POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Pearl River Community College is implementing a new health and environmental sustainability project at its Poplarville and Hattiesburg locations.
The project includes the installation of water bottle friendly hydration stations as an opportunity to provide access to free, clean water in more areas of campus, allow for PRCC to lessen the use of plastic though disposable water bottles, and promote healthy choices in small ways.
The project was born out of Pearl River alumnus and current Admissions Specialist Dalton Spiers’ participation in the year-long Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy. The MCCLA was developed in the spring of 2009 to address the projected need for upper-level leaders in the Mississippi community college system. Through the program, Spiers was tasked with identifying a way to improve his institution and create a plan of action.
“This project is just the beginning in helping reduce the amount of plastic that is used at PRCC,” Spiers said. “With these efforts, we are making Pearl River Community College eco-friendlier and encouraging a healthy lifestyle of all members of the Wildcat Family.”
The initiative is being implemented in three stages:
- Determining key locations for hydration stations and attaining funding.
- Purchase the first batch of stations and have them installed in the appropriate areas.
- Continue purchasing stations until Pearl River has filled every key location.
As the college finishes installing the first round of hydration stations administrators are already looking forward. Upon completion of two new dormitories on the Poplarville campus, there will be an outdoor hydration station installed in the courtyard. A long-term goal of the project is to one day provide all incoming students with refillable water bottles to be used at the stations.
With help from Assistant Vice President of Student Services Maghan James, they decided funds available through a recent College Tobacco-Free Campus Grant awarded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi would be used to install the hydration stations. The guidelines for the grant allows funds to be used to help promote good health. More stations will be installed across campus as grant funds become available.
“I’m thankful to Dr. Adam Breerwood for allowing me to take on this leadership project and for the professional development opportunities Pearl River has continued to afford me,” Spiers said. “Through these opportunities relationships have been built across the community college system allowing us to come together to share ideas, problems and ultimately solutions to help better serve our communities.
“This project would not have been possible without the collaboration of many individuals working together to continue to keep Pearl River accessible, affordable and effective.”
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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.