North Central College installed its Sesquicentennial Walkway through the heart of campus, along with the Van Buren Ave parking lot in 2012 and the new residence hall on the south end of campus, New Hall in 2015. The walkway, parking lot, and New Hall entrance walkways are made of permeable pavers which help prevent stormwater runoff. The pavers are made from several layers of permeable materials that allow water to infiltrate otherwise impermeable ground, controlling storm water at the source, replenishing the water table and local aquifers, and reducing runoff. The permeable layers also filter out pollutants such as oil, salt, fertilizer, and sediment, improving the quality of the water.
Rain gardens are located along the Sesquicentennial Walkway and New Hall. Rain gardens:
Are shallow depressions in the ground that are planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses.
Allow rainwater runoff from impervious areas like downspouts, driveways, walkways, or compacted lawns to be absorbed back into the water table.
Capture the runoff, filter pollutants, and allow water to infiltrate deep into the ground to be used by nearby plants.
Reduce rainwater runoff from flowing into storm drains which cause erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater.
Are beautiful and create habitats for birds and beneficial insects.
Water Bottle Refilling Stations
Water bottle refilling stations are located in various locations around campus. These stations provide filtered and chilled water to make using a refillable water bottle even easier. Additionally, these stations include a counter that keeps track of the amount of plastic water bottles being saved from entering the landfill because of people choosing to use a reusable water bottle.
“Gone Trayless” Initiative
The “Gone Trayless” initiative in Kaufman Dining Hall began in 2008 as a new sustainable way of dining. This program promotes healthier eating habits and reduces water and food waste. By eliminating the need to continuously wash trays, the College has reduced daily water consumption by 325 gallons and dish soap use by 3 pounds.
Construction of the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center in 2008 and the Residence Hall/Recreation Center in 2009 included extensive stormwater management plans and system development. As required by DuPage County, large underground tanks were installed to make certain the College’s property can house enough stormwater storage for a 100-year flood, which is stated to be 17 inches of rainfall within a 24-hour time period. These tanks not only serve to reduce flooding, but they also provide a location for stormwater run off sediment and chemicals to settle out of the water before reaching the DuPage River.