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.
SUNY Cortland Creates 'No Mow' Zone
State University of New York at Cortland has initiated a “no mow” zone in order to reduce fuel emissions and encourage natural habitats. A decline in fuel and equipment usage will reduce carbon dioxide emissions while saving money. The Physical Plant department expects to gain at least 10 labor hours each week, helping the university's ongoing effort to maximize its resources. Birds, butterflies and other animals will find food and habitats while native wildflowers will claim spots to bloom.
Macalester College Raises Chickens
Macalester College’s (MN) Urban Land and Community Health program has begun raising chickens on campus. Students, faculty, staff and community members will be provided with an ongoing hands-on education and will have an opportunity to learn how to care for chickens as part of a more sustainable urban landscape. A group of students worked with Amish furniture makers to design and construct the coop. The eggs will be distributed among the caretakers.
U Chicago Transforms Dormant Campus Space into Garden
Three University of Chicago (IL) departments have announced a collaboration to convert a dormant campus space into an "Avant Garden." University staff and interns volunteered to transform a large empty lot into a common space for interaction, production and innovation. Herbs and vegetables will be harvested in the space and the plants were strategically placed in locations that emphasize their aesthetic qualities.
Indiana U Creates Pilot Campus Community Garden
Indiana University Bloomington has created a 900-square-foot community garden on campus. The campus garden initiative aims to foster environmental and social sustainability by creating interactive, edible gardening spaces. By modeling different ways to produce food in a campus setting, the garden will serve as a pilot for future gardening projects. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to engage in the process of growing food.
Southern Connecticut State U 'Plants it Forward'
Southern Connecticut State University has announced its Sustainable Southern-Plant it Forward Initiative. The urban farm project will expand its existing campus organic garden to include orchards and a vineyard, along with a new greenhouse, outdoor classroom and apiary. The orchard portion of the project will focus on growing more fruits in less space as the percentage of people living in urban environments is expected to grow locally and globally. Students from various courses and programs will have access to the orchard trees, garden and eventually the greenhouse for hands-on experience. The initiative will also include reaching out to the local community to teach, support and encourage local residents to grow their own food in their backyards.
Alfred State College Announces Sustainable Agriculture Center
Alfred State College (NY) has converted 225 acres of farmland adjacent to the campus to certified organic hay and pasture production for its Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. An effort to introduce organic farming to the agriculture program, the center acquired 300 acres of land to be used for crops, promoting sustainable and innovative agricultural techniques. The project received a $4.9 million grant from New York State and additional funding from local companies and college alumni.
Miami Dade College Launches Seed-to-Table Organic Garden
Miami Dade College’s (FL) Miami Culinary Institute and Natural Greenscape have launched a Seed-to-Table organic garden. The garden was designed to inspire a relationship between the culinary students and the source of the ingredients, while creating a fresh backyard pantry for the institute’s instructional kitchens and on-site restaurant. The institution is also committed to recycling waste and appropriate refuse into compost that will be returned to the garden.
Penn State U Harrisburg Creates Sustainable Garden
Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg’s Conservation Committee has developed and planted a garden that incorporates recycled materials into its design. Shipping pallets and scrap lumber were used to construct compost bins and benches, extra slate floor tiles were used as stepping stones, and tree branches were used to create a trellis. The garden is maintained by volunteers and is open to all students, faculty and staff.
Roosevelt U Begins Sustainable Landscape Project
Roosevelt University (IL) has launched a sustainable landscape project to remove invasive plant species. The university conducted a controlled burn as a way of removing invasive plants while retaining nutrients in the soil. Native flowerbeds have been planted and nearly 14 acres of turf grass also has been removed and composted in order to install slit seeding native grass species. The project will serve to supplement education and lower landscape maintenance costs.
U Texas San Antonio Installs Eco-Friendly Turf
The University of Texas San Antonio has begun installing synthetic grass turf made of recycled tires on its recreational fields to conserve water and maintenance costs. The university expects to save approximately 4.7 million gallons of water per year.
U Louisville Expands Organic Garden
The University of Louisville (KY) has announced that its Garden Commons, a 6,000-square-foot organic garden on campus, will undergo a major expansion. Plans include erecting a greenhouse, planting garden beds and setting up compost bins and rain barrels. Volunteers will also stain benches, spread mulch and lay paving stones that allow water to drain through to the soil to form the foundation of a new outdoor classroom. Approximately $26,000 in private money is funding the expansion.
U Colorado Boulder Phases Out Herbicide Use with Compost Tea
The University of Colorado at Boulder has announced plans to phase out the use of herbicides on campus fields. The university will treat the grounds with a “compost tea,” a liquid that can be used as both a fertilizer and to prevent plant diseases. The first phase will reduce the use of herbicides by 45 percent in 2011. By the end of 2012, all turf areas will no longer receive synthetic herbicide applications. The final phase includes eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides after the 2016 growing season.
Aquinas College Plants Community Garden
Aquinas College (MI) has created a community garden on campus. The garden was recently planted with a variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flower seeds. Volunteers will look after the new plot and no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides will be used.
Centenary College Plants 200 Blue Spruce Saplings
Centenary College (NJ) has planted 200 blue spruce saplings that they received from Verizon Wireless. The college was one of five institutions that received the donation as a result of the college’s ongoing initiatives related to Earth Day and sustainability. The college will donate a portion of the saplings to the community. The tree planting initiative is part of the Verizon Wireless Tree Donation Program, which was established with the goal of planting 100,000 trees across the U.S. and 14 other countries by the end of the year.
Luther College Constructs Hoop House
Luther College (IA) has constructed a hoop house on the grounds of its college gardens to extend the growing season and serve as a teaching tool about seasonal extension of garden operations. Funded by a donation from the college's director of facilities services, the hoop house was completed almost entirely using recycled or reclaimed materials.
Trevecca Nazarene U Raises Chickens to Supply Eggs to Campus
Trevecca Nazarene University (TN) has begun raising free-range chickens. The eggs produced will be sold to campus dining services. The university hopes to have a flock of 120 chickens by August 2011, capable of producing up to 500 eggs a week. The university will also partner with Vanderbilt University (TN), which operates a mobile pantry that delivers fresh, healthy, organic produce at reasonable prices to nearby neighborhoods. Remaining eggs will be offered for sale to local restaurants.