Past and Ongoing ProjectsThe Russell Courtyard Rain Garden
In the summer of 2010, a 300 square foot rain garden was installed in the Russell Courtyard. Rain gardens are designed to capture and filter large volumes of stormwater. The courtyard rain garden filters an average of 30,000 gallons of stormwater annually using a downspout diverter linked to a buried irrigation tube. The garden’s winding river design stands as a reminder that water conservation benefits our waterways. Its diverse array of native river plants and mosses are up to 40% more efficient in absorbing water than a traditional lawn. Rain gardens, green roofs, park space, and other plant based water catchment areas are integral parts of a comprehensive stormwater management plan in New York City.
Russell Courtyard Rainwater Irrigation System
In the spring of 2011, a 300-gallon rain barrel and electric water pump will be installed in the Russell Courtyard. The barrel will collect rainwater from a rooftop downspout, ensuring that nearly all of the courtyard’s watering needs will be met without water from the tap.
Russell Courtyard Composting Project
In the Summer of 2010, two Earthmaker composters were installed in the Russell courtyard. Earthmaker composters use a three-stage aerobic process to efficiently decompose organic matter. The bins are part of a comprehensive College-wide effort to reduce waste. The compost produced by the bins is used to enrich the soil of the Teachers College Children’s Vegetable Garden. Composting is a strong curricular component of the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center and the Program in Nutrition’s Earth Friends, both of which engage in indoor worm composting, known as vermicomposting.
Teachers College Children’s Vegetable Garden
The children’s vegetable garden began as a project of the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center in the spring of 2008. Beginning in the spring of 2011, a new arrangement of sixteen raised bed planters, and approximately a dozen window box planters will be transformed into a new organic vegetable garden. The garden will become a fixture of the Program in Nutrition’s Earth Friends program, which teaches nutrition and food sustainability through student and parent workshops, school fieldtrips, and teacher Professional Development.
A Commitment to Native Perennial Plants
All of the landscaping planters at Teachers College contain native perennial plants. A commitment to perennial plants eliminates the carbon footprint associated with procuring annual flowers. Native plants become increasingly drought tolerant over time, and are best suited for our local environment. The plant displays are striking reminders of the importance of ecological diversity.