Ball State U Debuts Native Landscaping Online Interface
In partnership with JFNew, a company that provides ecological consulting and ecosystem restoration services, Ball State University (IN) has launched NativeBrowser™. The free, web-based tool allows the input of key site conditions to create a customized list of native plant species suitable for the specified growing conditions. The tool was developed as an online interface to the web application, NativeSpec™, an extensive database of native plants and seeds categorized according to their preferred habitat and ecological conditions and site factors. Students in the university's department of landscape architecture accepted a 2010 Student Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for their leadership in developing NativeSpec™.
U Calif Santa Barbara Restores Newly-Designated Campus Open Space
The University of California, Santa Barbara has begun the cleanup and restoration of a 69-acre tract of campus land that has been permanently set aside as open space under a conservation easement agreement. The university's Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration is overseeing the cleanup of remnant pipes, fencing, cement and other items with the goal of enhancing wetlands along the western border of the property, where some original, less-disturbed soil and native plants remain.
U Georgia Enlists Sheep to Improve Waterway Access on Campus
The University of Georgia's Grounds Department has dispatched 30 sheep and two donkeys to improve access to a major waterway that runs through the campus. The grazing site is currently choked with privet, an invasive plant that forms a nearly impenetrable physical and visual barrier and displaces more diverse and controlled native species. The university chose sheep in particular because unlike cattle, sheep avoid the water's edge, leaving vulnerable embankments undisturbed. Unlike goats, they do not attempt to strip larger, desirable trees.
3 Universities Awarded Tree Campus USA Recognition
For their dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship, Emory University (GA) and Kent State University (OH) have received a 2010 Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation for the second and third year, respectively. Middlebury University (VT) has also received the recognition for the first time, meeting the five core standards of tree care and community engagement.
Roosevelt U Greens Schaumburg Campus Grounds
This spring, Roosevelt University (IL) will redesign the landscape of its Schaumburg campus. The university’s Green Campus Environmental Sustainability Initiative plans to convert 70 percent of the campus turf into native grasses and plants. They are also planning to resurface parking areas with a more permeable pavement.
Denison U, St. Charles CC Named Tree Campus USA Institutions
Denison University (OH) and St. Charles Community College (MO) have each been recognized as a 2010 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for their dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. Both campuses are earning the status for the first time, having met five required core standards of tree care and community engagement. Those requirements include the establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body. Denison University's 900-acre campus features a 550-acre Biological Reserve and St. Charles Community College is now home to more than 2,000 trees, 30 of which were planted last fall in a tree planting ceremony hosted by the college's Tree Advisory Committee.
Northern Arizona U Green Fund to Support Sustainable Landscaping
With the help of a $26,952 student Green Fund award, students at Northern Arizona University will conduct a pilot project to study sustainable landscape methods for campus lawns based on organic principles without the use of chemical herbicides. The grant will cover material, labor and student internships for the project and is expected to start this spring. Students at the university overwhelmingly voted to create the Green Fund last month, a $5 per semester fee.
Marylhurst U Uses Goats to Control Invasive Species
Initiated by the Marylhurst University (OR) Sustainability Action Committee, the university has started using goats to help control the spread of invasive species on campus. In an effort to get rid of unwanted vegetation without using chemicals, the two goats will graze on 68 acres of land. The university also hopes that the goats' presence will help encourage awareness toward sustainable initiatives.
U Iowa to Use Sugar Beet Juice as Eco-Friendly Deicer
Landscape crews at the University of Iowa will use a combination of salt and sugar beet juice to deice campus walkways this winter. With the environmentally friendly deicer, ProMelt, the university expects to use 30 percent less product this season to keep walkways clear and safe. During its trial year, the university will gauge its effectiveness against ice and snow, as well as note any reduced damage to vegetation and concrete corrosion.
Life U Campus Certified as Wildlife Habitat by NWF
The National Wildlife Foundation (NWF) has declared Life University's Marietta, Ga. campus a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Home to foxes, beavers, woodchucks, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, fish and several species of reptiles and amphibians, the campus contains the significant sources of wild food, water, shelter and places where wildlife can raise their young to qualify for the designation. NWF also recognized the university's conscientious planning, landscaping and sustainable gardening.
San Francisco State U Implements Low-Maintenance Landscaping
San Francisco State University's (CA) Campus Grounds is altering its landscaping plan to include alternative plantings that require less water and maintenance. The university allows grasses near the gym, humanities and science buildings to grow unfettered with once-a-week watering. Ground workers have added native plants like huckleberry, lupine, yarrow and willow in an effort to attract birds and pollinators. Also, pesticides, fertilizers and mowing have been eliminated in three areas of campus. The university plans to continue to experiment with ways to further reduce its water use and coordinate with science classes to quantify differences in biodiversity after letting the lawns grow.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland Builds Rain Garden
St. Mary’s College of Maryland has constructed a rain garden to capture stormwater runoff and filter out sediments and nutrients that would otherwise end up in the waterways. The low-maintenance garden features native species and requires seasonal deadheading and weeding. The project will be part of an environmental science course for elementary school kids.
Saginaw Valley State U Dedicates Native Planting Site
Saginaw Valley State University (MI) has dedicated a 40-acre native planting site on campus. The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, which provided a $40,000 grant to support the new site, is composed of 10 area foundations that work to protect and preserve the region’s natural resources. The plants are low-maintenance and thrive without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The native habitat will also reduce erosion, water pollution and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
U Pacific Converts Maintenance Carts to Solar
The University of the Pacific (CA) has converted a dozen of the carts used for grounds maintenance to solar, with plans to convert eight more by the end of November. As part of the overall plan to reduce the campus carbon footprint, the university's goal is to convert all of its 84 electric carts to solar during the next few years.
Arbor Day Foundation Names Furman U Tree Campus USA
Furman University (SC) has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its campus forestry management and environmental stewardship practices. The university has received this honor three years in a row, meeting five core standards of tree care and community engagement. Requirements include the establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree care plan and verification of dedicated annual expenditures; campus observance of Arbor Day; and the implementation of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Kansas City Kansas CC Reduces Mowing
Kansas City Kansas Community College has reduced mowing campus grounds from once every 10 days to twice a year. Environmentally, the uncut fields reduce carbon emissions and create a habitat for wildlife. Financially, the reduced mowing saves the college manpower, fuel and maintenance costs.
Linn State Technical College Uses Clean-Burning Lawn Equipment
Linn State Technical College (MO) has received environmentally friendly propane-fueled lawn equipment for its Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program. Propane-fueled mowers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 48 percent over gasoline-powered mowers. The equipment was donated by the Missouri Propane Education & Research Council.
U Buffalo Restores Quadrangle Using Sustainable Landscaping
The University at Buffalo (NY) has restored a 2.3-acre quadrangle with hardwoods, shrubs, ground covers and perennials native to Western New York state. Five rain gardens, along with porous asphalt paths that absorb rainwater, will limit the amount of rainwater entering city stormwater systems. In winter, the porous paving will absorb melting snow, reducing the need for salting walkways. The $1.8 million makeover is part of a longterm plan toward environmental sustainability and a dynamic campus conducive to learning and interacting among students, faculty and staff.
U Pretoria Creates Permaculture Garden
The University of Pretoria's (South Africa) Gordon Institute of Business Science has unveiled a permaculture food garden. Designed with the help of Food and Trees for Africa, the garden's utilization of urban space is a sustainable development initiative aimed at promoting corporate greening, food security and poverty alleviation. The garden is planted with a variety of organic vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, fruit trees and perennials.
Luther College Develops Campus Wetland Area
Luther College (IA) is collaborating with Winneshiek County to develop a wetland area on college property, to be completed this summer. The enhancement of the area with native wetland plant species will be an ongoing project of the college. The wetland project is intended to mitigate the adverse effects of two county bridge projects on other existing wetlands in Winneshiek County.
California State U San Bernardino Plans Water-wise Landscape
California State University, San Bernardino has partnered with its Water Resources Institute to construct the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation Garden, a water-wise demonstration landscape. Plans for the one-acre, water-efficient landscape will consider local water history and feature native and drought-tolerant plants.
U California Los Angeles Extension Students Plant Dry Garden
The Los Angeles Times recently featured a group of students in the University of California, Los Angeles Extension's Landscape Architecture and Horticulture certificate program. Led by Program Director Stephanie Landregan, the students planted the first successful dry garden on the University's campus in May. After seven months and five different plans, the 15- by 40-foot garden features water-efficient copper pinwheels, fox tail agave, and blue fescue.
5 Campuses Plant Trees to Celebrate Tree Campus USA Honor
Students and volunteers at Indiana University, American University (DC), the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo have planted several trees on their campuses in celebration of their recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA. In order to become a Tree Campus USA community, schools are required to meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement. Those standards are: have an established campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Saint Joseph’s College Receives 7,634-Acre Farm Donation
Saint Joseph’s College (IN) has received a gift of 7,634 acres of farm real estate. The deed of transfer prohibits the sale of the farm and requires the establishment of a conservation easement to protect environmentally important areas. 19 windmills are located on the farm and 13 more are planned for construction.
Emory U Unveils Forest Management Plan
Emory University (GA) has unveiled a Forest Management Plan to guide the preservation and regeneration of its forested areas, with an emphasis on ecological connectivity, a healthy forest ecosystem, and native biodiversity. Endorsed by the administration, the plan outlines a clear distinction between forest lands used for human activity and those to be left undisturbed. Among the plan’s goals are restoring the connectivity of Emory’s forests; developing a reforestation plan on campus; restoring and stabilizing stream banks; engaging in community outreach on the importance of forest ecosystems; and designating individual forest management plans for the University’s forest ecosystems, along with central campus areas..
Maharishi U Management Holds Controlled Burn on Campus
Maharishi University of Management (IA) recently held a number of controlled prairie burns to maintain the rare remnants of native prairie on campus and the areas where prairies are being reconstructed. According to the University, annual controlled burning mimics the natural prairie fires that once swept across the plains, warming the soil and encouraging a new round of plant growth from the roots up. It also keeps trees from taking over, and helps control nonnative invasive species.
Dickinson College Receives Grant for Watershed Protection
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has awarded Dickinson College’s (PA) Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) a grant of $30,000 for its ongoing watershed protection efforts. Through the grant, ALLARM provides technical assistance in the form of training, resources, mentoring, and quality control laboratory analysis for watershed organizations.
Canada College Builds House for Bats
Canada College (CA) has constructed a house for bats on a 10-foot pole near the campus' Facilities Maintenance Center. The house will benefit four bat species. The College plans to incorporate the bat house into its curriculum and into other learning opportunities.
Jamestown CC Named Tree Campus USA
Jamestown Community College (NY) has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. The recognition is given to campuses such as JCC that exude a dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.
3 Institutions Receive Tree Campus USA Recognition
Moraine Valley Community College (IL); the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith; and Auburn University (AL) have each been recognized as a 2009 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the second year in a row for their dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. Each campus met five required core standards of tree care and community engagement in 2009. Those requirements included the establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Emory U Plants Donated Oak Trees on Campus
Emory University (GA) has received a donation of 10 oak trees from the Select Sustainable Tree Trust. The oaks, identified as 'sustainable shade trees' by the Trust, are currently eight to 10 years old, and chosen for their long life capacities in urban settings. This planting is consistent with Emory's ongoing efforts to increase foliage on the campus under its "No Net Loss of Forest Canopy" policy, which replaces trees that have been previously removed.
Furman U, Kent State U Recognized as Tree Campus USA Universities
Furman University (SC) and Kent State University (OH) have each been recognized as a 2009 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the second year in a row for their dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. Each campus met five required core standards of tree care and community engagement in 2009. Those requirements included the establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Emory U Named Tree Campus USA
Emory University (GA) has been honored by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2009 Tree Campus USA University for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. Emory met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Princeton U Turns Campus Plant Waste into Mulch
Princeton University (NJ) has contracted with a local company to mulch its yard waste. In past years, campus yard waste was hauled off campus. Now, a local company collects the plant waste and turns it into mulch and soil for the campus to use. Only 2 percent of the waste is now taken off campus and the University has saved over $15,000 by not buying mulch from elsewhere.
U Dayton Transforms Brownfields
The University of Dayton (OH) has announced plans to revive hazardous brownfields left by the local NCR Corporation so that is can be used as new space for its campus expansion. The property was previously used for manufacturing and contamination, which was not at a level high enough to harm the community, was found in the ground waters.
Assam U Plants Trees On Campus
Students, faculty, and staff at Assam University (India) have declared their mission for the year to be "Green Campus Clean Campus." To help carry out this mission, students and professors have planted many saplings around campus.
Meredith College Plants Edible Landscape
Meredith College (NC) has planted an edible landscape on its campus grounds. A group of 20 students participated in the edible landscape planting, which features apples, plums, pomegranate, blackberries, raspberries, and kiwis.
Cornell U Recognized as Tree Campus USA
Cornell University (NY) has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus U.S.A. for its commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. The program honors campuses that practice sound campus forestry.
Maharishi U of Management Receives $18K for Prairie Restoration
Maharishi University of Management (IA) has received an $18,000 grant from the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund to reconstruct native prairie on 14 acres located on the center of campus. The three-year project will create native prairie parkland with a wide diversity of species, mown paths and borders, park benches, educational kiosks, and plant identification signs. Once established, the environmentally friendly landscaping will be maintained by annual controlled burns.
NY Times Covers Harvard U's Transition to Organic Fertilizers
The New York Times has published an article on Harvard University's (MA) transition to using organic fertilizers on campus. The institution, which aims to be fully organic on the 80 acres that it maintains within the next two years, has begun using compost to fertilize its grass, landscaping, and orchard in test plots across campus. Harvard found that the test plots are able to absorb and hold water, which has resulted in a 30 percent irrigation reduction. In addition, the campus is able to compost grass clippings, pruned branches, leaves, and other materials that were previously trucked off campus for $35,000 per year. Furthermore, Harvard is saving $10,000 per year by not having to buy fertilizers. The NYT article also gives basic instructions on how to begin using organic fertilizers.
Luther College to Restore 130 Acres of Native Habitat
Luther College (IA) has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to lease 130 acres into the Emergency Watershed Protection Program–Floodplain Easements. By entering the EWP-FPE program, Luther has agreed to permanently lease the 130 acres to the NRCS, promising to restore the native habitat of the bottomland and never develop or utilize the ground for cropland. Restoration of EWP-FPE sites includes seeding native plants, plugging drainage ditches, breaking and blocking tile lines, breaking diversions, and breaching existing flood control levees. Shallow water excavation work will also be done to enhance surface water environments and improve habitats for wetland-dependent wildlife species.
Middlebury College Launches 'No-Mow' Project
The Chronicle of Higher Education has posted a video on its Buildings & Grounds blog about a recent initiative at Middlebury College (VT) to reduce the number of times the College mows its lawn per year. The "No-Mow" project has lessened the amount of lawn Middlebury staff mow by 20 acres and has saved approximately 670 gallons of fuel. The post also mentions Cape Cod Community College (MA) which has begun a similar program.
U Idaho Partners to Restore Campus Creek
The University of Idaho and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, have signed a project partnership agreement to move forward with a Paradise Creek Ecosystem Restoration project. Design work will include new channel construction and development of access pathways for a portion of the creek that runs through the campus. Restoration aims to improve in-stream habitat, rebuild a continuous habitat corridor, and improve wildlife habitat along the identified sections of Paradise Creek. This work will provide future research opportunities and student learning experiences in bioremediation strategies for storm water run-off, planning, bioregional planning, landscape architecture, and long-term study of impacts and riparian habitats.
Central Piedmont CC Campuses Certified as Wildlife Habitat
The National Wildlife Federation has certified all six Central Piedmont Community College (NC) campuses as Certified Wildlife Habitat sites. NWF officials believe that accomplishment makes CPCC the first multi-campus community college in the country to certify the grounds of all its campus locations. To become a Certified Wildlife Habitat, spaces must include four essential elements: food, water, cover and places to raise young. Over the past two years, the CPCC community has collaborated to reach this goal on all six campuses; CPCC’s Harper Campus, became the sixth and final campus to receive certification in March 2009. In addition, CPCC’s Presidential Cabinet awarded its Center for Sustainability six $2,000 innovation grants to help each campus create and maintain its own unique wildlife habitat.
Wheaton College Plants Apple Orchard
Wheaton College (MA) has planted an apple orchard on its campus. The Murphy Apple Orchard features 60 trees and will be maintained by two student interns throughout the summer and three student employees during the academic year. The orchard's steering committee hopes to expand the orchard and create a produce exchange with local colleges in the future.
Doane College Crete Campus Certified as Wildlife Habitat
Doane College's (NE) Crete campus has been certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The designation recognizes the 300-acre campus for creating wildlife havens. Doane's student Wildlife and Conservation Organization chapter completed the application for the program, demonstrating the campus' food sources for wildlife, such as native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries and nectar; water sources like ponds and streams; wildlife cover, including thickets and birdhouses; places for wildlife to raise young, such as dense shrubs and vegetation; and sustainable gardening, including the use of mulch and compost. The certification program recognizes individuals and groups for creating landscapes that restore ecological balance and invite wild plants and animals to share the space.
Tufts U Pilots Composting Program
Tufts University (MA) has begun a month-long program aimed at educating students on composting. The program provides a volunteer at the campus' composting bin over lunch-time hours to educate customers about what can and cannot be composted. Approximately one half ton of food has been composted each day as part of the program. The decision on whether to continue to program will be based on the level of student interest observed throughout the program.
Waubonsee CC Earns Environmental Award
Waubonsee Community College (IL) has received an Outstanding Project Award from Trees Forever, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tree planting, prairie restoration, and watershed management. As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Trees Forever, the organization chose 20 outstanding environmental projects to honor. Waubonsee was honored for the wetland restoration efforts it has undertaken at its Sugar Grove Campus.
Bronx CC Plants 94 Trees
Bronx Community College (NY) has planted 94 trees on its campus as part of a larger New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program known as Greening the Bronx. NYSERDA, on behalf of New York City, is administering the $10 million Urban Reforestation project over ten years as part of a large-scale tree planting program and evaluation.