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Going Green: Volunteers needed May 22 for Prairie Plant Garden


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Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s second planting day on May 22 to complete the Prairie Plant Garden project.

Last June, more than 100 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds planted nearly 7,000 prairie plant seedlings on the college grounds. This spring another 2,500 seedlings will be planted.

Volunteers may come any time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and are asked to sign up online.

The project was made possible through a grant of nearly $22,000 from the UI Student Sustainability Committee, which administers funds raised by the student Clean Energy Technology and Sustainability Fees.

The garden areas are located near the Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building at 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana. One section is just east of the front entrance and the other is south of the building, around a sculpture by Illinois artist Richard Hunt (“Growing in Illinois”). More than 50 species characteristic of native tallgrass prairie in Central Illinois are represented.

The goals of the garden are to beautify the grounds as well as to educate visitors about the biologically rich grassland that once covered about 60 percent of the Illinois landscape. The garden also improves campus sustainability by reducing the need for mowing and by fostering a natural habitat that supports native insect and vertebrate species.

The college has a strong affiliation with environmental sustainability and the protection of native animal species. Through research and education, veterinary faculty and students address issues related to the preservation of natural habitats worldwide and the impact of human activity on the environment and the health of people and animals.

Editor's note: Tell us what your department or unit is doing to conserve energy or preserve resources. Send your ideas to Anna Herkamp, Assistant Editor.

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