this week's GreenFest

Erica Johnson chairs the student sustainability advisory board called the GreenLove committee.

"We are here at the first inaugural tree planting ceremony not only to serve as a living memory for this day but also to enhance the connection that children share with nature," Johnson said.

The students also launched a new project called Nature in Our Backyard.

"The project aims to renovate all of the children's outdoor space from chain link fencing and asphalt to a woodland setting with natural sensory experiences," Johnson said.

The work at the Children's Center is the latest in a series of environmental upgrades funded in part by a fee increase that SDSU students approved last year.

Johnson says more than $250,000 has so far helped pay for low-flow toilets at Cox Arena and other locations and solar panels at the school's Mission Bay Aquatic Center.

Students have expanded the campus recycling program and there are plans to add more solar panels on campus facilities.

Geoff Chase is Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

He says the student-supported effort fits nicely into a larger campus movement.

"In terms of the research faculty members do. In terms of what the buildings and grounds crew are doing with plantings and with water and with energy conservation," Chase said. "It also fits in with what we're trying to do with the curriculum."

GreenFest wraps up tonight with an EcoCarnival featuring live music.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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