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Rain Gardens Continue To Spread Across Campus

By Justin Hardesty; For The Clock
On March 28, 2016

Rain Gardens Continue To Spread Across Campus

Justin Hardesty

For The Clock

In the fall semester of 2016, students in the Sustainability in Residences course will implement a landscape design that restores ecological services to the south side of ALLWell North. The ecological design implementation will boast habitats with native plants, including fruits, herbs, and medicinal plants.

The creation of rain gardens throughout campus began when Physical Plant reached out to professor Steve Whitman early in 2015. “Arguably, one of the neatest aspects of this project is the collaboration between PSU students, professors, and Physical Plant staff. During the actual physical grunt work of re-shaping the garden, and planting the vegetation, energy levels on-site were high, and everyone shared the same excitement for what is to come,” said student, Liza Tetley.

Rain gardens are a form of storm water management that slows the movement of surface water and infiltrates it into the soil. This allows for the collecting of pollutants that would otherwise make their way to the Pemigewasset River. The first rain garden was implemented next to Lamson Library.

The garden was designed by students in Introduction to Permaculture, and reviewed by Sherri Covell and revised and implemented with help from students in the fall 2015 course Sustainability in Residences. This marked the first collaboration between Physical Plant and university students.

“As an instructor I am really excited to create hands on learning experiences for our students. The partnership with Physical Plant staff allows us to expand the classroom experience, implement positive ecological changes on campus, and deepen the students understanding of the issues at hand” said Whitman.

Planning for the ALLWell North implementation began in the fall of 2014, when students reviewed the construction plans and provided feedback based on knowledge gained from their Environmental Planning course.

The implementation of rain gardens at Lamson Library and ALLWell North are the beginning of a campus wide initiative. Future goals envision rain gardens and other forms of storm water management across the campus. This will help build a more sustainable campus while limiting pollutants that enter or rivers and creating new visually appealing sites on campus.

“I think this project is just a glimpse of the future here at PSU. It goes to show that when we take an interdisciplinary approach to issues on campus, and participants from all different sorts of backgrounds come together, we have the power to create really awesome, cutting-edge learning opportunities and outcomes,” said Tetley.

Professor, Steven Whitman, and Christian Bisson give input to students before beginning site analysis.
Class: Intro to permaculture 


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