Wabash Rooftop Garden: Fall Season Update

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WB Rooftop Garden: Fall 2016 Final Season Update:

On October 27th, garden volunteers have teamed up for one last harvest on Roosevelt University’s Wabash Rooftop Garden. We were able to collect 6.6 lbs. of produce to send to the Wabash Dining Center. The last harvest consisted of lacianto kale, rainbow and green chard, Italian basil, rosemary, sage, mint and much more.

This season the garden has been in full swing this year with the help of many students and faculty members of Roosevelt community. With the helpful hand of everyone we were able to bring a total of 30.32 pounds of produce in!

The cold has crept up, the snow has landed and winter is finally here and the garden is official closed for the season. If you’d like to get involved for next season in all aspects of the garden involving the designing of the garden, profiling plants or starting seeds indoor please contact:

Akilah Mitchell, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate, at amitchell14@roosevelt.edu

 

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The Princeton Review Guide: 2016 Green College Recognition

As of Novemeber 8th, 2016, we have been recognized by The Princeton Review Guide as a Green College and University in the United States.

The Princeton Review Guide tallies the amount of sustainability institutional data obtained from colleges. The green system rating considers the percentage of sustainable  food expenditures, transportation program for students and faculty members, sustainability committee that’s devoted to advance sustainability issues and programs on campus and the schools overall waste diversion rate.

Since last year’s review, our efforts for sustainability has increased drastically. This year RU’s most recognizable accomplishment is our waste diversion percentage has increased from 23% in 2015 to 34% in 2016. That’s an increase by 11% within a year. We have available transportation programs for all students and faculty, our food budget that’s spent on local/organic food is 20%. Lastly, the programs offered at Roosevelt to get students and faculty involved in campus sustainability such as the Environmental Sustainable Committee that dedicates its efforts in the development of sustainability at Roosevelt.

 

Author: Akilah Mitchell, Environmental Sustainability Intern

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Roosevelt Medicinal Plant Garden

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Volunteers in action, planting the Medicinal Plant Garden (Photo: N. Waskowski, 2016).

On June 23rd Roosevelt broke ground on its newest addition to the Schaumburg Campus, as part of using the campus as a learning and living laboratory. Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy, in conjunction with Campus Planning & Operations and with support from Complete Landscaping LLC., repurposed the F quad courtyard to create the Roosevelt Medicinal Plant Garden.

The mission of the project is to provide the College of Pharmacy with high quality medicinal plants to be used in lab experiments. The long term goal is to produce new homeopathic treatments and the next generation of pharmaceuticals. This project was made possible with the generous help from Complete Landscaping LLC., as they donated time and the plants to RU; plants which run the gambit from classic old world medicinal plants, such as St. John’s Wort, to new world ones such as the iconic Echinacea (Purple Coneflower).  The garden was planted with support by volunteers from the College of Pharmacy, Campus Planning & Operations and Paul Gange of Complete Landscaping LLC.  We are very excited to start utilizing the Medicinal Plant Garden as a ‘Living Lab’ experience.

 

~Author, Nicholas Waskowski, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate| Roosevelt University, Schaumburg Campus Planning and Operations. ~

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“Sweeter than Sugar” Bee Apiary

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Two bee hives, installed on Roosevelt’s Schaumburg Campus in July 2016. (Photo: N. Waskowski, 2016).

In July 2016, Roosevelt University expanded its “Living and Learning Labs” with the addition of an apiary to the Schaumburg Campus. Affirming the University’s’ mission to support social justice and sustainability, Roosevelt made this addition by partnering with Sweet Beginnings LLC., a subsidiary of the North Lawndale Employment Network.

 

This partnership helps renew our community by providing skills and work for citizens reentering the workforce. This partnership also provides living space for the hardest working insects and the lynchpin of your food system: Apis mellifera, aka, the noble honey bee. This mighty insect is responsible for pollinating up to 1/3 of our fruits and vegetables. Despite the honey bee’s central role to global agriculture, Apis mellifera is under siege worldwide, from colony collapse disorder and loss of habitat. These mighty flyers will reinvigorate the surrounding environment around RU and promote a healthy and balanced biotic community.

Presently, Roosevelt’s Schaumburg Campus is home to two hives with hopes to increase the amount in the future. The apiary can be spotted from the prairie path, near the community garden, so if you’re curious we invite you to come visit. Please be aware that the bees are protective of their homes so please stay back from the hives/do not provoke the bees, and every party will be just fine.
~Author, Nicholas Waskowski, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate| Roosevelt University, Schaumburg Campus Planning and Operations. ~

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WB Rooftop Garden: 2016 Season Update

We, the Wabash Rooftop Gardeners, are pleased to report that despite an admittedly late start to our 2016 growing season, our plants are healthy, robust, and productive. This summer’s crops consist of a wide variety of fresh herbs and greens which, as of last week, are being used in our own Dining Center’s culinary delights. So far, our 2016-season harvests have weighed in at a total of 3.10 pounds.

Tending to the garden, RU style. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

Tending to the garden, RU style. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

Currently, our most productive plants are the Italian large leaf basil and arugula. Like basil, arugula is used in many Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Though it isn’t considered an herb, its tender and mildly spicy leaves add a pop of flavor to salads, sandwiches, pizza, and more. Other herbaceous pickings that are making their way from our garden to your plates are dill, parsley, oregano, cilantro, mint, and lime basil (a sweetly aromatic variety that was specially requested by the Dining Center). Very soon we will also be harvesting organic and heirloom varieties of Swiss chard, collard greens, and kale, all of which have long growing seasons which extend into the late fall.

Our first 2016 garden haul: arugula, kale, and an aromatic assortment of fresh herbs. (Photo: R. Quesnell, 2016)

Our first 2016 garden haul: arugula, kale, and an aromatic assortment of fresh herbs. (Photo: R. Quesnell, 2016)

Besides vegetables and gardeners, the rooftop has attracted some other resident life forms. Insects, of course, have made themselves perfectly at home — the most populous being a bouncing generation of grasshoppers. We have also noticed, in the past few weeks, a family of house sparrows is often perched on the ledges or quietly poking around the plots. While there’s no nest in clear sight, there is reward in knowing that our rooftop garden offers a welcome oasis to city dwellers of the winged kind.

A family of house sparrows perches on the garden wall. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

A family of house sparrows perches on the garden wall. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

Interested in joining our team of Wabash Rooftop Gardeners? Contact Environmental Sustainability Intern Tiffany Mucci, at tmucci@roosevelt.edu.

Author: Tiffany Mucci, Environmental Sustainability Intern

A grasshopper poses near the basil. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

A grasshopper poses near the basil. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

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Move-Out Donation Drive Promotes Environmental Awareness, Earns Cash

Savers logoThis past May, Roosevelt University ran a Move-Out Donation Drive as students emptied their dorms between May 4th and 13th. The donation drive was sponsored by Campus Planning and Operations, Residence Life, and Savers, a thrift retailer. The numbers are in, and we are proud to announce that the program was a great success!

A whopping 960 pounds of unwanted goods were prevented from entering landfills. Acceptable items included clothing, shoes, accessories, books, linens, and other household goods, which will be resold in Savers stores and reused by families throughout Chicagoland. Due to Roosevelt being a non-profit university, Savers purchased all donated items on a per-pound basis: 20¢ per pound of soft goods, and 5¢ per pound of hard goods. By simply dropping off their gently used items in the Residence Life Lounge Area, student donations earned our institution a total of $171.30. Not a bad deposit to our piggybank in exchange for unwanted belongings!

This was our first donation drive with Savers, and in light of its success, Campus Planning and Operations hopes to grow the program in the future as an opportunity to reduce waste, reuse existing items, and increase environmental awareness on campus.

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Royalty on the Wing: Monarch Waystations

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This spring Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus was recognized as a Monarch Waystation. This certification indicates that RU is dedicated to creating and maintaining a healthy environment not only for the RU community, but the entire biotic community. This accreditation has gone hand and hand with the ongoing transformation of the Schaumburg Campus to native prairie plants and trees. The main requirement for the award is to provide adequate food for the Monarchs (Danaus plexippus), and Monarchs like to eat one thing above all else: milkweed. Specifically, Asclepias syriaca or (Common) Milkweed is their main food source, accounts for 90 percent of their diet, and it also provides Monarchs with an added defense: it makes them poisonous to predator such as birds and other small animals. The Monarchs need all the Milkweed they can get, not only because it is their main food source but because the need a series of Waystations through the entirety of their habitat from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico a distance of roughly 3,000 miles.  It should be mentioned that the toxicity of Monarchs’ is not enough to kill a bird such as the American Robin, but it makes Monarchs unappealing as a food source. Milkweed is also to thank for the brilliant coloring of Monarchs throughout their lifecycle, which is an advertisement of the poison.  This colorful warning is so effect that another butterfly the Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) has evolved to mimic the Monarch’s coloring even though it isn’t poisonous. So come take a layover this summer at RU in Schaumburg we encourage you to enjoy and utilize the prairie restoration at the Schaumburg Campus, by taking a walk on ‘The Prairie Walk’.  Who knows, maybe you’ll see some Monarchs touching down at a Waystation during their epic 3,000 mile migration and be inspired to create your own Waystation.

Monarchs above.


The Viceroy( above) can be distinguished from the Monarch by the black bow shaped band on their inner set of wings.

 

~Author, Nicholas Waskowski~

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If a butterfly can visit our rooftop garden on the 5th floor of Wabash, so can you:) Please join us for a harvest day tomorrow from 9:30am-12pm. All are welcome, even just to check things out! Email rquesnell@roosevelt.edu with questions
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