Wetlands construction begins
Living lab on campus to be completed in late fall
Excavators broke ground in the Peabody Park recreation area (between the soccer fields and native prairie) and in the adjacent Peabody Park woodland area (near the gated entrance on West Market Street) last week, initiating the first phase of construction of two wetlands on UNCG’s campus.
Students, faculty and staff, as well as the members of the Audubon Society and Greensboro Science Center, participated in the project.
In December, UNCG received a $46,112 grant from the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund to construct the wetlands, which will improve water quality and biotic diversity, provide educational and research opportunities, spur community outreach and enhance the natural beauty of campus. In addition to the Duke Energy grant, the project received $8,000 from the UNCG Green Fund.
Dr. Lynn Sametz, Dr. Park Rublee and Dr. Malcolm Schug are principal investigators for the grant.
“This project creates a living laboratory to conduct research on biological, plant, microbial diversity and water quality, and to observe changes as they grow, mature and become permanent features of the campus landscape,” Schug said. “The wetlands provide outstanding, hands-on opportunities for course activities in chemistry, biology, and throughout the curriculum.”
Looking ahead, the Wetlands Committee will be planting native aquatic and semi-aquatic plants at both wetlands sites. This process should be complete by late fall.
Long-term, the team will continue to develop curriculum activities, educational activities for K-12 teachers and students, research projects and outreach opportunities in departments across campus. The wetlands project began in the fall of 2014 when UNCG’s Research and Instruction in STEM Education (RISE) Network, led by Sametz, introduced the idea of campus wetlands. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between numerous academic departments and community organizations.
To learn more about the UNCG wetlands development project, visit rise.uncg.edu/projects/wetlands-project.
Story by Eden Bloss, University Communications