Establishing campus rain gardens that link student experiential learning with stakeholder education and outreach
Low impact development (LID) practices are and will continue to be an important element in the design of public and private landscapes. One LID strategy that can be installed across a range of sites and scales is a rain garden. Within the design, installation, and evaluation of such gardens, many areas of education and outreach can be addressed. At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), investments in campus rain gardens have involved collaborations across academic departments and program areas and are implemented in such a way as to provide education to several stakeholder groups. Underutilized spaces on campus have been transitioned to green infrastructure (GI) that can enable experiential learning opportunities for students and serve as demonstrations for outreach programs. Since their construction, these GI projects have been a multi-faceted tool to educate current and future landscape and stormwater professionals as well as Extension personnel, volunteers, practitioners, and citizens about the role rain gardens can play in current and future development. These tactical projects have also contributed to GI practices becoming a significant aspect of the campus' future stormwater management strategy. These stakeholders will be critical to the future of sustainable urban development.
Bumgarner, N.R., Ludwig, A.L., Collett, B.P. and Stewart, C.E. (2017). Establishing campus rain gardens that link student experiential learning with stakeholder education and outreach. Acta Hortic. 1189, 537-540
low impact development, stormwater management, stewardship