Community Garden and Greenhouse
The student-run campus garden and greenhouse supplies 100% organic produce - such as cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, chard, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and soon, strawberries - to community organizations. Equipped with an aquaponic growing system and raised wicking beds, the campus garden helps conserve water during warmer months.
Ecolab is university-owned land located east of campus off of Highway 29. Since its inception in the Fall of 2014, Ecolab allows students to gain invaluable experience doing environmental field work such as water quality analysis and sediment collection. Recently, the Ecolab has expanded to include a variety of projects such as GIS, restoration work, and more. Ecolab demonstrates Southwestern’s commitment to sustainability and offers a diverse opportunity for hands-on field work for students of a variety of academic interests.
The irrigation system at Southwestern is controlled by a computerized weather station to conserve water. The baseball, football, and softball fields are irrigated using gray water from the city of Georgetown. Additionally, the Environmental Studies Capstone class has proposed using Southwestern has a 19,000-gallon rainwater collection system near the Studio Arts Building for irrigation.
Approximately 90% of the landscape on campus is native or drought tolerant. In addition, Southwestern produces in own mulch from trees that had to be removed for health or safety reasons.
A circular garden near the campus greenhouse was designed especially to attract bees and butterflies. Using low-maintenance, pollinator-friendly plants such as the Yellow Yarrow, Yellow Columbines, Guajillo, or the Cardinal Feather, this garden aims to draw attention to the environmental problem of disappearing bee populations and the importance of pollinators.