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Submitted by Thea Kindschuh, Portland CRUX Coordinator
As Portland anticipates experiencing hotter, drier summers with more high-heat days and longer, wetter winters with increased storm events, PSU is looking to vegetation types found 50 miles east that are more suited to drought and intermittent heavy rainfall. For Arbor Day 2018, alongside PSU’s Earth Day of Service, the university implemented a Climate Resilient Vegetation Planting on the PSU campus. The planting turned an underutilized planter space into a resilient vegetation showcase.
Implementation Partners & Funding
The Portland CRUX Fellow led this project in partnership with PSU’s Groundskeeping and Maintenance, the Student Community Engagement Center, and Facilities. The project was funded through an external grant.
Resilience Assessment Outcomes
The resilience assessment process leaned in to the ambiguity of some resilient concepts, while really highlighting the necessity of on-the-ground, tangible examples of resilience. By doing research, utilizing the expertise of campus staff, and engaging students in planting, this event was able to demonstrate a lasting resilience benefit. This benefit will be enjoyed by the campus, community, and both the individuals who participated in the event and those that will enjoy the garden in the future.
Vulnerabilities Reduced by the Planting
- Rainfall Flooding
- Invasive Species
- Loss of biodiversity
- Environmental Biodegradation
- Lack of green space
- Lack of resilience education
Strengths Reinforced by the Planting
- Applied learning and community engagement for students
- PSU’s Open Space Plan combined with Bee Campus USA, Tree Campus USA, Invasive Pest Management plans, and native plant prioritization for groundskeeping resilience
- Student engagement in operational campus sustainability
Monitoring Impact & Next Steps
Plant survive and use of space will be used as metrics to evaluate success. PSU would eventually like to add signage about the choice of plants and how they relate to climate change resilience.