Take a Walk through Our Prairie

Interested in some exercise or a great outdoor spot for lunch? Take an on-campus stroll and admire the beautiful native flora and fauna now thriving on the restored prairie at the Schaumburg campus.  Keep your eye out for American Goldlfinch, damsel flies and flying grasshoppers!

Blooming in June on the Schaumburg campus prairie

See what’s blooming and thriving at the Roosevelt Campus Schamburg Prairie Walk

At just over ½ mile, the entire trek takes one through the restored prairie and the RUrbanPioneers Community Garden. If you bring your lunch, you’ll find picnic tables in the shade along the way.

Let us know what you find!

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Planters in Front of RU’S Auditorium Building

Layout of planters

Last week on Friday, August 14, two different species of plants were transplanted into the planters in front of Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Building on Michigan Avenue. The planters were empty just weeks ago, until the City of Chicago planted a tree in each planter. In early Spring the trees were temporarily removed for the NFL draft in which Roosevelt was involved with. Left barren for a while, the planters now have some RU color (green and white) and will continue to fill in.

Heuchera richardsonii, also known as Prairie Alumroot, was planted around the trees. This green, leafy plant is tolerant to dry soil. Additionally, it attracts numerous wildlife including butterflies, and other pollinators and wildlife. On day one of being planted, a butterfly landed on one of the leaves– I was caught off guard, but very excited to see such a memorizing sight!

Artemisia schmidtiana “Nana”, or Silver Mound Artemisia, is planted in the corners of the planters. While taking some time to adjust to the downtown environment, these plants are also doing fairly well and are tolerant of drier soil as too.

We hope for these plants to blossom into full effect in the planters, and help show our school pride!

Butterfly on Heuchera richardsonii

Butterfly on Heuchera richardsonii

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The Rooftop Garden’s Summer, Thus Far

IMG_0056 (1)The Roosevelt Wabash Rooftop Garden is still in swing as August begins, with another outdoor garden workday scheduled for tomorrow—Tuesday, August 3rd, from 9am-12pm. We are planning to harvest, water the garden, and make some repairs to the leaning trellis, as well as do some light weeding if time allows.

For the Spring/Summer of 2015 to date, we have harvested approximately 11 pounds of the following: collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, nasturtium, carrots, broccoli sprouts, radish sprouts, mint, thyme, basil, oregano, dill, cilantro, and rosemary!

This year has especially had its obstacles, with many unidentified pests making homes on the rooftop and grabbing their lunch in the garden plots, to days and days without rain, and to keeping up with production so the plants would not over grow and be past harvesting.

With the help of a handful of dedicated volunteers, we were able to take this summer (thus far) with a grain of salt and start thinking about how to do things differently in the coming years and growing seasons. Yes, seasons! Eventually, we would like to extend the time that the garden can produce—possibly by starting planting now for a late Fall 2015 harvest of some select vegetables.

We are always looking for ideas, comments, questions, and especially for volunteers!

If you would ever like to learn more, volunteer, take a tour, or implement the garden into your class, please feel free to contact Rebecca Quesnell at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

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Article in ChicagoInno Showcases Roosevelt University’s Sustainability Efforts

At Roosevelt University we are extremely proud of our sustainability efforts.  This past Monday, Karis Hustad, staff writer at ChicagoInno, was able to join us at our downtown campus for a tour.  Paul Matthews, Assistant Vice President of Operations, and Rebecca Quesnell, Sustainability Operations Manager showed Hustad the campus and our sustainability efforts.   Thanks to Laura Janota, Director of Public Relations here at Roosevelt University, for securing the reporter.  Check out the article here:  http://chicagoinno.streetwise.co/2015/07/20/urban-farming-roosevelt-university-utilizes-vertical-space/

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6/10 of a Mile Nature Walk

Native Prairie at the Schaumburg Campus

Native Prairie at the Schaumburg Campus

Roosevelt University’s Schuamburg campus’ nature walk is in full bloom.  Take a walk through the native prairie, and enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna.  A path has been carved out just for you!  Biodiversity is impressive, and the view is stunning.  If you are focused, you can see some remarkable wildlife – from American Goldfinches, cottontails, and damselflies and dragonflies, to the American Toad.  Bees are buzzing around too, enjoying the many flower species available to them.  The trek is 6/10 of a mile, and will give you a glimpse of the RurbanPioneers Community Garden.  We’d love to hear what you discover!

Bluet in the RUrbanPioneers Community Garden

Bluet in the RUrbanPioneers Community Garden

For more information, contact Sarah Tag, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate (sfisher@roosevelt.edu).

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Discounted Staff and Faculty DIVVY Memberships

DIVVY Bikes AUDBack in June, Roosevelt Staff and Faculty became eligible for a discounted, year-long DIVVY membership. With the discount applied, RU Staff and Faculty pay $65 (versus the standard $75) for DIVVY memberships. It’s easy to get, and even easier to use. Use DIVVY for leisure with friends, trips to the store, and to get around the city for just about anything! Follow the steps below, and if you have any questions please feel free to contact Rebecca at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

  1. Using your RU I.D., stop into the Physical Resources Department in Wabash Room B16 to obtain a one-use code
  2. Log-on to divvybikes.com/signup
  3. Enter your information to create an account
  4. Enter the code provided to you by Physical Resources under “Redeem a Gift Certificate”
  5. A key will be mailed to your address (that you provide when signing up online) within a week, and then you can start using your discounted DIVVY membership

Also note that your membership will automatically renew and you will need to log-in to your DIVVY account settings or call DIVVY if you do not want your membership to automatically renew when it expires after a year.

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Congrats RU Bike2Campus Winners of 2015

Diana Zak (Asst to Chair Psychology) recorded 12 trips for the week and was our 1st place winner!

Diana Zak: 1st place winner with 12 trips!

Although belated, I am very excited to announce the results of the Bike2Campus competition that took place April 20th-24th!

Steven Monserud: 2nd place winner with 8 trips!

Steven Monserud: 2nd place winner with 8 trips!

Last year (2014) there was one RU participant in the Bike2Campus competition, but this year there were five participants from Roosevelt. Roosevelt is one University among twelve in the Chicagoland area that participate in Bike2Campus Week. Held during Earth Week in April, the concept of Bike2Campus week is to promote sustainable transportation in the Chicago urban environment. Part competition and part challenge, Bike2Campus includes riding, recording, and winning rewards—better yet, it is not solely limited to riding one’s bike to campus; rather, students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to record any bike trips they take that whole week.

Mike Bryson: 3rd place winner with 6 trips!

Mike Bryson: 3rd place winner with 6 trips!

This year, Roosevelt’s winners were as follows: Diana Zak (Assistant Chair of Psychology at RU); Steven Monserud (Director of Accounting/Reporting at RU); Mike Bryson (Professor of Humanities and Director of Sustainability Studies at RU); Susan Weiner (Professor of Biology at RU); and Wilfredo Urbina Romero (Professor of Mathematics at RU). Each participant got to choose their prizes which were received from week-long sponsors including, but not limited to the following: DIVVY, Chipotle, Planet Bike, Kyroptonite, and many more.

Please give congratulations to these individuals if you happen to see them at all, and for more information on Bike2Campus week, visit http://www.bike2campus.com/

Wilfredo Urbina Romero (and his daughter): 4th place winner with 4 trips!

Wilfredo Urbina Romero (and his daughter): 4th place winner with 4 trips!

Susan Weiner: 4th place winner with 4 trips!

Susan Weiner: 4th place winner with 4 trips!

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Initial Summer Rooftop Garden Harvesting & Involvement

IMG_20150623_144131_505

Volunteers Maria Cancilla (SUST student), Chris McDonald (Political Science student), and Bethany Barratt (Professor of Political Science at RU) during an outdoor workday.

The outdoor rooftop garden, located on the 5th floor of Roosevelt University’s Wabash building, is ready for volunteer involvement, tours, class involvement, and more! With the help of six different volunteers thus far this summer, the garden is looking fantastic, and will continue to produce food for the Wabash dining center. So far, we have harvested 3.6 pounds of collard greens, 1.2 pounds of spinach, and .7 pounds of peppery arugula, dill, cilantro, and more spinach combined. The swiss chard and lettuce will be ready for harvest soon, too.

Importantly, however, more involvement is needed. We have been focusing on planting from seed, transplanting, thinning existing plots, pulling weeds, attempting to eradicate a slug problem, harvesting, and watering when necessary. But we need extra help on those work days to lighten the load of current volunteers.

IMG_20150623_134437_274

First harvest of the 2015 summer- 3.6 pounds of collard greens for the Wabash dining center.

Major involvement with the garden began back in November when meetings started in order to bring all those interested together for the planning process. From there, we took our ideas, began planting indoors in February, and then transplanted our seedlings outdoors. There are big ideas and goals for this garden as the third year of the garden matures, but involvement is key—not only that, but there are so many ways to get involved! We have had several focus groups for the garden including, but not limited to, the following: plant profiling, research on beneficial plants, indoor planting, outdoor planting, outreach, signage, vermiculture, seed saving, etc. Additionally, many classes have taken tours of the garden during various seasons, and some garden implementation in classes has also taken place.

So don’t be shy—join us for one of our workdays next week on Tuesday, July 7th, 12pm-3pm and Wednesday, July 8th, 12:30pm-3pm on the 5th floor of Wabash through the workout center. Workdays are open to all! Feel free to bring your lunch, bring a friend, or even just stop by to check things out if you are interested.

If you have any interest with getting involved with the garden in any way, please contact Rebecca at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

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