UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Wetlands project underway on campus

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 campus.

More than 100 students, staff, faculty and community volunteers, including members of the Audubon Society and Greensboro Science Center, participated in the project.

Earlier this year, 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. Dr. Lynn Sametz initiated this project. Sametz, Dr. Park Rublee and Dr. Malcolm Schug are principal investigators for the grant.

“This project creates a living laboratory which we intend to use for education regarding the benefits of wetlands to our environment, research on the biological, plant, microbial diversity, and water quality as they mature and become permanent features of the campus landscape,” Schug said. “The wetlands create 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.

By Eden Bloss
Photography by Martin W. Kane, of Tom Biebighauser speaking with UNCG students.