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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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

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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.

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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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Herb Garden at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus Ready for Picking

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Oregano at the Schaumburg Campus Herb Garden

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Spearmint at the Schaumburg Campus Herb Garden

Thanks to the plentiful rain that we’ve been receiving here in Schaumburg, and all around the Chicagoland area, many plants are thriving!  This includes our beautiful stock at the Herb Garden at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus.   We invite you to help yourselves.  Take a snip of some fresh chives to add to a crunchy salad.  Enjoy some fresh basil on a sandwich!  Take a pinch of spearmint for a relaxing mojito (make it virgin if you are under 21!).  Use oregano for a fantastic sauce!

We also have fresh lavender, thyme and more!  Stop by today and cook up something exciting for dinner.  What could be better than chemical free, locally grown, fresh herbs in your meal?

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

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Posted in food, RUrbanPioneers

Belated & Extravagant Earth Week & Bike2Campus Recap

This year’s Earth Week events were a huge success and I am proud to say that involvement increased from last year, and new faces got their hands dirty with fun events!

Screening Pic1Monday, April 20th:  A total of 9 students and faculty gathered for a small screening and panel discussion that revolved around the issue of plastic islands in the ocean. While films like this can sometimes bring people down as they realize all the work to be done out there, it also encompasses the opportunity to find strength in struggles and make changes in the way we do things. As we held a small panel discussion after the film, we brought up several themes seen in the movie and connected those themes to larger, ongoing issues, and focused on how we can harness energy in different ways and ultimately invoke change.

Kramer's Pic7Tuesday, April 21st: Six RU students participated in the Kramer’s Health Foods Free Tasting & Seminar! Kramer’s is located just a few short blocks away from the RU Wabash building and they have been in the downtown area since 1936. Students at this event were able to try different juices and foods from the vegetarian café located upstairs of the storefront. Additionally, we were all able to learn about the benefits of juicing and cutting at least some meat out of one’s diet. After, a staff member of the Vegetarian Café gave us a bike maintenance and safety demonstration as well—which was extremely informative and from a biker’s point of view.

As the second event of the day, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosted a Chicago Bike Ambassadors Workshop. This event was open to Roosevelt, Colombia, and SAIC students. While I was the only student from RU to attend, the event had good turnout from SAIC. This event focused on safely riding your bike in Chicago, how to chain you bike up, and more.

Wednesday, April 22nd: There was great turn-out this day as students, staff, and faculty from around RU came to both Symposium Pic1support and listen to the internship experiences of four SUST students. There was pleasant hobnobbing and the presentations invoked curiosity and questions during Q & A.

Thursday, April 23rd: A total of 12 students were involved in the Rooftop Garden Workday in the following ways: cleaning up litter, pulling weeds, loosening up soil, putting together a trellis, and moving a couple of plots around. While it was chilly for part of the morning, the sun eventually came out and the crisp air was more than refreshing.

Garden Workday Pic1During the Garden and Games event later in the evening, five students participated. There was food, games, and more. We all went for the food, started decorating small pots with marker paint, filled them with soil, and planted different seeds to take home with us and watch grow. It was a fun and relaxing get together to be at, especially with finals approaching.

Friday, April 24th: On April 24th, 2015, in celebration of Arbor Day, a joyous and helpful groupArbor Day Pic7 of kids, from Bright Horizons, helped plant 13 fruit trees next to the RUrban Pioneers Community Garden at the Schaumburg Campus. Bill Bedrossian from Bedrock Earthscapes did a remarkable job demonstrating the planting process and the kids had a great time digging, mulching, and watering.  The permaculture food forest contains the following:  Intrepid Peach, Redhaven Peach, 2 Montmonercy Cherry, a 2-In-1 Shiro & Redheart Plum, 2 Paw Paw, Starkling Delicious Pear, Moonglow Pear, Sunglow Nectarine, Candycrisp Apple, Suncrisp Apple, and Starcrimson Gala Apple.

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