U Virginia Receives Award for Green Stormwater Plan

The University of Virginia has received a landscape architecture merit award from the Society for College and University Planning for its Meadow Creek Regional Stormwater Management Master Plan. The plan calls for stormwater ponds to capture sediment before it enters the stream, opening up sections of the stream to daylight and allowing water to be absorbed and filtered by plants and soil before running off to the stream. The comprehensive plan is believed to be more effective and efficient than the alternative of creating individual stormwater management plans for each construction site.

Appalachian State U Partners with Community to Restore Creek

Appalachian State University (NC) recently partnered with the city community to restore a 150 foot section of Boone Creek, a creek that runs through campus and parts of the downtown. The restoration group plans to filter storm water runoff, stabilize the banks, and incorporate native plants and shrubs that will shade the creek and provide better habitat for wildlife. The project is the result of an idea from a 2004 project management class taught by an Assistant Professor in ASU's Department of Geography and Planning.

Bowdoin to Use Organic Lawn Treatments, Hold Green Commencement

Bowdoin College (ME) recently announced that, this spring, it will start using organic lawn care products on parts of the campus that sit above the town aquifer. Organic fertilizer, liquid corn gluten, compost tea, and BT, an organic bacterium to fight insects, are examples of what will be used. In related news, Bowdoin has taken several steps to help make this year's graduation more environmentally friendly: biodegradable cups, bowls, plates, and utensils for all outdoor meals; recycle bins will be placed in outdoor areas, electricity for the weekend will be offset using Renewable Energy Credits from Maine low-impact hydro and wind power; and all programs will be printed on 100% recycled paper.

U New Hampshire Students Install Green Landscaping

University of New Hampshire students recently completed their horticulture technology class project to install green landscaping around a university building. The 11 students in the class chose perennial plants that would be hardy in New Hampshire and low-maintenance throughout the year. They spent one month preparing the site by removing overgrown plants and testing and preparing the soil with compost obtained from UNH dining halls. The students were also expected to manage a staff of volunteers, work with vendors, and solicit donations from nearby nurseries.

UC Berkeley Receives Undeveloped Land Donation

The University of California, Berkeley recently received an anonymous donation of the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, a 3,260-acre property east of San Jose. The property is one of California's most diverse ecosystems, is embedded within 180,000 acres of permanently protected wild lands and open space in the Mount Hamilton Range, and is protected by a conservation easement held by the Nature Conservancy. The new reserve will support research to discover why oak trees are failing to thrive or regenerate. Additionally, UC Berkeley plans to design an ecologically sustainable field station on the site which will include dormitories, classrooms, laboratories, and offices with solar photovoltaic modules, passive solar systems, and sustainable water management systems designed by UC Berkeley environmental design and engineering faculty and students.