Sustainable Playground

Differentiator

Western Michigan University is the only place that "walks the walk" of cultivating a resilient, eco-friendly, sustainable ecological and social culture.

Features

Opportunities to reconnect with nature; WMU becomes a pioneer in developing practical, sustainable, and effective ways to live in symbiosis with the Earth and preserve its resources; helping to balance technology/input/noise/outwardness of the day-to-day student experience with nature/silence/inwardness; contentment knowing that they are investing in something good for the planet, which is the ultimate good for themselves and the "seventh" generation.

Benefits

This idea would include implementation of projects such as preserving green spaces on campus and cultivating them to be holistic spaces beneficial for the environment and mental/physical well-being for the WMU community member. Spaces could be designed to complement academic programs (sites for experiential learning) or be created for meditation/quiet/outdoor reflective space for WMU community members. This could include pollinator gardens, semi-obscured meditation and prayer spaces, adult playground equipment with energy-harvesting capabilities, perma-culture gardens and other endeavors. Efforts could also include waste reduction - switching to sustainably-sourced promotional materials (pens, stickers, keychains etc.) and on-campus supplies (for food services, for example - biodegradable plastic cutlery, recycled napkins etc). Could further incorporate on-campus meal options to include more grain-based diets.