Current Programs & Initiatives
"Reconnecting with Place. Conserving our Natural and Cultural Heritage." Begun in 2011, the Dunn’s Woods Restoration Project is a collaborative effort between students, faculty and professionals aimed at mitigating Dunn’s Woods, a 10-acre woodland on IU’s campus, and Latimer Woods, a 10-acre woodland located on the east side of Bloomington, of invasive species, thereby restoring the natural ecosystem of these urban woodlands. Every week, volunteers spend an hour at the sites pulling Purple Wintercreeper, the largest invasive threat at both sites, and planting native wildflowers.
In 2009 as an effort to return part of IU's land to its original ecosystem and as part of a faculty and student research project this restoration project was started. Each spring students add another experimental segment to test usefulness of inoculating prairie plants with soil organisms isolated from some of the few remaining prairie remnants in Indiana. Most prairie plants associate with a group of mycorrhizal fungi. Legumes like prairie clover can also associate with a group of soil bacteria, rhizobia. Seedlings are grown with and without prairie mycorrhiza. The legumes are grown with mycorrhiza and rhizobium, with only mycorrhiza or rhizobium or neither. We are finding that some prairie plant species that are often difficult to establish in restorations grow significantly better with inoculation while other plants are not as dependent on inoculation for survival and growth. For more information, or if you are interested in participating you can contact the Department of Biology Outreach.
The Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve (IURTP) was established in May 2001 by the Indiana University Board of Trustees. It consists of approximately 1600 acres of natural areas divided amongst seven sites and a field lab that was more recently completed in 2009. These natural areas provide unique opportunities for teaching, research, and service for both the IU and Bloomington Community. For more information about volunteering or the work that is done at the IURTP, please visit their website.
Cockroaches and bedbugs are just some of the pests that are found on college campuses everywhere. At IU, the Environmental Health and Safety division is working with groups on campus such as the IU Residential and Programs Services to come up with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. IPM is a more comprehensive form of management that includes education, monitoring, treatment, etc… It does so in a way that is more cost effective and minimizes hazards to human and environmental health. Currently at IU, different groups such as RPS have separate outside contracts with pest control companies. The EHS’s work to create an IPM based contract used by all groups will ensure that these more human and environmentally healthy guidelines will be met
Wright Education Wetlands
In 2010 due to the expansion of the Eigenmann Hall parking lot, natural wetlands were lost and part of the Jordan River was diverted. As a result, a local sub-contractor, Eco-Logic, was hired to undertake a mitigation project to make up for the loss of the natural wetlands. With the help of SPEA students, 3,000 plants were installed in a wetlands area near the Wright Education Building along the Jordan River corridor. Since its implementation, the mitigation project has increased the area’s biodiversity, flood control, and a better absorption of pollutants than previously. The wetlands are currently flourishing and students have been involved with maintenance projects such as removing volunteer maples. The project is exemplary of a successful incorporation of native species and sustainable landscaping that can be used throughout other campuses.
Shut the Sash Campaign
Greening IU's Landscape
IU is nationally known for having a beautiful campus. Wiith the commitment of both fauclty and staff we are working to make our campus's beauty more than just skin deep. Changes are being enacted to make sure our landscape practices are more sustainable and eco-friendly. To learn more about what we are doing visit here!
- MC-IRIS is a group of Monroe County citizens who work together to reduce the environmental and economic impacts of invasive species through education and outreach.
- Look here for information about Bloomington initiatives, programs, and recreational spaces. Bloomington Parks and Recreation aims to build and preserve greenspace throughout Bloomington to promote the health and quality of life of its citizens.
- Come to this site to check out another natural area nearby for you to explore. The site has information all about the forest as well as maps and directions.
- If you are interested in land preservation, visit the Sycamore Land Trust a local NGO that has preserved over 6,000 acres in southern Indiana.
- The Illinois Wildflowers website provides extensive information about flowers native to the midwest, specifically Illinois. The information available on this website is useful for understanding the interconnections between flora and wildlife and the necessity of preserving natural ecosystems. Use this resource to plan your own landscaping projects.