The campus organic garden (yet to be named formally) was established by students and advisors in a Service Learning class taken by a Learning Community. Their class was inspired by Growing Power, a Milwaukee-based urban farm that serves an area of Milwaukee considered to be a food desert. The mission of the campus garden is to serve the Whitewater community with fresh, organic produce by growing and donating a majority of all produce to the Whitewater Food Pantry.
2013 was the first year of production for the garden. More information will be available soon.
The UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve was originally land purchased in the 1970s to house additional residence halls as part of an aggressive growth agenda for the University of Wisconsin system. When it became clear that this growth was not going to occur, an effort was made to protect the land as a natural green space in an urban area as part of the LAWCON initiative. Years later, this formerly disturbed farmland started its transformation back to a habitat found native to Wisconsin prior to European settlement, thanks to the efforts of several faculty and staff members. This restoration effort has continued today and now several acres of land have been restored with native prairie species, and with active management of the area through controlled burns and seed collection, we hope to restore the entire area to native prairie species in the future.
In 2014, members of Facilties Planning & Management will take on the task of managing beehives in an effort to support local pollination efforts and to use it to illustrate the challenges of beekeeping and how dependent we are on bees to provide us with the produce we rely on.
The university grounds crew is dedicated to sustainable practices whenever possible and their commitment is probably most noticeable when considering how they deal with invasive species and other pests on campus.