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A Guide to Getting Your Hands Dirty: How Campus Green Spaces Promote Real World Problem Solving. By Kevin Martini Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI. What are campus Green Spaces?. Enabling Structures at WMU:. WMU  Office  for  Sustainability: Mission.

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A guide to getting your hands dirty how campus green spaces promote real world problem solving

A Guide to Getting Your Hands Dirty:How Campus Green Spaces Promote Real World Problem Solving

By Kevin Martini

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo MI




Wmu office for sustainability mission
WMU  Office  for  Sustainability: Mission

The missionof the Office for Sustainability  is to guide and assist the Western Michigan University community in fulfilling and growing  its sustainability commitments. Through  building a diverse and flourishing learning  community around sustainability, we will continually explore and develop new opportunities to create a culture of sustainability and improve quality of life for all.


Campus

Food Waste

Cargo

Bikes

Student Farm

Campus

Food

Vermicompost


Current case studies from wmu
Current Case Studies from WMU

  • Greenspace Projects undertaken include:

    • Native Landscape Demonstration Garden

    • Community Gardens

    • Student Farm

    • Greenhouse Winter herbs

    • Integrated Pest Management

    • Grafting Feasibility Test

    • Vermicompost Post-Consumer Waste Reduction Pilot


Native landscape demonstration garden
Native Landscape Demonstration Garden

  • Size: 8 beds

  • Edibles: Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Thyme, Hops

  • Duration: 2 years

  • Cooperation with: Americorps, Landscape Services, Biological Sciences


Native landscape demonstration garden1
Native Landscape Demonstration Garden

  • Size: 8 beds

  • Edibles: Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Thyme, hops

  • Duration: 2 years

  • Cooperation with: Americorps, Landscape Services, Biological Sciences


Native landscape demonstration garden2
Native Landscape Demonstration Garden

  • Size: 8 beds

  • Edibles: Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Thyme, hops

  • Duration: 2 years

  • Cooperation with: Americorps, Landscape Services, Biological Sciences


Native landscape demonstration garden3
Native Landscape Demonstration Garden

  • Size: 8 beds

  • Edibles: Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Thyme, hops

  • Duration: 2 years

  • Cooperation with: Americorps, Landscape Services, Biological Sciences


Community gardens
Community Gardens

  • Size: ~2,000 square feet

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Crops: Corn, Arugula, Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Turnips, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Eggplants, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomatillo, Okra

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, SeedsaversExchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International

  • Examples of classroom Skills Enhanced: Geography, Environmental Studies, Biology,Botany


Community gardens1
Community Gardens

  • Size: ~2,000 square feet

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Crops: Corn, Arugula, Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Turnips, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Eggplants, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomatillo, Okra

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, SeedsaversExchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International

  • Examples of classroom Skills Enhanced: Geography, Environmental Studies, Biology,Botany


Community gardens2
Community Gardens

  • Size: ~2,000 square feet

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Crops: Corn, Arugula, Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Turnips, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Eggplants, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomatillo, Okra

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, SeedsaversExchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International

  • Examples of classroom Skills Enhanced: Geography, Environmental Studies, Biology,Botany


Community gardens3
Community Gardens

  • Size: ~2,000 square feet

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Crops: Corn, Arugula, Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Turnips, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Eggplants, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomatillo, Okra

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, SeedsaversExchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International

  • Examples of classroom Skills Enhanced: Geography, Environmental Studies, Biology,Botany


Community gardens4
Community Gardens

  • Size: ~2,000 square feet

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Crops: Corn, Arugula, Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Turnips, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Eggplants, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomatillo, Okra

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, SeedsaversExchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International

  • Examples of classroom Skills Enhanced: Geography, Environmental Studies, Biology,Botany


Student farm
Student Farm

  • Size: ~12,500 square feet

  • Crops: Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Sage, Magoram, Squash, Tomatillos, Turnips, Beets, Dill, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Melons

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, Seedsavers Exchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International, International Business


Student farm1
Student Farm

  • Size: ~12,500 square feet

  • Crops: Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Sage, Magoram, Squash, Tomatillos, Turnips, Beets, Dill, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Melons

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, Seedsavers Exchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International, International Business


Student farm2
Student Farm

  • Size: ~12,500 square feet

  • Crops: Kale, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Sage, Magoram, Squash, Tomatillos, Turnips, Beets, Dill, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Melons

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Common Ground, Seedsavers Exchange, Landscape Services, Catering Services, Tillers International, International Business


[Insert Farm Time Lapse Here]


Greenhouse winter herb production
Greenhouse Winter Herb Production

  • Herbs Grown: Chives, Opal Basil, Thai Basil, Queen Siam Basil, Genoese Basil, Slo-bolt Parsley, Curled Leaf Parsley, Marjoram, Sage, Cilanto

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Catering Services

  • Academic Involvement: Dietetics Internship program from the College of Education and Human Development


Greenhouse winter herb production1
Greenhouse Winter Herb Production

  • Herbs Grown: Chives, Opal Basil, Thai Basil, Queen Siam Basil, Genoese Basil, Slo-bolt Parsley, Curled Leaf Parsley, Marjoram, Sage, Cilanto

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Catering Services

  • Academic Involvement: Dietetics Internship program from the College of Education and Human Development


Greenhouse winter herb production2
Greenhouse Winter Herb Production

  • Herbs Grown: Chives, Opal Basil, Thai Basil, Queen Siam Basil, Genoese Basil, Slo-bolt Parsley, Curled Leaf Parsley, Marjoram, Sage, Cilanto

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Catering Services

  • Academic Involvement: Dietetics Internship program from the College of Education and Human Development


Integrated Pest Management: A shift from preventative applications of synthetic agrochemical to systems which try to minimize negative by treating crop fields as microcosms, with complex pest-predator-produce relationships.


Integrated pest management projects
Integrated Pest Management Projects

  • Location: Greenhouse, Student Farm, Community Garden, Native Landscape

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services

  • Academic Involvement: Masters in International Development Administration program from the Political Science Department

  • Purpose: To experiment with developing a sustainable yet effective pest management regime to minimize damage to installations including native landscape areas, greenhouse rooms, community gardens and the student farm


Integrated pest management projects1
Integrated Pest Management Projects

  • Location: Greenhouse, Student Farm, Community Garden, Native Landscape

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services

  • Academic Involvement: Masters in International Development Administration program from the Political Science Department

  • Purpose: To experiment with developing a sustainable yet effective pest management regime to minimize damage to installations including native landscape areas, greenhouse rooms, community gardens and the student farm


Integrated pest management projects2
Integrated Pest Management Projects

  • Location: Greenhouse, Student Farm, Community Garden, Native Landscape

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services

  • Academic Involvement: Masters in International Development Administration program from the Political Science Department

  • Purpose: To experiment with developing a sustainable yet effective pest management regime to minimize damage to installations including native landscape areas, greenhouse rooms, community gardens and the student farm


Integrated pest management projects3
Integrated Pest Management Projects

  • Location: Greenhouse, Student Farm, Community Garden, Native Landscape

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services

  • Academic Involvement: Masters in International Development Administration program from the Political Science Department

  • Purpose: To experiment with developing a sustainable yet effective pest management regime to minimize damage to installations including native landscape areas, greenhouse rooms, community gardens and the student farm



Grafting feasibility test
Grafting Feasibility Test

  • Location: Finch Greenhouse

  • Size: 20 pieces of rootstock, 30 grafts, 3 successful grafts

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services, MSU Arborist

  • Purpose: To experiment with grafting the once prevalent in Kalamazoo Cork Elm (Ulmusthomasii) to a more disease resistant rootstock, Chinese Elm (Ulmusparvifolia) to place into on-campus displays and native landscape areas

  • Classroom Skills Enhanced: biology (in lieu of a formal botany program)


Grafting feasibility test1
Grafting Feasibility Test

  • Location: Finch Greenhouse

  • Size: 20 pieces of rootstock, 30 grafts, 3 successful grafts

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services, MSU Arborist

  • Purpose: To experiment with grafting the once prevalent in Kalamazoo Cork Elm (Ulmusthomasii) to a more disease resistant rootstock, Chinese Elm (Ulmusparvifolia) to place into on-campus displays and native landscape areas

  • Classroom Skills Enhanced: biology (in lieu of a formal botany program)


Grafting feasibility test2
Grafting Feasibility Test

  • Location: Finch Greenhouse

  • Size: 20 pieces of rootstock, 30 grafts, 3 successful grafts

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services, MSU Arborist

  • Purpose: To experiment with grafting the once prevalent in Kalamazoo Cork Elm (Ulmusthomasii) to a more disease resistant rootstock, Chinese Elm (Ulmusparvifolia) to place into on-campus displays and native landscape areas

  • Classroom Skills Enhanced: biology (in lieu of a formal botany program)


Grafting feasibility test3
Grafting Feasibility Test

  • Location: Finch Greenhouse

  • Size: 20 pieces of rootstock, 30 grafts, 3 successful grafts

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services, MSU Arborist

  • Purpose: To experiment with grafting the once prevalent in Kalamazoo Cork Elm (Ulmusthomasii) to a more disease resistant rootstock, Chinese Elm (Ulmusparvifolia) to place into on-campus displays and native landscape areas

  • Classroom Skills Enhanced: biology (in lieu of a formal botany program)


Grafting feasibility test4
Grafting Feasibility Test

  • Location: Finch Greenhouse

  • Size: 20 pieces of rootstock, 30 grafts, 3 successful grafts

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Landscape Services, MSU Arborist

  • Purpose: To experiment with grafting the once prevalent in Kalamazoo Cork Elm (Ulmusthomasii) to a more disease resistant rootstock, Chinese Elm (Ulmusparvifolia) to place into on-campus displays and native landscape areas

  • Classroom Skills Enhanced: biology (in lieu of a formal botany program)


Grafting feasibility test5
Grafting Feasibility Test

Cork Elm bud opening up after a successful take of a scion

[Insert Bud-opening Time Lapse Here]


Vermi compost pilot study for postconsumer food waste reduction
Vermi-compost Pilot Study for Postconsumer Food Waste Reduction

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Dining Services, Catering Services, Landscape Services

  • Size: 5 containers, each with 8 bins

  • Starting Worm Pop: 24,000

  • Purpose: Experiment with methods of using vermicomposting to reduce waste from various campus food sources, including cafes, cafeterias, department offices and catered events


Vermi compost pilot study for postconsumer food waste reduction1
Vermi-compost Pilot Study for Postconsumer Food Waste Reduction

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Dining Services, Catering Services, Landscape Services

  • Size: 5 containers, each with 8 bins

  • Starting Worm Pop: 24,000

  • Purpose: Experiment with methods of using vermicomposting to reduce waste from various campus food sources, including cafes, cafeterias, department offices and catered events


Vermi compost pilot study for postconsumer food waste reduction2
Vermi-compost Pilot Study for Postconsumer Food Waste Reduction

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Dining Services, Catering Services, Landscape Services

  • Size: 5 containers, each with 8 bins

  • Starting Worm Pop: 24,000

  • Purpose: Experiment with methods of using vermicomposting to reduce waste from various campus food sources, including cafes, cafeterias, department offices and catered events


Vermi compost pilot study for postconsumer food waste reduction3
Vermi-compost Pilot Study for Postconsumer Food Waste Reduction

  • Cooperation with: Department of Biological Sciences, Dining Services, Catering Services, Landscape Services

  • Size: 5 containers, each with 8 bins

  • Starting Worm Pop: 24,000

  • Purpose: Experiment with methods of using vermicomposting to reduce waste from various campus food sources, including cafes, cafeterias, department offices and catered events


The unique, hands-on nature of green space research allows for inclusion of multifaceted direct learning experiences, which ultimately supplement and enhance traditional classroom learning while aiding in the development of real world problem solving skills.


  • Overall, greenspace research has involved the following academic programs:

    • MIDA program from the Political Science Department

    • Dietetics internship program from college of health and human services

    • Standing extra-credit opportunity with Environmental Studies Program


Contact information
Contact Information

  • Kevin Martini

    • Office for Sustainability

    • Graduate Assistant

    • [email protected]

  • Office for Sustainability

    • http://www.wmich.edu/sustainability

    • [email protected]


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