Perennial Garden Proposal

Continuation of the Perennials Garden Project

Fall 2017

Amber Sample

The original perennial gardens project was started as a potential way to increase the sustainability efforts at Ohio Wesleyan, to earn revenue to support a sustainability coordinator and increase gardening and outdoor education for students. The project left off last spring with attempts to contact Building and Grounds to grant permission for the plants to be planted in the suggested areas. As a continuation of the project, I plan to gain further information on potential plants that could be a good fit in the various locations on campus. This list include native plants, the original suggested plants and milkweed.

The main reason for using perennial and native plants for the gardens is due to their low maintenance. Perennial plants by nature bloom, produces flowers or something edible then dies back during the winter. The root structure of these plants remains allowing for the plant to return next year thus starting the cycle all over again. Perennial plants also have environmental benefits such as helping to maintain soil conditions. The root system that most perennial plants have helps to prevent soil erosion along with assisting in the movement of nutrients that most plant root systems are unable to get to. Native plants are able to offer similar benefits as the perennial plants because they are native to the area meaning they are adapted to the environmental conditions. They also support a healthy native environment for other native organisms as they co-evolved together something that non-native plants are not able to do as well. Inclusion of native milkweed to the garden would be beneficial because of its native qualities but also help Monarch Butterflies as milkweed is the only host plant that Monarch Butterfly larvae are able to survive off of.

All information  on potential plants will be compiled into a detailed spreadsheet that would include prefered growing conditions for each  type of plant and suggested planting time. The spreadsheet would also include any addition information about plant maintenance such as harvesting time or if anything needed to be done to the plants before winter. This project will include an estimated budget required to gather all needed supplies along with potential ways to get the funded whether it be through a grant or other means. Funding of some sort will be required either through a grant or other means. Lastly, once all of the details have been worked out, all the plants will need to be planted. The project had been left undecided who would be able to plant the plants if they were obtained. Past suggestions have been to talk to the SLUs on campus, clubs and potentially a class to see if any of them might be interested in planting and maintaining the garden. Getting in contact with various people will help establish who might be able to help plant and maintain the garden afterwards.

The overall goal of the project is to create an environmentally friendly low maintenance gardens that could be use for educational purposes but are far enough out of sight that it does not become an eyesore for visitors visiting campus.

Project Outline

  1. Introduction/ Overview of the project
    • Research native and perennial plants along with continuation of research on previously suggested plants   
    • Benefits of perennial and native plants
  2. Garden Plans
    • Compile of spreadsheet of potential plants including details about them
    • Locations where plants would do best based on already established potential places that could be used  
    • Budgeting for the project (how to finance and an estimated budget required)
    • Determining who would plant and maintain garden
  1. Future Directing
    • Getting permission from building and grounds
    • Getting the gardens planted and maintaining them

Annotated Bibliography

Maddy Coamer: OWU Student

Maddy is one of two students who previously worked on this project during the spring of 2017. She provided me with some insight into the project and where it was left off at the end of the semester. She also shared with me two documents containing the original plan and proposal for the project.

Elsner, Duke. “Growing milkweeds for monarch butterflies.” Michigan State University Extension. 26 May 2015. Web. 23 Sept 2017. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/growing_milkweeds_for_monarch_butterflies

This article provided information about the Monarch Butterfly and why milkweed is required for them to survive. It also contained a short list of some of the milkweed that can be grown and how to plant them.

Glover, Jerry D.; Reganold, John P. “Perennial Grains Food Security for the Future.” Issues in Science and Technology, vol. 26, issue 2, 2010, Web. 23 Sept 2017. http://issues.org/26-2/glover/

This article is about how perennial crops could be beneficial but that there is no funding currently going to this type of research. The author argues that the benefits of having perennial crops would boost the number of potential crops that farmers could grow while doing it sustainably.

Pimentel, David and et al. “Economic and Environmental Benefits of Biodiversity.” BioScience, vol. 47, No. 11, Dec 1997, pp. 747-757.

This journal article is about how to maintain a healthy biodiversity despite the growing amounts of human activity. They look at both the environmental aspects along with the economic aspects of the problem to conclude that in the long run it is better to conserve than it is to continue to destroy parts of the environment for economic development.

Redlinski, Izabella. “How Milkweeds Can Save Monarch Butterflies and Beautify Your Garden.” The Field Museum. 24 March 2017. Web. 23 Sept 2017. https://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/blog/five-milkweeds-save-monarch-butterflies-and-beautify-your-garden

This article provided information about milkweed and various types of milkweed that Monarchs use along with their growing requirements. Most of the plants are not only easy to keep but are able to add a pop of color to gardens.

Redlinski, Izabella. “How Milkweeds Can Save Monarch Butterflies and Beautify Your Garden.” The Field Museum. 24 March 2017. Web. 23 Sept 2017. https://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/blog/five-milkweeds-save-monarch-butterflies-and-beautify-your-garden

This article provided information about milkweed and various types of milkweed that Monarchs use along with their growing requirements. Most of the plants are not only easy to keep but are able to add a pop of color to gardens.

“Why Native Plants Matter.” Audubon, Web. 23 Sept 2017. http://www.audubon.org/content/why-native-plants-matter

This article provides information about why native plants are important to the ecosystem along with a short video explaining their role. It also explains how current landscaping has removed a large number of native plants and replaced them with plants that are unable to provide the benefits of native plants.  

“7 Advantages of Perennials.” Regenerative: Sustainable living and personal growth, Web. 23 Sept 2017.  https://www.regenerative.com/magazine/seven-advantages-perennials

This article provides basic information on the differences between annuals and perennials plants along with some of the benefits that they are able to provide.

 

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