The Sustainability team at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus teamed up in late June to install the first-ever drip irrigation in the community garden.
Previously, water barrels were filled and irrigation consisted of hand-carried buckets, a time intensive practice.
Two years in the making, Sustainability interns Mary Beth Radeck, Kevin Markowski and Mary Rasic partnered with Pedro Perez, Chief Engineer at Schaumburg to plan and execute this improvement. The team expects to save up to 50% of the water used to irrigate the garden this year—reducing the effort and costs of irrigation, but also improving the environment, too.
Drip irrigation delivers water slowly, at low pressure near the plant’s roots so that none is wasted and less water evaporates. Usually used with flower beds and gardens or hard to water areas, drip is more efficient and effective than spray irrigation, and much more precise by allowing maximum control over how much water is given to each individual plant. Control of the water reduces runoff and erosion, as well.
A drip system is easy to install and even available at local home improvement centers such as Home Depot. Every garden should have one, especially as water costs rise and the risks to Lake Michigan water levels continue.