Wayne State student organization Detroit Biodiversity Network is cooperating with SEED Wayne to excite green thumbs with organic, urban ecosystems on campus.
The students plan to utilize the greenhouse space on top of WSU’s Science Hall.
Adam Pruett, greenhouse coordinator for DBN, said the group will use the greenhouse to grow fruits and vegetables for campus gardens and the WSU farmer’s market. The greenhouse will also serve as the “home base” for DBN operations and meetings.
“We’re going to have education workshops and seminars with hands-on learning and guest speakers,” Pruett said. “The topics will include seed starting, fruit and vegetable growing, native plant cultivation and uses and beekeeping. They’ll all be open to Wayne State students and the public.”
According to DBN’s Orgsync page, the group is in the process of establishing a Michigan native plant nursery and starting several native garden sites on campus.
Natalie Lyon, DBN treasurer, said the network started through SEED Wayne.
“DBN came about through the collaboration of three students involved in the SEED Wayne Fellowship in Community Food Systems Planning and other SEED Wayne projects,” Lyon said. “We established DBN with the goal of engaging a broader and more diverse group of students across multiple majors and departments in the work that SEED Wayne has already been doing around sustainable food systems on campus for the past decade.”
Pruett said he credits DBN faculty advisor and biology lab coordinator Michelle Serreyn, and the group’s student founders, for inquiring about greenhouse spaces.
“We were fortunate enough to receive access to the Science Hall greenhouse thanks to the generosity and resourcefulness of the biology lab coordinator,” Pruett said. “Now that we have a base of operations, we can focus on serving as a nexus for on-campus green innovation and initiatives, where individuals and groups interested in green issues can connect and collaborate.”
Community Outreach Liaison and Biochemistry Undergraduate Stathis Pauls said WSU and surrounding areas would benefit from projects by SEED Wayne and DBN.
“As any other student organization, we hope to benefit not only students here on campus but the greater Wayne State and midtown communities,” Pauls said. “We envision a campus that is an example of sustainable living, building, and landscaping, and one that propagates the importance of sustainable practices moving forward.”
Lyon said DBN is always looking for ways to expand and impact more lives in urban areas.
“We hope to continue to build partnerships with various departments on campus and organizations in the surrounding community,” Lyon said. “We would love to partner with Facilities Planning and Maintenance, the Office of Economic Development and the Sustainability Office to expand use of native plants on university grounds.”
DBN meets on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in the greenhouse on the fourth floor of the Science Hall. Visit their Orgsync for more information.