There are many wonderful resources on the campus here at Trinity Christian College, and we also have connections with local conservation organizations.
Trinity Trail We have a short trail on campus that follows alongside Navajo Creek. Although we are currently working on removing invasive species from the area, there are still many lovely native wildflowers, such as spring beauty, jack-in-the-pulpit, and Virginia bluebells. Students in my classes have surveyed stream invertebrates and plant abundance here.
Campus Wildflower Basins We have two basins that help us mitigate the effects of storm water run-off on campus, and they are both planted with native prairie and wetland plants.
Campus Organic Vegetable Garden This is a student-led initiative to grow healthy organic produce on campus. The students leading this project hope to raise awareness about our interactions with creation and the process of growing food.
Aquaponics The greenhouse of the science building is now home to an aquaponics system in which fish, both tilapia and pacu, are grown in tanks, and vegetables are grown in a hydroponic system above the fish tanks. Nitrifying bacteria convert nitrogen wastes from the fish to forms of nitrogen accessible to plants, thereby providing fertilizer for the vegetables.
Campus Ecological Stewardship Advisory Group (CESAG) This committee includes faculty, staff, and students who are dedicated to caring for God's creation. Recent efforts have included increasing recycling on campus and monitoring stream erosion along the Trinity Trail. This group also provided support for the organic garden and aquaponics project mentioned above.
Lake Katherine Nature Center Just across the road from campus, this nature center provides many opportunities for recreation, study, and internships. The Trinity community has "adopted" a hillside prairie on the grounds, and we are working to reduce invasive species there and promote native prairie plants.
Other Local Nature Preserves If you aren't from the area, you may be surprised to find that there are many parks and preserves quite close to campus. The Chicago area has a great network of county forest preserves, which include areas of forest, prairie, wetlands, and lakes. Some of my favorite spots to visit are the Indian Boundary Prairies, which are managed by The Nature Conservancy, and provide a stunting display of prairie wildflowers.