In this native plant meadow, classes can observe the intricate interdependence of plants, insects, soil, sunlight and water. Our water-saving bio-swale captures rainwater and uses it in the bio-retention gardens.
Students can gather in this picturesque courtyard to study and socialize on the sitting stones and winding pathways; it’s the ideal place for reflecting. Bring your books or laptop, because this space has full Wi-Fi access.
Nature Trails and Creeks
Students can exercise their mind and body while exploring the winding network of nature trails surrounding McDonnell Hall and Brauer Hall. The trails wind through a riparian habitat and wet-mesic prairie, capturing scenic views of the orchard along the way. A bioswale creek is also part of this area and will use natural means, including vegetation and soil, to treat storm water by filtering out contaminants. The entire area will be a sustainable zone.
Eugene Harris ‘82 Rainwater Harvest Tank
Underneath the courtyard is one of the school’s most innovative feats, a 10,000 gallon rainwater harvest tank. Here, rainwater is collected from downspouts and gutters, filtered and stored. That water feeds a smaller day tank in the building’s lower level. Purely through rainwater, we’re able to provide water for flushing the toilets and cooling the greenhouse. Total water consumption will be reduced by 64% through this initiative.