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Salute to Seniors: Kierra Walsh

Kierra Walsh: Helped launch UML Green Roofs

UML Green Roofs is attempting to provide secure green outdoor locations for the students at UMass Lowell.
It didn’t take long for Kierra Walsh to realize she liked the idea of the DifferenceMaker program.

“It was at freshman orientation,” says the biology major. She formed a team that came up with an idea for UML Green Roofs, which would help the university meet its carbon neutrality goal while offering green space and a tranquil place for students to hang out. 

Walsh is no slacker (she’s graduating after three years), and she and her team of like-minded students earned fan favorite honors at the DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge. The Green Roofs project also earned fan votes during a mini DifferenceMaker competition during Convocation.

In all, they snagged $1,500 from DifferenceMaker contests – “enough to get started with,” she says. Her team of six has been meeting with representatives from the university’s Facilities Management Department and the Office of Sustainability, and together they identified the lower roof at Fox Hall as ideal for the “very large-scale” project. The green space will feature large planters and picnic tables where students can relax or study. 

Walsh doesn’t expect construction to begin for “another three or four years,” but the team will soon choose a designer for the space.

In addition to the green rooftops, Walsh is leaving a second legacy on campus: As president and acting coach of the UML Swim and Dive Team, she helped revive the moribund group. 

“When we were freshmen, it was just me and my best friend on the team,” says Walsh. “We had to rebuild.” The next year, she attracted 15 team members, and this year, there were 30.

In the fall, Walsh is off to Tufts for a four-year veterinary program. She plans on keeping tabs on the progress of the UML Green Roofs project.

 “I’m certainly not far away, and I’ll definitely come back,” she says.