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Projects Updates for Native Plantings & Prairies

  1. Lunch with an Expert: Native Plants for Storm Water Management

    An effective rain garden is planted with suitable trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants that allow runoff to soak into the ground and protect water quality. Please join us for a presentation by Kaizad Irani on rain gardens from the landscape design perspective followed by a discussion. Bring your lunch and your questions. No question too big or too small. Come, learn and have fun. 

    January 27, 12–1:30 pm • U of I Extension Champaign Co., 801 Country Fair Dr., Champaign

    Amanda Christenson • Cooperative Extension Service

  2. Planning to revise web presence

    Sara Mason, Chantelle Hicks, and Morgan White discussed revisions to the Bee Campus USA web presence. For ease of maintenance, the iCAP Portal seems to be a more friendly process for providing updates and keeping the web content current and active.  Sara could do the entries this year, and future students could do entries in the future years.  The updates can also be shared on other websites, when requested.  Sara will bring this idea back to the student committee, for a decision.

  3. Training program at Parkland

     

    National Green Infrastructure Certification Program

    at Parkland College, Aug. 27-31

     

    Green infrastructure (GI) has become a critical component to comprehensive stormwater management. Successful implementation of green infrastructure requires access to adequately skilled workforce available to perform the installation, inspection, and maintenance tasks.

     

    Landscaping, city planning, public works, and stormwater managing can all benefit from the knowledge and skills to ensure that green infrastructure projects are installed and maintained properly to support long-term performance.

     

    By underscoring your competency in these areas, certification increases your competitiveness in the job market, and provides a pathway to higher paying positions.

     

    • The benefits of becoming certified by the NGICP include: Expansion of your skills and knowledge of building, inspecting and maintaining GI systems
    • Greater awareness of GI career opportunities
    • Proof of your commitment to supporting sustainable performance of GI practices
    • Exposure to employers looking to hire skilled GI workers through the NGICP Certification Database

     

     

    Course begins Aug. 27-31, 8 AM-5 PM. $975 fee only includes training. The $200 certification exam fee is paid directly to WEF. Exam will be administered on August 31. A link to register for the exam will be provided to those who register for the training.

     

    Registration Deadline: August 20

     

    Click here for more information and to register or call 217/351-2235 for more information.

     

    The training is 35-40 hours and includes approximately 25 hours of classroom time (lecture and interactive exercises) and 10 hours of field visits to green infrastructure sites. We provide a class review at the end of the training to help participants prepare for the certification exam. Participants must be in attendance for the entire class. No make-up sessions are available.

     

    While Parkland College provides the NGICP training, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) administers the certification exam. WEF will administer the certification exam at the training site on the last day of the class (Aug. 31). A link to register with WEF for the exam will be provided to those who register for this class on or by August 20, 2018.

     

    If your employer will be paying for your training, please complete this 3rd Party Sponsorship Form and return to our office prior to registration: btce@parkland.edu.

  4. Understanding spring flowers on campus

    Associated Project(s): 

    Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, describes the difference in heat tolerance between spring and summer flowers on campus:

    "We plant the early flowers (pansies) because they provide early spring color and are one of the only annuals that prefer cooler temps and will withstand frost.  The early or cool season annuals do not like heat, so they are removed and replaced with the summer annuals.  The summer annuals will not tolerate even a light frost and should not be planted before May 1."

  5. Request for Paxton grant funds

    Attached and embedded below is a request to utilize the remaining funds in the Paxton grant for campus sustainable landscapes which is now under the purview of ISEE.  The persons on the CC are all familiar with some of the work in this area done over the past few years and can likely speak to the wisdom of using the funds to supplement the ongoing efforts. 

     

    TO: Dr. Evan DeLucia and Dr. Ben McCall

    From:  John C. Marlin

    RE:  Use of “Support for Sustainable Landscapes” funds

    Date:  March 21, 2016

     

     

    Several efforts are underway on the University of Illinois campus to promote the use and reestablishment of native plant species.  The intent is to integrate native plants into the main campus landscaping and establish larger more diverse plantings in areas farther from the main campus in conjunction with the removal of invasive plants such as bush honeysuckle.  The plantings will be especially valuable to insect pollinators and birds and will provide significant educational opportunities.  To date much of the funding has come from the Student Sustainability Committee.  

     

    Work at the moment is concentrated on the 2.3 acre prairie at Florida and Orchard in Urbana, the wooded area at the southern end of the Arboretum known as SAW (South Arboretum Woods) including the Pollinatarium, and the Forestry Plantation along Race Street.  Other active sites include Burrill Hall, the Natural Resources Building, and the Florida Orchard Prairie.  Another small project is about to begin at Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall, which will be largely supported by LAR funds and student volunteers.

     

    In addition to the SSC, several campus and community groups have made substantial contributions to the effort primarily through volunteer labor.  The Master Naturalists and Grand Prairie Friends have provided hundreds of volunteer hours as have local citizens who attend work days.  Individual students, faculty, and staff as well as Red Bison, Students for Environmental Concerns, and other student service organizations put in additional hours. 

     

    NRES purchased a $30,000 chipper and hired a contractor to remove honeysuckle with a forestry mower at the forestry plantation.  The machine was also used on a limited basis at the Arboretum.  Additional staff and in kind support was provided by the Arboretum, Pollinatarium, Prairie Research Institute, and Illinois Natural History Survey. 

     

    Recent SSC funding received by the Arboretum makes it possible for the forestry mower to return and remove large stands of honeysuckle.   Workers will then remove by hand the honeysuckle too close to trees for the machine to cut.  The area will then be replanted with native understory species as the invasive plants are brought under control.  This will take several years.  Various research projects focused on native plantings and their usefulness to other species are also envisioned. 

     

    Considerable additional funding beyond that provided by SSC is required to complete this effort.   It is anticipated that the Arboretum and others will seek grants for future work and research.  It is, therefore, requested that the remaining funds in the $10,000 donation “Support for Sustainable Landscapes” Dr. Jack Paxton made several years ago be made available to further this work.   The funds would be used to supplement and match SSC and other funding.   Specifically the funds would be available for the following purposes as needed: supplies and equipment, removal of invasive plants by contractors or hourly workers in campus areas, and purchase and planting of native plant material at appropriate campus locations. 

     

    Dr. John C. Marlin, a research affiliate at ISTC and INHS and Adjunct Professor in NRES, has lead much of this effort since 2011 as a volunteer.  He continues to coordinate considerable activity by students, staff and community volunteers on these projects.  He is also available to coordinate the proposed project.

     

    Primary collaborators include Dr. Marlin; Arboretum Director, Dr. Kevin McSweeney; and Jay Hayek the Extension Forester within NRES. 

     

    This use of the Paxton grant is supported by Dr. Paxton (who has contributed numerous volunteer hours) and campus Facilities and Services.   If a committee is needed to consider this matter, the SWAT team that deals with land and agriculture could probably be involved. 

     

    If there are any questions or a need for discussion, please contact Dr. Marlin at marlin@illinois.edu 217-649-4591

     

    CC:

    Dr. Jack Paxton

    Brent Lewis

    Morgan Johnston

    Jay Hayek

    Dr. Kevin McSweeney

    Micah Kenfield

     

    John C. Marlin PhD.

    Research Affiliate

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and

    Adjunct Professor

    Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

    University of Illinois

    One Hazelwood Dr.

    Champaign, IL 61820

     

    marlin@Illinois.edu

    217-333-8956

     

  6. BLUE Sustainable planting info

    Sustainable plants are native species that are resilient to insects and disease.  Once established, they require minimal fertilizer, watering, and upkeep.  The F&S Grounds Department planted 80 native trees last year and more than 2,300 native grasses in the last three years.  Campus locations with native grasses include: Roger Adams Laboratory, the Institute for Genomic Biology, the Agricultural Engineering Building, and the Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building. 

  7. BIF Prairie Garden Funding Agreement

    This proposal looks to contribute to the campus wide effort of promoting more sustainable landscaping by creating a Prairie Garden comprised of plant species characteristic to east-central Illinois to surround the Deloitte Auditorium in the courtyard of the Business Instructional Facility (BIF). The Prairie Garden will provide carbon sequestration benefits, aid in management of water runoff, increase biodiversity, and reduce the use of carbon-intensive maintenance equipment. Replacing the current overgrown sedge meadow with low-height, low-growth, native sustainable botanicals will lead to less management needs and greater student engagement with increased access and aesthetics. The Prairie Garden will be highly visible to the thousands of weekly visitors to the BIF, sending a message about the importance of and commitment to sustainable practices. Such education will be furthered through informational signage and orientation of new students. The College of Business and College of Business Class of 2010 will provide the remaining $10,540 expense of creating the Prairie Garden. Further, the College of Business will assume responsibility for ensuring the success and continued maintenance of the project, and the grant will be paid back to the Committee if the project is inadequately maintained and the restoration effort is abandoned in the next five years. The improvements to the Business Instructional Facility courtyard will provide highly visible, tangible evidence of the campus commitment to responsible sustainable behavior. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the fully requested amount of $10,000.

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