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Two women sitting next to a small garden smiling at the camera

Five project proposals have received funding through the Green Fund’s spring 2024 application round. The approved projects include the e-PTD (electronically powered transportation device) Charging and Storage project, Refil Station: a 3D filament creation project, the Fletcher Community Garden, Nutrition Security Initiative: Fork Farms at Tufts, and the SMFA Garden.  These projects span various Tufts campuses and promote community engagement with sustainable practices, ranging from the creation of new community green spaces to increased accessibility of fresh food and produce.  

e-PTD Charging and Storage 

This project aims to address Tufts’ restriction of the use, storage, and charging of e-scooters, e-bikes, hoverboards, and other electronically powered transportation devices (e-PTDs) on campus. This project proposes the creation of designated outdoor locations for community members to store their e-PTDs as well as safety guidelines and registration procedures to ensure awareness of the potential dangers of the lithium-ion batteries that power e-PTDs. The e-PTD project will install bike racks and charging stations in the two parking garages on the Medford/Somerville campus, creating a place for Tufts community members who use e-PTDs to safely charge and store their devices. The project aims to complete the installation of the storage and charging locations, registration process, and safety manual by fall 2024.  

Refil Station: Digital Fabrication through Closed-Loop Filament Creation 

This project, proposed by BFA student Yaqi Cai and MS Human Computer Interaction student Matt Ebisu, aims to address the plastic waste from discarded bottles made from PETG, a thermoformable plastic used to make plastic bottles and 3D printing filament, on university campuses. The team will turn discarded plastic bottles into usable 3D printing filament by using an existing open-source design, ultimately providing free fabrication materials for arts and engineering communities at Tufts. The project aims to place the filament fabrication machine in a visible space in the SMFA to encourage community participation in 3D printing, as well as hold workshops to provide training and education about sustainable art practices. 

Fletcher Community Garden 

Next, the Green Fund will also support the creation of the Fletcher Community Garden on the Medford/Somerville campus. This community garden will create a new gathering space for the Fletcher School’s community on the fourth-floor patio of their building as well as a new community engagement space for meetings and events. The group of staff and faculty members behind the project aim to establish a calming and welcoming space through the implementation of planters with native plants, including herbs and plants that will attract pollinators. In addition to the establishment of plant and soil supplies, the team will also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the community space to create a new, sustainable environment and promote community engagement for Fletcher community members.  

Nutrition Security Initiative: Fork Farms at Tufts  

The Nutrition Security Initiative: Fork Farms at Tufts aims to grow sustainable nutrition at Tufts for graduate students on the SMFA and Boston/Health Sciences campuses. The project, proposed by the team at the Seeding the Future Lab, part of the Friedman School’s Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute, developed from the difficulty of balancing living expenses and healthy food choices for graduate students at Tufts. The team identified the nutritional gap for students at these two campuses in particular, which have limited access to fresh produce items, and will use the “Flex Farm” hydroponic pod systems for indoor growing from hydroponic farming company Fork Farms to produce fresh, nutritious food for students. After the initial set up of the hydroponic systems, the largely self-sustaining pods are estimated to provide an average of 20 pounds of produce per month, which will become available to the hundreds of graduate students on these campuses as well as other members of the Tufts community.  

SMFA Garden  

The SMFA Garden initiative, proposed by undergraduate student Abigail Harrison, aims to update the existing SMFA Garden, which was originally supported by the Green Fund in 2020. This project will add planters and plants, develop an educational seeding and planting workshop, and add community signage, making the garden a more identifiable shared area for the community. The updated SMFA Garden will continue to provide a space for native pollinators while creating a more accessible shared green space for students, faculty, and staff in the SMFA community.