Two weeks after thieves broke into Sacramento State’s BAC Yard (the Bioconversion and Agricultural Collaborative), stealing $2,000 worth of tools and student projects from a locked storage shed, the upstart sustainability program received some good news.
President Robert S. Nelsen on Wednesday, May 23, announced that he will transfer $5,000 in donor gifts from his President’s Circle fund to aid the BAC Yard’s recovery. The President's Circle allows Nelsen to address emerging needs and opportunities for students.
“Sac State students care, and our generous members of the President’s Circle also care,” Nelsen says. “Together we can create a more sustainable Sacramento.”
Soon after the break-in, Sac State Sustainability Manager Ryan Todd launched a crowdfunding account with a goal of raising $4,000 in donations to replace the stolen items. The goal has been met.
"The theft at the BAC Yard could have been a huge setback for the students, faculty, and staff who have worked so hard to make it what it is today," Todd says. "Instead, the campus and local community have stepped up to show Sacramento how resilient Hornets are."
The BAC Yard is a miniature farm, tended by students in the University’s Food Production & Sustainability class, and the heart of Sac State’s composting efforts.
Fresh produce harvested at the BAC Yard is donated to the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), Pop-Up Pantry and given to students experiencing food insecurity. And the BAC Yard’s ambitious recycling efforts produce high-quality compost from campus green waste and food scraps, keeping those items out of the landfill and reducing the University’s carbon footprint.
The program was launched in 2016 with an $80,000 “Campus as a Living Lab” (CALL) grant from the California State University (CSU). That funding ran out last month.
The BAC Yard is physically small and modest, but it is an award-winning powerhouse in the sustainability world.
Earlier in the week, Todd and members of the campus Sustainability team, learned that the BAC Yard will receive a best-practice award, in the category of Social and Equity Justice, at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, July 9-12 at UC Santa Barbara. The award recognizes Sac State’s work with community partners to “address the social side of sustainability, social equity, environmental justice, climate justice, food justice, diversity, and engagement of underrepresented communities.”
Sac State Sustainability also won the 2016 best-practice award at the CSU Facilities Management conference and a recent outstanding environmental leadership award from the Sacramento Environmental Commission for its work at the BAC Yard. – Dixie Reid