Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Office of College Advancement
Fremont, CA-On Tuesday, November 15, America Recycles Day, Ohlone College students, faculty, and Waste Management staff dug deep into compost, to create a 2,200 square foot urban farm to research the usability of recycled materials as a growth medium for planting food and other crops. Ohlone College and Waste Management of Alameda County have joined forces to create this outdoor learning laboratory and research center that allows students and faculty to participate as a regional test bed facility for WM EarthCare™ (WMEC) recycled landscaping products.
The event kicked off with a speech by the Ohlone College President Dr. Gari Browning, Newark Mayor Dave Smith, and Dan North of Waste Management. Event attendees laid down layers of compost, recycled burlap and mulch to cover the lawn area where the research will take place, built 36 raised player boxes from recycled redwood planks, and filled them with soil mixes made of various locally recycled products.
For the first few months, students will collect data on the various soil mixes, testing them for drainage, texture, PH, and nutrients, before planting the beds next spring. In the spring, the students will plant various food crops. The resulting harvest will be donated to local food banks, but the data will be used by WM Earthcare™. WM Earthcare™ researchers will analyze the data to help improve the performance of the soil products they develop from recycled materials.
Ohlone College Newark Center expands its Environmental Studies Program with this Outdoor Learning and Research Laboratory. All the materials for the Outdoor Urban Farm Research Lab were donated by Waste Management and WM Earthcare™. For more information visit www.wmearthcare.com.