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College wins state sustainability award, listing on two prestigious media outlets

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 26, 2018

In recognition of its efforts to promote environmental sustainability, the College of Lake County recently has made the list of top two-year colleges in Sierra magazine and the Princeton Review. Additionally, CLC received Oct. 23 the Illinois Sustainability Award from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

CLC is now listed on the Princeton Review’s ninth annual Guide to Green Colleges. The recognized schools were selected based on their academic offerings, campus policies, initiatives, activitiesPhoto of managed beehives and career preparation for students, according to a Princeton Review news release. Princeton Review is a college admission services company offering test-preparation services and other resources, and it is not affiliated with Princeton University.

(from left): Ed Popelka, CLC maintenance engineer and a beekeeper, examines a hive at the Grayslake Campus apiary with Bernard Kondenar, a 2018 graduate who initiated the idea in 2016.


Additionally, CLC has made Sierra magazine’s 2018 list of Cool Schools. Sierra is the national magazine of the Sierra Club, an environmental nonprofit that reports 3 million members. The awarded schools in the 12th annual list were ranked based on academic criteria such as environmentally focused curriculum, engagement such as campus activism, operations including on-campus recycling and waste management, as well as planning and administrative standards, according to a Sierra Club news release.

“Many students and their parents use these two national lists to help them to decide where they should consider going to college,” said David Husemoller, CLC sustainability manager. “This is the first year that these guides have included community colleges. Having CLC listed on these reviews demonstrates that we are outperforming our peer institutions and many four-year colleges in regard to sustainability.”

In addition to the recent distinguished rankings, CLC and 26 other Illinois organizations received the Illinois Sustainability Award during an Oct. 23 ceremony at the Union League of Chicago.

“It’s truly an honor for the college to receive a statewide award,” said Husemoller. “Once again, it shows that our ongoing efforts to promote environmental stewardship are paying off, and we are inspired to work even harder, as living sustainably is an effort of continuous improvement.”

Kevin O’Brien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, said, “Illinois’ success as an economic and cultural leader depends upon our responsible management of natural resources, as well as sustainable development. Every year, a group of champions represents the highest models of sustainable commerce, resource use and governance – the winners of the Illinois Sustainability Awards.”

CLC’s accomplishments include a Science & Engineering Building that opened in January. The building contains solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, a 1,500 square-foot green roof and a system that uses harvested rainwater to flush toilets. The building also includes daylight harvesting to reduce the need for electric lighting. Additionally, the Grayslake Campus includes a campus farm, apiary (managed bee colony), 66 acres of natural prairie, wetland and wooded areas, an arboretum and walking trails. Most recently, the college has allocated parking spaces on the Grayslake, Lakeshore (Waukegan) and Southlake (Vernon Hills) Campuses for faculty, staff and students driving fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles.

Beyond physical features, 195 CLC courses contain content or an in-depth focus on one or more of the environmental, social equity or economic aspects of sustainability, Husemoller said. Additionally, the college hosts various workshops, speakers and events designed to connect students and community members to promote environmental responsibility, social equity and economic stewardship.

Husemoller added that the college’s new Living Lab Trail, which is scheduled to open this fall, will highlight CLC’s sustainable features and opportunities to explore wellness and will connect visitors with opportunities for community action, education and careers.

The state award, plus the two recent notable rankings, follow seven other awards or accolades that CLC has received over the past two years for promoting sustainability. To learn more about CLC’s environmental stewardship, visit or contact Husemoller at (847) 543-2643 or

Open registration for Spring Semester 2019 begins Nov. 1. For details and to register, visit


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.