Atterbury Job Corps Center, located in Edinburgh, Ind., is taking a high- and low-technology approach to energy efficiency on campus. From highly sensitive automatic light sensors to freshly planted weeping cherry and blue spruce trees, the center’s energy-saving improvement tactics are reducing its impact on the environment.
Students and staff are benefiting from high-technology equipment and features, including energy-efficient washers and dryers in the dorms, automatic light sensors inside buildings and in parking lots throughout campus, a driving simulator that reduces gasoline-burning trips in vehicles for driver’s education classes, and low-power welding equipment used in career training.
Beyond the improvements that ARRA-funded advanced technology is bringing to the center, students and staff are making a difference by becoming personally responsible in reducing their impact on the environment. This low-tech approach has included a campus-wide recycling program, the planting of four new trees, and the creation of a half-acre organic garden.
Atterbury’s organic garden is a great example of the ability individuals have to make a big impact. Not only are students learning about the environmental and health benefits of growing their own food that is free from unnatural pesticides and herbicides, they are also contributing to a project that will reduce the amount of gasoline burned during food transportation to the center by producing fruits and vegetables from the garden that will be used in cooking the center’s meals.
“Our students are planting, cultivating, and maintaining the garden,” career transition specialist Deborah Bowling said. “They’ve taken ownership of the project and are dedicated to making it a success.”