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!

Posted in Uncategorized

The Lights Off Event is Coming Soon


Don’t forget that the Earth Hour Lights Off Event is this Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30pm-9:30pm. Take time and turn your lights off for an hour and reflect on how energy and resources have a huge role in everyday life.

For instance, I am tracking my carbon footprint for my SUST 310: Energy and Climate Change class here at RU. I have done this at least twice in my academic career, and each time it amazes me at how dependent I am on energy. Though I try to use natural lighting in my room during the day, I still work on homework late into the night when there is no natural lighting and flipping the switch is the only option to have light. I take the stairs as much as possible, but I live on the 13th floor and so I use the elevator whenever I need to go from my room to the first or second floor. I prefer hot showers to cold ones, and in order for the water to be warm, energy must be used.

I am a SUST student, and while I try to keep sustainable practices at the core of my heart, the truth is that I am also dependent on energy in my everyday life. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but it is definitely essential to note our dependencies and reflect on how we might be able to reduce our energy consumption. Whether it is turning your lights off for an hour, investing in sustainable and renewable energy, taking shorter showers, using natural lighting, using the stairs whenever possible, and more, it still makes a difference and it helps to rewire our brains into thinking instead of just doing.

So take a long shot and turn your lights off for an hour on Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30-9:30pm. Reflect and Think. And be the change you would like to see, for massive change starts on a much smaller level.

Posted in Uncategorized

Earth Hour Lights Off Event, 2015


On Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30pm-9:30pm, Roosevelt University will proudly join 162 countries and territories worldwide in the famous Earth Hour Lights Off Event, 2015.

Earth Hour, a nonprofit organization out of Singapore, was originally started as a Lights Out Event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. This organization has the goal of uniting people from all walks of life to help combat global climate change through solidarity. This is an iconic event that Roosevelt has participated in the past few years, and we hope that students, faculty, and staff will join in this movement too!

Accept this challenge, and turn your lights off for an hour- you can make it your one hour break from homework, turn it into a dance party, meditate, breathe, or simply close your eyes and take a nap. But don’t forget, this isn’t JUST about turning lights off for an hour- it is also about becoming more aware of how we depend on and react with everyday essentials that also impact our environment in potentially negative ways. An hour is not long, but we hope that it is long enough to have students, faculty, and staff stop and think and become encouraged to go beyond the hour, and incorporate sustainability into everyday life.

Get to know About Earth Hour and check out the Earth Hour 2014 Report by visiting http://www.earthhour.org/ . And don’t forget to check out some mind-provoking blogs on the Earth Hour Blog.

Posted in Uncategorized

Call For RUrbanPioneers Community Gardeners!

SCH Garden

My name is Mary Rasic and I am a Sustainability student and Environmental Sustainability Associate for Physical Resources Department at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus.

I am coordinating Roosevelt University’s RUrbanPioneer Community Garden for the 2015 growing season. This is our third year and we are excited to get started.

Everyone interested in access to fresh, organic produce is welcome to participate. Garden members tend their own garden and participate in community tasks from early spring through November.

Last year, we installed a drip irrigation system making each plot customizable to suit individual gardeners’ needs. We continue to learn and experiment with procedures, techniques, and equipment to make for a sustainable gardening. We’d love to hear your suggestions to improve upon previous seasons.

Please let me know if you’re interested in reserving a plot ASAP – assignments will be given on a “first-come-first-serve” basis.

Our goal is to finalize plot assignments by March 20th.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at Mrasic02@roosevelt.edu if you have any questions.

Posted in Uncategorized

IAEP Student Career Conference @ DePaul University

On Saturday, January 24, 2015, The Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals (IAEP) hosted its annual Student Career Conference at DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

The IAEP is a society of professionals who work unswervingly to enhance our global environment. It serves to connect specialists in business, government and education in the fields of environmental planning, research, management, and evaluation. The society also offers certificate programs and awards research grants to students enrolled in environmental programs.

The purpose of the IAEP Student Career Conference is to deliver information about the benefits of professional organizations and internships, and teach the next professional generation how to network and build a CV/resume.

Versatile students from several colleges near Chicago, had the opportunity to network, explore career options within various sectors, and get a personalized resume review from each of the following speakers:

Robert P. Sliwinski, M.S. CPESC – Senior Wildlife Biologist, Christopher B. Burke Engineering Inc. and President of the Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals

James E. Huff, P.E. – Owner of Huff & Huff, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

George P. Nassos – Principal of George P. Nassos & Associates, a consulting company focusing on renewable energy and environmental sustainability

Mary Rasic, Sustainability Studies student at Roosevelt University, attended the IAEP Conference and reported back with optimistic reflections. The main takeaway was Dr. Nassos’ discussion concerning why sustainability should be more of a culture, imbedded in the business and politics of our country. From his lecture, Mary noted that most corporations focus on 3-month economic returns, whereas, sustainability has more long-term investments. The global economy, namely the U.S., needs a business strategy for natural resources by employing sustainability in business courses. Nassos proposed some ways that the government could regulate our resources, such as, applying a carbon tax to influence entities to conserve and explore alternative energy sources.

Dr. Nassos concluded his lecture on a powerful note – he said that there are many individuals who do not believe in global warming. Worse yet – there are people that consider it a possibility, but disregard the evidence because they likely won’t be around for the repercussions. Nassos’ response to that viewpoint:

“Say nothing happens, carbon emissions are a hoax and the world will be fine…But say that all the scientific predictions are accurate… wouldn’t you rather contribute to the solution while the opportunity exists instead of later regretting what you didn’t do, when it’s too late”?

Posted in Uncategorized

22 Ash trees removed from Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus

Removed Ash Tree - SCH

Over winter break, The Care of Trees removed 22 Ash trees from Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus, due to the Emerald Ash Borer. The trees were pulverized into mulch and will be reused on campus, as doing so will conserve soil moisture, impede weed growth, reduce soil erosion, limit salt build-up, protect plant roots from traffic, moderate soil temperatures, and improve soil fertility and structure.

Environmental Sustainability Associate and Sustainability student, Mary Rasic, is presently working with arborist and landscape expert, Bill Bedrossian, to select native replacements for many of the removed trees. Roosevelt plans to purchase various replacements from Possibility Place Nursery, because they specialize in growing native trees and shrubs that are indigenous to Northern Illinois. Ninety percent of their plants’ seed are collected in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa; therefore, they are better adapted to the Chicago climate than plants grown from seed collected further east and south.

Possibility Place Nursery does not use chemicals (such as copper), insecticides, miticides, or fungicide sprays. They do use post- and pre- emergent herbicides and organic fertilizers. After seeds are collected, they are taken through several growing steps in a system that encourages fibrous roots. Seeds are put in flats with wire bottoms, and then placed on benches with wire tops. As the seed germinates, the roots grow through the wire into air. The root tips dry out and die. This encourages the production of more roots. The seedling is then placed in half pints that mechanically direct the roots toward air holes. Roots grow through the air holes, and the root tips again dry out and die. Finally, the plants in half pints are then planted in gallon containers to repeat the process again. A fibrous root system is key to the establishment of vigorous growth of a plant. A tree or shrub with a fibrous root system not only transplants well but thrives.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Springtime, is a busy time!

While everyday in the Physical Resources Department is a busy day, Springtime presents an especially busy and exciting time! Although it can still be a bit nippy out at the start of the season, lots of changes take place and several events occur that make up for the cold and pursuant, yet disappearing cold. Earth Week and Bike2Campus Week, both during the week of April 19th-25th, are two big events that occur during this season, and they are both open to the whole RU community for participation. Last year was more laid back then this year will be, as we have great ideas and ambition for 2015. While brainstorming has started for what Earth Week/ Bike2Campus events will look like, ideas and suggestions are more than welcome. Not only that, but it is important to hear what students, faculty, and staff would be interested in doing and would like to see, as these events are set up for that very audience.

Bike2Campus lasts the whole week and is open to everyone. This event takes place during Earth Week to encourage sustainability and, more specifically, bike riding to and around campus. Prizes are awarded to those who ride their bikes the most during that week.

As for the rest of the day-to-day Earth Week events, there are many ideas floating around. One idea is to have a RU Wabash Rooftop Garden Planting Day. Last year was similar in this regard, as we had two planting days on the rooftop. It is a wonderful way to relax and unwind a little before the week of finals and graduation. Additionally, there has been talk about a film screening day. There are several dozen films to choose from, but it would essentially be a documentary of some type, focused on sustainability. Better yet, we are aiming to get a quest speaker there to lead a panel discussion after the screening! Lastly, we want to do potential workshop days that involve planting and repurposing, and a possible competition with prizes for the most sustainable participants. Again, these are just ideas though and what we really want to know is: what would you like to see happening during that week?

Check out this blog post from Spring of 2014: Earth Week and Bike2Campus Week, What?!

If you have any ideas, feel free to email Environmental Sustainability Student Associate Rebecca Quesnell at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu, or stop by the Physical Resources Department in Wabash B16.

Posted in Uncategorized

Great Success for Rooftop Garden Meeting Kickoff

Rooftop Garden Pics 007

On Friday, November 7th, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate Rebecca Quesnell, in collaboration with Roosevelt University’s Physical Resources Department, hosted the first Wabash Rooftop Garden planning meeting of its kind. The meeting was developed in an attempt to involve the RU community, which includes faculty, staff, and students, in the Rooftop Garden planning for Spring ’15. The meeting was a huge success considering it was the first of its kind and a total of six were present at the meeting. Several others have expressed interest in getting involved with the planning for this coming Spring as well, so as of now there are about a total of twelve individuals interested. This is wonderful considering that student associates come and go and graduate. If there is more RU community involvement, we can have a strong garden just as the one out at the Schaumburg campus is.

This initial kickoff meeting included briefly going over background information on the garden, as well as delving into the focus for Spring of ’15, which then lead into a group discussion, and ended with next steps for the garden. Wonderful ideas and suggestions were brought up during the meeting, and it is very exciting to know that involvement is already flourishing for this coming year. One major idea that was brought up during the meeting revolved around starting the plants indoors. This past Spring was cooler than it was warm and plantings were done early in the Spring due to certain circumstances. As such, it cannot hurt to start the seedlings inside and then transplant them when the weather warms up so that there can be optimum success with the garden this coming year!

If you have any interest in getting involved with the garden, please feel free to contact myself, Rebecca Quesnell, at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu, or feel free to stop by the Physical Resources Department in Wabash B16.

To check out another recent blog post on the Wabash rooftop garden, check out the following link:

Posted in Uncategorized

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 364 other followers