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Princeton Review Lists UM in Top 'Green' Colleges Book

For the second consecutive year, The University of Montana’s increased efforts to make campus greener have caught the attention of a national college ranking and guide service.

UM made the “Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: Edition 2011,” which profiles 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada. The profiles demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

UM’s profile opens with the fact that since UM and Missoula are “nearly surrounded by a national forest, it makes sense that conservation would be a way of life here.” It notes the Environmental Studies Program and various programs within the College of Forestry and Conservation. It also cites student environmental groups, such as Climate Action Now and Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology, which maintains an experiential learning home to demonstrate the practicality of sustainable living.

Other notables include the nationally commended Farm to College Program, which buys food fresh from local suppliers.

UM’s full-time sustainability coordinator said that campus shows progress in getting greener each year.

“It is rewarding to know that our sustainability efforts position UM among other leading colleges and universities in North America,” said Cherie Peacock. “When completing the Princeton Review’s surveys, we are able to report improvements over the year before. There is a lot of work yet to be done, and UM is on the right path to creating a sustainable campus community.”

The 220-page book is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges, and is done in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council. The complete guide can be downloaded at http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide or http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.