CSU Sustainability Timeline

01
Jan
CSU founded

Colorado Agricultural College (later renamed Colorado State University) established as a land grant institution by President Lincoln’s Morrell Act.

Read more about the founding of CSU

01
Jan
First cultivation on CSU grounds

Twenty acres of the campus were planted with wheat and cottonwood cuttings planted along the north line of the grounds. This land produced a yield of 375 bushels.

01
Jan
First Farmer’s Institute

Farmer’s Institute founded as a precursor to Cooperative Extension Service.

Read more about the founding of Farmer’s Institute

01
Jan
1st major tree planting at CSU

First major tree planting on campus occurs at Danforth Chapel; Black Walnut trees that were planted near the railroad tracks in 1874 were relocated to the Danforth Chapel area. The Black Walnut trees survived until 2015.

Read more about the 1st major tree planting at CSU

01
Jan
First trees planted on the Oval

First two rows of giant elm trees planted on what will later become the Oval. In addition, approximately 3000 trees were planted on the rest of campus.

Read more about the first trees planted on the Oval

01
Jan
The Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station established

The Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station is established. Although the experimental fields existed as early as 1877. An apple orchard was planted along College Ave., just south of where Old Main stood but was removed in the early 1920’s.

Read more the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station 

01
Jan
Resolution for forest conservation

Board approves a resolution calling for forest conservation.

Read more about the resolution for forest conservation

01
Jan
The School of Agriculture opened

Professor Charles Lory helped form this local industrial high school, which provided a practical three-year curriculum for 213 boys and girls in its first year. In 1911, the school added mechanic arts and a fourth year of study to the curriculum. In 1920, a special course for forest rangers was added.

Read more about the opening of the School of Agriculture

01
Jan
Mountain Campus land given to Colorado Agricultural College

Congress provides 1,600 acres of land to establish the CSU Mountain Campus in Pingree Park.

Read more about Mountain Campus

01
Jan
Congress passed law creating the National Park Service and CSU becomes “The Ranger Factory”

Congress passes law creating the National Park Service and Colorado Agricultural College becomes “The Ranger Factory,” producing more rangers than any other institution through the 1960’s.

Read more about the creation of the National Park Service and CSU

01
Jan
Margaret Durward became first female principal of the School of Agriculture

Margaret Durward becomes first female principal of the School of Agriculture.

Read more about Margaret Durward

01
Jan
Colorado A&M joined a nation-wide “Peace Day”

Along with colleges and universities throughout the country, the College briefly suspended regular classroom activities so that students and faculty could participate in “Peace Day”.

Read more about Coloardo A&M joining the nation-wide “Peace Day”

01
Jan
Students volunteer time to cultivate “war crops”

During WWII, students volunteer to cultivate “war crops” to help with farm labor shortages.

Read more about students volunteer time and “war crops”

10
Jan
Colorado A&M becomes Colorado State University

Name change to Colorado State University and federal Soil Bank selects CSU for forest nursery facility.

Read more about CSU’s name change

01
Jan
A NSSL established at Fort Collins

US Department of Agriculture establishes a National Seed Storage Laboratory at CSU.

Read more about the establishment of NSSL at Fort Collins

01
Jan
Peace Corps established

CSU faculty member Maurice L. Albertson lays the groundwork for the Peace Corps after meeting Congressman Henry S. Reuss at a conference in Washington.

Read more about the establishment of Peace Corps

01
Jan
NREL established

George Van Dyne, a Colorado A&M Alumni, establishes the Natural Resource Ecology Lab.

Read more about the establishment of NREL

01
Jan
Recycling Program Established

Recycling program officially established in Facilities Management.

Read more about the establishment of the recycling program

01
Jan
Composting begins

Composting collection begins on campus with Hageman Earth Cycle.

Read more about composting on campus

01
Jan
Talloires Declaration

CSU commits to the 10-point action plan for colleges and universities committed to promoting education for sustainability and environmental literacy.

Read more about the Talloires Declaration

01
Jan
1st LEED Certification

Classrooms in Guggenheim Hall Achieved LEED for Commercial Interiors Silver. First classrooms on any university campus to achieve LEED CI certification.

Read more about CSU’s 1st LEED Certification

01
Jan
Vice President for Energy & the Environment hired

First Vice President for Energy and Environment hired and the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Advisory Committee formed in 2009.

Read more about the hiring of our first Vice President for Energy and Environment

01
Jan
SoGES founded

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability is established.

Read more about the founding of SoGES

01
Jan
ACUPCC

CSU signs the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment.

Read more about ACUPCC

01
Jan
Solar PV installs

First solar PV arrays installed on campus (Engineering Building, Academic Village, and Chrisman Field).

Read more about solar PV installs

01
Jan
STARS Pilot

CSU participates as a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) pilot institution.

Read more about STARS Pilot

01
Jan
Climate Action Plan

CSU adopts its first Climate Action Plan, committing CSU to climate neutrality by 2050.

Read more about CSU’s Climate Action Plan

01
Jan
STARS Gold Rating

CSU submits its first STARS report, earning a Gold rating.

Read more about CSU’s first STARS Gold rating

01
Jan
On-site Composting Begins

In-vessel composter, OSCAR, arrives at the CSU Foothills Campus, establishing an on-site living compost lab.

Read more about on-site composting

01
Jan
Tree Campus USA

CSU becomes a certified Tree Campus USA through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Read more about CSU becoming a certified Tree Campus USA

01
Jan
STARS Gold Rating

CSU submits the highest score ever submitted to STARS, earning a second Gold rating.

Read more about CSU submitting the highest STARS score ever

01
Jan
Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting Launches

First institution to offer a Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting degree.

Read more about the Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting

01
Jan
President’s Sustainability Committee established

SEEAC becomes President’s Sustainability Committee.

Read more about the founding of the President’s Sustainability Committee

01
Jan
STARS Platinum

First institution in the world to earn a STARS Platinum rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Read more about CSU being the first institution to earn STARS Platinum

01
Jan
Platinum Bicycle Friendly University

CSU receives a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University designation from League of American Bicyclists.

Read more CSU receiving a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University designation

01
Jan
First LEED Platinum Buildings at CSU

The Pavilion in Laurel Village and the Powerhouse at the Powerhouse Energy Campus become the first LEED Platinum certified buildings at CSU.

Read more about the First LEED Platinum Buildings at CSU

01
Jan
Sierra Cool Schools

CSU earns the #4 spot on Sierra Magazine Coolest Schools Rankings for 2015.

Read more about CSU earning the #4 spot

01
Jan
Solar PV installs

Solar PV arrays installed on Student Recreation Center, Parmelee and Edwards Halls, University Center of the Arts, and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Read more about the installation of Solar PVs on additional buildings

01
Jan
US Department of Education Green Ribbon School

One of nine in the US to receive an inaugural Post-Secondary Institutions Green Ribbon School Award from the US Department of Education.

Read more about CSU receiving an inaugural Post-Secondary Institutions Green Ribbon School Award

01
Jan
First Sustainability Strategic Plan Written

President’s Sustainability Committee creates first Sustainability Strategic Plan to support university’s Strategic Plan.

Read more about the First Sustainability Strategic Plan Written

01
Jan
Greenest College

Named greenest college in the country by bestcolleges.com.

Read more about CSU being named greenest college

01
Jan
President’s Sustainability Commission established

President Frank names the committee one of three Presidential Commissions on campus.

Read more about the establishment of the President’s Sustainability Commission

01
Jan
Top Performer in 2017 Sustainable Campus Index

CSU listed #4 overall and #1 for public engagement and research (tie) in the AASHE 2017 Sustainable Campus Index.

Read more about CSU being listed #4 overall and #1 for public engagement and research

01
Jan
Climate Reality Pledge

First major institution to sign Climate Reality Pledge, committing CSU to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Signed by CSU President Tony Frank.

Read more about CSU signing the Climate Reality Pledge

01
Jan
Campus Composting Expanded with Windrows

Campus composting expansion with the addition of windrow composting on the Foothills Campus (funded by University Facility Fee Advisory Board in 2016).

Read more about Campus Composting Expanded with Windrows

01
Jan
STARS Platinum

CSU receives a Platinum rating in STARS for the second time from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Read more about CSU receiving a Platinum rating for the second time

06
Jan
American Public Gardens Association

CSU became a member of the American Public Gardens Association in December.

Read more about CSU becoming a member of the American Public Gardens Association

01
Jan
#1 Greenest University

CSU ranked number 1 Greenest University on bestcolleges.com.

Read more about CSU being ranked number 1 Greenest University

01
Jan
#4 Top Performing Institution for Sustainability

CSU ranked number 4 on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ranking for top sustainability institutions in the US and Canada.

Read more about CSU ranking number 4 on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ranking

01
Jan
Bee Campus USA Certification

First university in the Rocky Mountain region to become certified as a Bee Campus USA.

Read more about CSU’s Bee Campus USA Certification

01
Jan
Living Wage Initiative Implemented

Living Wage Initiative sets $30,000 baseline for salaried employees, increasing the base for 385 employees across campus.

Read more about the implementation of the Living Wage Initiative

02
Jan
Sierra Cool Schools

CSU earns the #4 spot on Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools Ranking for 2018.

Read more about CSU earning the #4 spot on Sierra Cool Schools

01
Jan
SIERRA COOL SCHOOLS

CSU earns the #9 spot on Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools Ranking for 2019.

01
Jan
First Female University President

The first female president of CSU, Joyce McConnell, is inaugurated and prioritizes sustainability.

Read more about Joyce McConnell becoming the first female university president

01
Jan
Platinum Bicycle Friendly University

Platinum Bicycle Friendly University designation from League of American Bicyclists for the second time.

Read more about CSU being designated a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University for the second time

06
Jan
Level II ArbNet Accredited Arboretum

CSU became a level II ArbNet Accredited Arboretum

Read more about Level II ArbNet Accredited Arboretum

05
Feb
STARS Platinum

CSU submits the highest score ever submitted to STARS from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in the U.S. and is the only institution in the world to receive Platinum rating three times.

Read more about CSU becoming the first institute to receive Platinum three times

02
Dec
150 Trees Planted to Celebrate CSU’s Sesquicentennial

150 trees were planted on CSU’s campus to celebrate the 150th birthday of CSU and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Read more about the 150 trees planted

02
Dec
State’s Largest Geothermal Project Completed

The largest ground-source heating and cooling system in Colorado, and one of the largest in the western United States (dubbed GeoX) has been completed on CSU’s campus.

Read more about the state’s largest geothermal project

02
Dec
AASHE Sustainable Campus Index: #1 Top Performing Doctoral Institution

Colorado State University was featured in the AASHE Sustainable Campus Index as the #1 Top Performing Doctoral Institution and also achieved top 10 in 7 other categories.

Read more about CSU earning #1 Top Performing Doctoral Institution

02
Dec
Sierra Cool Schools

CSU earns the #7 spot on Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools List.

Read more about CSU placing #7

02
Dec
Princeton Review Green Honor Roll

CSU was recognized on the 2021 Princeton Review Green Honor Roll by receiving a score of 99 (the highest possible score) in our Green Rating tallies this year.

Read more about CSU recognized on the Princeton Review Honor Roll