• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/30/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29902_environmental_studies_group_header.rev.1450298247.png)"/>

Environmental Studies

Wetland Learning Lab

Wetland Learning Lab on Middle Campus

The 2017-2018 expansion of the science center is expected to create new issues of stormwater runoff. To prevent this, the City of Lake Forest required the college to install a new stormwater detention facility on Middle Campus and, after some debate, the college decided against building a conventional detention pond. Instead, they hired local landscape architect Cliff Miller to design a wetland area called the Wetland Learning Lab which will function as both a stormwater detention facility and a place for experimentation and education. 

Work began on the Wetland Learning Lab in the summer of 2017 when a half-acre bowl was dug in the lawn between the library and the science center. It was dug in such a way that three separate ponds, instead of one large one, fill up with stormwater runoff from the Lillard Science Center.

August 24, 2017: Trees and shrubs are planted in the recently dug Wetland Learning Lab.August 24, 2017: Trees and shrubs are planted in the recently dug Wetland Learning Lab.

When the site was ready for planting, 10 native shrub species were strategically placed and planted. Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) and Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) trees were planted along with the shrubs and then a straw mat seeded with oats was laid out to help prevent erosion at this early stage. 

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is one of the ten species of native shrubs planted in the Wetland Learning Lab.Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is one of the ten species of native shrubs planted in the Wetland Learning Lab.

Eventually the site will feature over 100 different wetland vascular plants including various species of milkweed, sedge, aster, blazing star, loosestrife, and mint, just to name a few. If all goes as planned, three distinct wetland communities will be represented in the Wetland Learning Lab. 

Button Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) is one of the many species that will eventually grow in the Wetland Learning Lab.Button Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) is one of the many species that will eventually grow in the Wetland Learning Lab.

For a complete plant list click here.