CAMP RIPLEY – Ten years ago the word sustainability was hardly mentioned in the armories and offices of the Minnesota National Guard. Today it is a watchword which drives the building, maintenance and force structure of the organization.
Recently a team from the Facilities Management Office on Camp Ripley participated in a series of site tours and conferences to better understand different technologies utilized in sustainability efforts. The team toured the campus of the University of Minnesota Morris and was hosted by the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities Mr. Lowell Rasmussen, and Campus Sustainability Coordinator Troy Goodnough.
While on campus the team learned that the University of Minnesota Morris is an industry leader in the use and development of alternative energy sources such as: wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy, composting, or enhancement in building design.
“The University of Minnesota Morris is leading the country in devising better ways of harnessing renewable energy and they are the perfect organization to study since their building square footage is comparable to that of Camp Ripley’s,” said Marty Skoglund environmental program manager at Camp Ripley.
In an era of dwindling natural resources as well as financial resources it makes economic sense for the Minnesota National Guard to explore alternative energy sources. Site visits like the one conducted at the University of Minnesota Morris allows the Guard to learn from the trials and errors of others. “We should learn from others and avoid reinventing the wheel,” said Skoglund.