Grantee Blog 2020

Delayed, but Not Deterred

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Montclair State University’s plan has changed, but we continue to move forward.

Our Original Plan:

Healthy Eating

Year 1: Expanding on data collected about student food security, we will continue to survey the foodscapes that our students navigate on and around campus. A survey will be sent out to determine what, when, and where our students are eating, and an environmental audit will be conducted to get a better understanding of the foods that are readily available to our students.

Year 2: From the results of these audits, we will work to propose policy changes within the university to help increase student food security, and make healthy foods more readily available to students.

Active Living

Year 1: In combination with an ADA audit being conducted through the Office of Capital Planning & Project Management, we will distribute an online survey to the campus community. The survey will assess their experience with accessibility issues on campus and collect feedback related to various facilities and potential trouble areas. In addition to the survey, focus groups will be organized by the University’s Disability Resource Center. Following the survey, a previously completed walkability audit will be expanded upon to examine the campus in more detail and to determine where additional pedestrian & bicycle safety measures may be needed. Additionally, a general interest survey will be distributed to assess the level of interest in a bike or scooter share on campus. 

Year 2: Using the results of the audits and surveys, we will draft a Complete Streets Policy and a resolution to be put before the Board of Trustees for approval. Once approved, this resolution will support modifications to the campus environment which will improve safety.

What’s Changed?

Fortunately, much of the work we need to do can be done remotely or delayed until the Fall semester of Year 1, when we hope the University’s operations will be back to normal. 

The Healthy Eating portion of the project has pushed back our surveys until the Fall semester, however we still hope to complete our environmental audits during the summer. Our student surveys will be postponed due to the outbreak, as we cannot collect any responses about the campus while our students are away.

For the Active Living portion of our project, the audits and surveys will be moved to the Fall semester. In the meantime, we will analyze previously acquired vehicular accident data and review the State’s latest Complete Streets Policy & Guide document, and others, as we prepare to draft our own. 

All things considered, the current state of affairs has pushed back some of our data collection, but we have plenty of guidance to learn from in the meantime as we wait for campus operations to return to normal.

About the Grantee

Montclair State University

The team at Montclair State is based out of the Division of University Facilities and the Campus Community Garden. We're combining efforts on this grant project to improve food security and pedestrian safety on campus. Our core team consists of Adeline Cochran, Sustainability Coordinator and Chris Snyder, Garden Founder/Coordinator.