Purdue U Research Farm Receives Organic Certification
The university’s 10-acre research farm has been certified as organic by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. The farm will allow researchers to evaluate organic-farming management practices and assess how particular crop varieties perform under organic conditions.
U Maine Constructs Greenhouse
A newly constructed, 26x96-foot, hoop-style greenhouse will be used by UMaine Greens, a student-run organization, to localize the university’s food system and provide greens to dining services. A composting facility is also being installed nearby.
Florida State U Students to Create Campus Garden
The Tallahassee Sustainability Group has received approval from the student senate to build and maintain an on-campus garden. The garden will utilize the most efficient permaculture techniques possible to grow a variety of crops including satsuma trees and seasonal foods like tomatoes.
Appalachian State U Tests New Paving Material
The university has surfaced an area outside a residence hall with Flexi-Pave, a material that is made from recycled tires. The material is porous, allowing water and snow melt to seep back into the ground instead of producing puddles or runoff.
Cornell U Garden Receives SITES Certification
(U.S.): A student-designed and installed garden has achieved certification by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), a comprehensive national rating system for assessing the sustainability of built landscapes. The garden features healthy soils, recycled materials, and site-appropriate plants, and incorporates a design that promotes water conservation.
Inver Hills CC, Metropolitan State U Students Partner on Garden
Students and faculty from both colleges have harvested more than 1,300 pounds of vegetables from the first interdisciplinary vegetable garden on the Inver Hills campus. The produce will be donated to local food banks. The institutions will also plant 50 apple trees next to the garden. Two professors initiated the garden project as a way to provide students with hands-on experience.
San Francisco State U to Debut Campus Community Garden
The garden will make its debut on Campus Sustainability Day. Plants will be kept in 12 planters above ground and will be pesticide free. The project received funding from the Physical Planning and Development department, Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students, and the annual Farm to Fork event.
Amherst College to Develop Campus Farm
The 4.5-acre college farm will be an educational resource as well as provide organic produce for Dining Services. Students will have the opportunity to serve as interns to help the hired farmer. The farm came to fruition after several students created and submitted a proposal outlining the benefits of a campus farm.
U Alaska Fairbanks Community Garden Completes First Harvest
The 42-plot community-operated garden has completed its first successful harvest since its creation in the spring. The garden received a $5,000 grant from the university’s People’s Endowment as well as a $6,000 grant from the Student Sustainability Fund.
U Winnipeg to Go Pesticide Free
By spring 2013, the university will eliminate the use of pesticides on campus. The university also recently introduced phosphate-free detergents and environmentally friendly cleaning products for use on campus.
U Pennsylvania Dedicates Sustainable Green Commons
(U.S.): Shoemaker Green, a new green commons area, will serve as a pilot site for the Sustainable Sites initiative, which will measure the performance of the landscape and serve as a test case for other campus landscape projects. The site incorporates 100 percent native plants, reused building materials and has decreased the amount of impervious surface by 50 percent.
Elon U Community Garden Certified as a Wildlife Habitat
Five years after its inception, the Elon Community Garden has been designated by the National Wildlife Federation as a certified wildlife habitat. The small vegetable garden is a space where local wildlife can find food, water, shelter and a place to raise their young. A camera that can be moved around the quarter-acre property has spotted raccoons, coyotes, foxes, woodchucks, squirrels and rabbits.
American U Accredited for Green Arboretum Practices
(U.S.): The university’s Arboretum and Gardens has been awarded a Level II Accreditation through the ArbNet program, an international initiative to support the work of arboreta in saving and planting trees. A Level II accreditation means that the university has at least 100 kinds of trees or plants that were planted and grown in accordance with an arboretum plan; a collections policy; one or more employees whose job responsibilities specifically include management or operation of the arboretum; and an enhanced educational program.
Kerala U Plants Trees to Celebrate Birthday
(India): In celebration of its 75th birthday, the university has launched "Oorma maram," a green initiative to plant 75 trees at each of its 75 campuses. The variety of saplings includes fruit and herb trees.
SUNY ESF Establishes 'No-Mow' Zones
(U.S.): The university is converting areas of turfgrass into meadows, kicking off a new "no-mow" initiative on its main campus. By focusing on plants and plantings rather than turfgrass and trees, the university aims to save energy, emissions, maintenance staff demands, and money spent on fuel, oil and machinery.
U Southern Mississippi Named Tree Campus USA
The university has received its first Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation. With the help of students, the university began implementing standards for sustainable campus forestry in 2010.
NY Times Blog Post: ‘Farming on the Campus Quad’
(U.S.): A recent New York Times blog profiles a handful of colleges and universities that have planted small student-run farms on formerly grassy areas that required a lot of maintenance including Green Mountain College’s Lawn to Edible Garden Project, Duke University’s Campus Farm and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s permaculture project. The projects demonstrate the opportunity for students and the community to learn about local food production, as well as benefits including locally grown produce in campus dining halls.
Black Hills State U Creates Garden for Dining Services
A group of student, staff and community volunteers have created a campus garden to provide fresh produce to dining services. The organic produce includes tomatoes, squash, peas, carrots, cucumbers and onions. A South Dakota State University Extension Grant funds the program.
U Albany Pilots Campus Community Garden
The university has created an on-campus community garden to provide students the opportunity to grow their own food. If successful, the 20-square-foot plot will expand in the fall.
U Tennessee Chattanooga Named Tree Campus USA
The Arbor Day Foundation has designated the university as a Tree Campus USA. The designation was the result of a student-led effort by the university chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society.
Duke U Debuts 'Smart' Garden
As part of the university's Smart Home Program, the new campus garden is designed to make efficient use of natural resources with garden beds, compost bins and a greenhouse. The garden also includes a programmable irrigation system that reads soil and water data to enable students to make adjustments online to maximize efficiency.
3 Institutions Receive Tree Campus USA Designation
Arbor Day Foundation has designated Tree Campus USA status to Utah State University, Wake Forest University (North Carolina) and the University of Redlands (California). The universities achieved five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: the establishment of a tree advisory committee; development of a Tree Endowment Fund to replenish any forest impacted by construction or natural disaster; an Arbor Day observance; sponsorship of student service-learning projects; and a tree-care plan.
Hawaii Pacific U Grounds Get Permaculture Makeover
The university, with the help of 80 volunteers, participated in a "permablitz," a sustainable agriculture movement based on permaculture gardens. The campus effort included three different parcels: the community garden, a taro patch and a banana patch.
U South Florida Named Tree Campus USA
The Arbor Day Foundation has designated the university as a National Tree Campus USA. Over 1,000 trees donated by a local tree nursery and by the foundation were planted around campus in honor of its designation and Earth Day.
Virginia Commonwealth U Debuts 2 Campus Gardens
A new vegetated rooftop garden serves as a living classroom to educate the campus community about the stormwater reduction capacity of roofs, as well as the cooling effects for mitigating urban heat islands. A new community garden on campus includes plots owned by students, faculty, staff and community members, an open teaching area, and two plots run and managed by volunteers who will donate the harvest to local food banks.
U Memphis Opens Campus Park with Recycling Focus
Designed, planned and built with the help of students, the new campus park features drought-tolerant indigenous plants, reused sun shading panels, a rubble wall, LED lighting, recycling bins, benches and a permeable gravel walkway. The park received $35,482 from the Green Fee Committee.
Kansas U Invests in Campus Trees
(U.S.): A new fund through the university's Endowment Association will allow a tree advisory board made up of faculty, staff and students to work toward replacing trees, providing maintenance, applying for the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA designation, and eventually hiring a full-time staff person to maintain an ongoing tree maintenance program. Students in the environmental studies program will create an inventory of the current trees on campus.
U Illinois Chicago Named Tree Campus USA
(U.S.): The university earned the Arbor Day Foundation recognition by meeting required standards for sustainable campus forestry and sponsoring student service-learning projects. The 250-acre urban campus has 5,376 trees of 101 different species.
U Georgia Enlists Goats for Creek Clean Up
With $3,000 from the university's student green fee, eight goats are now cleaning up a campus creek by eating the non-native plant species. Additional green fee money will go toward time-lapse equipment to document the progress of the clean-up.
Kent State U Earns Tree USA Status for Fourth Consecutive Year
The national Arbor Day Foundation program honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. Kent State University (Ohio) planted 132 trees last year including replacement trees for those that died and trees for new construction projects.
Bergen CC Implements Natural Turf Management Program
The recent switch away from a conventional, chemical-based turf management program is part of the college’s commitment to environmental protection, sustainability and public health including the reduction of young athletes’ exposure to toxic, synthetic lawn pesticides.
San Francisco State U Students Construct Bioswales
(U.S.): Eighteen students recently helped replace a conventional campus lawn area with bioswales, a landscaped depression that slows the flow of water, allowing it to seep naturally into the ground instead of being diverted into a storm drain. The bioswale is funded in part by a $23,000 grant from the Community Challenge Grant Program, a partnership between the San Francisco Public Utility Commission and the City of San Francisco.
AASHE Announces Tree Campus USA Planting Event Winners
In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, AASHE has announced the campuses chosen for Tree Campus USA planting events this spring. One hundred trees will be planted as part of a service learning project or Arbor Day celebration at Colorado State University; University of Colorado Boulder; University of Illinois, Chicago; Virginia Commonwealth University; Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY); and Purdue University (IN). In related news, several campuses have achieved Tree Campus USA designations recently for meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry which include the creation of a tree advisory committee and dedicated annual expenditures for a campus tree program. The institutions include Indiana State University, Duke University (NC) and Colorado State University, which received the distinction along with a Tree Campus USA planting event.
Rice U Named Tree Campus USA
Rice University (TX) has emerged after a rough year of drought, pathogens and insects with a Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. The university is being recognized for sustainable watering efforts during last year's drought and for its careful monitoring of the health of its trees. The program honors colleges and universities that use sustainable practices and engage students in tree planting and conservation initiatives.
Washington U St. Louis Students Spearhead Green Landscaping
Two Washington University St. Louis (MO) students have been awarded $5,000 to convert grassy campus areas to bio-swales, expand the student-run organic garden and enlist a small flock of sheep to maintain selected turf areas on campus. Their sustainable landscaping proposal won first prize in the university's Olin Sustainability Case Competition.
Utah State U to 'Green' Landscaping with Carbon Offset Fund
Faculty and staff at Utah State University now have the opportunity to contribute to the university's Carbon Offset Travel Fund to help mitigate the impact of their university-related travel. The funds collected will be used to help make campus landscaping operations more sustainable.
Florida Atlantic U Opens Campus Community Garden
Florida Atlantic University's Mission Green campaign has initiated a new organic campus community garden. Eight beds are available for use to students, faculty and staff, and the university plans to invite local farmers to teach the fundamental basics of gardening. Mission Green also plans to provide food to a local soup kitchen.
U Texas Arlington Recognized for Sustainable Land Practices
The University of Texas at Arlington is the first higher education institution to be certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). The voluntary, national rating system and set of performance benchmarks for sustainable landscapes recognized the university for its Green at College Park, which features an open lawn, pedestrian promenade, shade arbor, native plants in rain gardens and a water detention system. The Green is one of three projects to receive recognition from among 150 pilot projects seeking certification since summer 2010.
Coastal Carolina U Debuts Campus Garden
Funded by the Jackson Center for Ethics and Values, Coastal Carolina University (SC) has debuted a campus garden for students and faculty to learn the fundamentals of gardening including weeding, composting and fertilizing. The university is also looking into an on-campus farmers market in the future.
Harvard U Yard Services Collects Leaves for Mulch
Harvard University's (MA) Landscape Services and Facilities Maintenance Operations have collected fallen leaves across campus as part of their organic landscaping initiative. The collected leaves will be transported to the university-owned Arnold Arboretum in Boston, where they will be made into nutrient-rich mulch. Landscape Services will place the resulting mulch, sent back from the arboretum, across the university's grounds.
Texas State U San Marcos Named Tree Campus USA
The campus community at Texas State University-San Marcos recently celebrated the university's designation as a Tree Campus USA school by planting 71 trees on campus. The Arbor Day Foundation issues the Tree Campus USA designation to campuses that meet five requirements including convening a tree advisory committee, creating a tree care plan, implementing a tree program, holding an Arbor Day observance and offering a service learning project.
DePauw U Creates Campus Farm for Students, Community
DePauw University (IL) students, faculty and staff are in the midst of creating a campus farm for students to learn more about food, the environment and related socioeconomic issues. Sodexo, a main partner on the project, plans to use much of the produce in the university’s dining halls to increase the amount of local and sustainable food available to students. Inspired by President Obama’s Food Security Initiative, the university's Office of Spiritual Life aims to use the farm to reduce hunger in the area as well as teach the community how to grow and preserve their own food.
U Chicago Earns National Honors for Green Grounds Management
The University of Chicago (IL) has received a 2011 Green Star Grand Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society. The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, including demonstrated sustainable practices and methods.
Western Carolina U Enlists Goats for Weed Eradication
Western Carolina University recently welcomed goats to its campus as an environmentally friendly weed-eradication strategy. The goats took a few weeks to clear kudzu at the site of an old campus landfill, a task that would have taken the university's grounds crew a few months to accomplish. The university will enlist the goats again in the spring.
U Montana Converts Concrete Space into Organic Garden
The University of Montana's Dining Services has converted a concrete space behind the cafeteria into a low-waste and local organic garden. Heirloom tomatoes and squash, native hazelnuts and serviceberries from the garden are used in the university's dining halls and catering program. Students are also using the garden to learn about sustainable food production.
U Pennsylvania Unveils New 24-Acre Park
The University of Pennsylvania has opened Penn Park, 24 acres of athletic fields, open recreational space and pedestrian connections. Replacing a surface parking lot previously owned by the U.S. Postal Service, the park has increased the university's green space by 20 percent and created a new pedestrian gateway. Sustainable features of the park include the planting of more than 500 native trees, self-irrigating athletic fields, recycled and repurposed materials, and an energy-efficient lighting system.
Antioch College Creates College Farm
Antioch College (OH) has announced the creation of a college farm as part of its first major sustainability project. The farm will provide opportunities for students to grow produce and learn sustainability practices. The college hopes to integrate the farm into campus facilities, curriculum and the community.
U Wisconsin Madison Fights Invasive Species with Goats
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has enlisted a herd of goats to clear an overgrown slope behind its School of Human Ecology building, which is undergoing a renovation and expansion. The goats are clearing invasive species like black locust, honeysuckle and buckthorn, which will be replaced with terraces of native canopy trees and a mix of native wildflowers and grasses.