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Image credit: Kenton Franklin, MaryBeth Radeck

Sustainable Landscapes

Prairie Restoration at the Schaumburg Campus

Roosevelt University sets an example of sustainable land use by returning much of is campus back to original prairie and wetlands landscape. As of 2012, Roosevelt replaced of its eight acres of impermeable, water-consumptive lawn with native prairie grasses, rain gardens and a detention pond.  As a result, native prairie has taken hold, along with a diversity of creatures in the heart of an urban center. Where thirsty and impermeable turf grass once polluted waterways, over just two years, drought-tolerant wildflowers now support life and add beauty to a successful business corridor in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

The organic, RUrbanPioneers Community Garden is in its second year and has tripled in size to 30 plots on the Schaumburg campus. This fledgling local food effort advances sustainability by including drip irrigation, soil improvements through the addition of compost generated in part from the Chicago campus recycling efforts. Future improvements include rain water harvesting, drip irrigation, a prairie walk and an orchard.

Roosevelt was recently awarded a Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation by adhering to ANSI standards and ISA Best Management Practices for pruning and removing of trees. This year, Boy Scout Troop #392 will assist in identifying all campus trees, which will be marked to educate visitors along the prairie walk.