The 5th floor Wabash Rooftop Garden is ready and raring to go!
As of last week all of our vegetable and herb seedlings have been transplanted, the bounty of which will be donated to the Wabash Dining Center. The 2016 season’s homegrown items include kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and arugula, as well as a delectable selection of fresh herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary (sorry — not thyme, for all you Simon and Garfunkel fans), dill, cilantro, mint, oregano, and several kinds of basil. All of our veggie, herb, and companion plantings are of organic and/or heirloom varieties.
The rooftop garden is available for tours by appointment throughout the spring, summer, and fall. This summer we have already hosted two tours, the most recent of which brought student interns from a Chicago youth program called Calumet is My Backyard (CIMBY). CIMBY has been connecting high school students in the Calumet area to local urban nature for over fifteen years. In fact, Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies program boasts one of its majors, Yessenia Balcazar, as a former student of CIMBY, the environmental ethic of which is now carrying into her college career. On this tour, CIMBY students saw an example of the intersections of greenspace, food, and climate change mitigation as part of a sustainable campus tour here at RU.
The rooftop garden is also open to new and returning volunteers! Even if you’ve never gardened before, don’t be shy about volunteering this season — our rooftop is a great place for beginners and veterans, alike. This time of year we are focused on thinning plant growth, harvesting, and general watering and weeding. Also consider the garden as a site for class participation. In the past, biology classes have conducted soil sampling tests here. We enthusiastically welcome new and creative ideas for integrating this dually functioning campus greenspace and learning lab into academic activities.
If nothing else, visiting the rooftop garden is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and summer sun without ever leaving the building! For more information about volunteering or to schedule a tour, please contact Rebecca Quesnell, Sustainable Operations Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tiffany Mucci, Environmental Sustainability Intern, at email@example.com.