“In addition to HACC’s mission of providing a quality, affordable education, we’re dedicated to protecting our environment and this project is an example of that stewardship,” said HACC President Edna V. Baehre, Ph.D., who thanked the college’s partners in helping to accomplish this worthwhile project.
"The area will now be enjoyed and studied by students and educators” and “will become a demonstration site for others to view firsthand new and better ways to protect the environment,” campus Dean Jennifer Weaver said during the official opening of the project earlier this month.
The campus is located in renovated space that previously housed a strip shopping center where paved areas predominate, providing little opportunity for control of the storm water flow to the Rock Creek flood plain. Through community partnerships and government grants, green space at the rear of the campus has been transformed to implement Best Management Practices for storm water management and to incorporate grassy areas, flower planters, and native plants.
“Five years ago, this area was unusable, unfriendly to the environment and an eyesore to the college and the community,” Weaver said.
The project was accomplished through a five-year collaborative partnership involving the Adams County Planning Office, Adams County Commissioners, Adams County Conservation District, Cumberland Township, HACC and several funding agencies.
The design phase and the student education component of this project were supported through a Growing Greener grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The project implementation funding was provided by a grant through Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Funding was received from the League of Women Voters' Water Resources Education network for educational materials. Buchart Horn Inc. was the project engineer, and project construction was by Andrew & Sons Excavating.
The project represents the first phase of projected improvements to the HACC’s Gettysburg Campus. The college also plans to expand and renovate interior spaces and to incorporate additional green space at the front of the campus.