Seattle University Campus Habitat

Seattle University sits on 48 acres in the middle of Seattle, a five minute walk east from the middle of downtown. It’s in between the First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods and is surrounded by hospitals, medical centers, stores, restaurants and housing. The campus has had a long commitment to sustainability dating back to the 1980’s when the college hired Ciscoe Morris, who is now a local gardening expert and celebrity. Ciscoe ended pesticide use by releasing beneficial insects on the campus which was successful and in turn launched an entire pesticide-free program. The success of the landscaping program spilled over to other sustainable practices such as an award winning recycling program, also begun back in the 1980’s. More recently the campus has seen LEED certified building, Built Green building, a composting program, solar power, electric vehicles, and a multitude of other green practices.

In the…

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Rain Gardens in Portland:: Site Visits

In Portland, Oregon there are a number of schools who have installed rain gardens. Portland has been one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to stormwater management and has a great number of good examples, some were even featured in the book I mentioned in the previous post, Rain Gardens: Managing water sustainably in the garden and designed landscape.

Astor Rain Garden

Located in north Portland, Astor School students used to look onto an asphalt courtyard that was situated in the ‘U’ shaped section of the building. In 2003-2005, the 8,000 square foot asphalt surface was completely removed and a rain garden was installed in it’s place. Some of the roof runoff is directed into cisterns while the rest flows into the garden and through a series of infiltration basins and swales. The space is used as an outdoor classroom and the students have placed bird feeders…

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Case Study:: Liverpool University Roof Garden

A new roof garden was recently officially launched at Liverpool University in England. The roof was developed by the Liverpool Guild of Students “with the intent to provide students, staff and the community with the opportunity to participate in a sustainability initiative.” Components on the roof include garden planters, a bird box, wildflowers for wildlife and bee hives.

Aside from environmental goals the Guild hopes to connect more with the local community by offering the roof for outside education as well. It’s great to see a roof garden aim at additional goals such as they state on their website:

The Guild hopes that the inclusion of local organisations will provide educational opportunities to a diverse group of people from the wider community, increase community participation, help to bridge the gap between students and the local community, encourage wider participation and break down stereotypes of students and by students of minority groups.


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