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Projects Updates for Topic: native plants

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  1. new planting plan

    Associated Project(s): 

    Campus Landscape Architect Brent Lewis provided the attached planting plan and the following comments on the plan, for review by Chi Omega representatives.

    1. We have many trees in this very small garden, who are all fighting for water and nutrient resources here.  We have lost a few trees already and the cherries that are left don’t look as good as we would like them.  Around each tree we will just install a mulched area.  This will serve to reduce some competition from the woodland plants and the trees.  You can really notice that now as we are late summer and the geraniums that should still be up have dried out and greatly dissipated.  Adding mulch will also give the sense of some order when a maintained edge is present in the beds.  However, this will be a good area to include some early spring ephemerals like Blue Bells or Spring Beauty as they will thrive when the moisture is there, but no longer compete when the trees are out-competing for water.
    2. Currently there are no shrubs in this garden.  Adding them to the plan does a few things for us. For one, it adds some structure to the garden.  With them, we will have a mid-level plant that serves to punctuate some areas, and to form a backdrop to other areas.  They will also add some winter interest to this garden, which is currently missing.  Lastly, they assist in our effort to reduce the maintenance in the garden by taking up larger amounts of space, while simultaneously keeping the weeds at bay as they shade them out.
    3. Another design element that is not obvious in the current design is a return to matched plantings at the sidewalk entries.  In the new plan I am putting matching plants on either side of each walk.  This leads the eye and the brain to connect one side of the garden to the next, thus rendering it as a more cohesive whole.  Regardless of the plant used, the average person understands this and will perceive this as an intentional garden, versus the state it is in now.  
    4. Adding to the above, I am also using plants along the main east-west walk that most anyone will know.  Regardless of what is planted behind them, people will see plants that they have in their yard, and are accustomed to seeing.  They may not know Baptisia or Penstemon, but they know coneflowers and hostas, which they will see first and assist them in understanding this garden as a planted space and less of a question mark (when they can’t quickly tell what is supposed to be there).
  2. South Campus Afforestation Recommendation - Transmittal to the unit

    The recommendation was submitted to the NRES unit on March 2, 2018, by Morgan White. Jay Hayek, Extension Forestry Specialist in NRES, will be planting 2 acres of trees at the southwest corner of Race Street and Windsor Road.  The trees were purchased by the Champaign County Rotary Club.  There will be a wide variety of native oak and hickory species that come in 3 gallon containers and range in height from 3-6 feet.  The Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) plan to assist with planting the trees, when they are delivered in early April.

    See iWG ALUFS003 Assessment

    See SWATeam ALUFS003 Recommendation

  3. John Marlin speaks at Campus Appreciation Day

    Dr. Marlin spoke on how student initiated projects in the 1970s carried over to the present including recycling, river protection, highway policy and bikeways. The majority of his presentation focused on student involvement in local native planting projects to help preserve biodiversity, especially of pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

  4. update on flowers at Chi Omega plaza

    Associated Project(s): 

    John Marlin provided the following update: Attached are shots of woodland wildflowers beginning to emerge.  The photos are at the Chi Omega planting between the English Building and Lincoln Hall.   There are others that are not up yet.  Other woodland plantings are in front of the Natural resources building, Burrill Hall and the north Side Lincoln Ave residence Hall.

     

    The Chi Omega planting looks good at this point , especially the big areas on the east and west sides.  There is good diversity of species, but some could be moved around to mix them in more with the geranium dominated areas.   The east sides will have issues with the cone flowers that were not part of the original plan and that Red Bison helped thin last fall.   We will see how the violets come up. 

     

    Those of you interested in how location impacts blooming time will want to see the timing of blooming etc at the various sites as they have different light conditions.

  5. Update from John Marlin to potential volunteers

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello,

    Most of you have had some direct involvement with the LAR LLC planting that is in progress.  It started last spring and now has a ~$5000 grant from the Student Sustainability Committee. The past two weeks have seen a lot of progress as plants were removed from propagation beds and transplanted to the front and N side of LAR. 

    Here are a few shots with some of you featured.  I will make more available later to individuals.  

    The recent planting contains mostly woodland wildflowers that are currently dormant.   the straws mark the locations so we do not plant over them during the next couple weeks.   Hopefully they will survive the winter since there are other plants that go in early in the spring.

    The LLC has some weeding tools and watering cans in the building that LAR students can access.   We will need to water plants and do some weeding this week.  If you have a break or get done before dark you might be able to do some weeding on the S side of the building.  Gwenna or I may have to show you what to take out. 

    We are likely to have some more planting next weekend.   Probably Saturday (and maybe Sunday) morning around 10.  Sunday afternoon some of us will be with Red Bison at the South Arboretum Woods near the pollinatarium by Lincoln and Windsor.   Any of you are welcome there. 

    Attached are also a couple posters showing the kinds of woodland plants that are going in.

    John C. Marlin

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    The files are on the main project page.

  6. idea for a Native Plants and Pollinator support discussion group

    Associated Project(s): 

    In August, this group discussed the general topic of native plants and pollinator support. We considered options for measuring the effectiveness of the current landscape as pollinator support, and we considered methods for encouraging more native plantings throughout the community.  One big hurdle is that there is no actual funding available.  One of the examples of past success with a similar situation is Champaign County Bikes, where a group of highly motivated community members worked together to change the bicycling culture.  We determined that a good first step would be for iSEE to invite interested individuals together to discuss options for moving forward.  (There are several groups that should be invited, so it will not be difficult to find the interested folks.)

    Scott Tess, from the City of Urbana, provided the following related links:

    http://pollinator.org/PDFs/Guides/PrairieParklandrx12FINAL.pdf

    http://resilient-cities.iclei.org/fileadmin/sites/resilient-cities/files/Resilient_Cities_2013/Using-Ecological-Theory-Guide-Urban-Planting-Design_low.pdf

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353335/

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