Thursday, July 16, 2009

Urban Garden

Maybe "sustainable bird garden" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about downtown Newark, NJ, but did you know that we have not one, but two of them on the Rutgers campus here?

These gardens were planted and enlarged over the past several Earth Days with the help of student volunteers, the Greater Newark Conservancy, and campus staff. Our very own Professor Claus Holzapfel helped choose plants that would attract and feed the birds that regularly fly over campus on their migratory paths.

Right now both gardens are in full bloom in the Norman Samuels Plaza. Helen Paxton took these great photos of the plants (and bumblebees) this week.

The signage on our first garden, the smaller of the two, describes the project.

Our larger bird garden includes a sign with photos and descriptions of a few of the many bird species (over 100!) that have been spotted on campus.

Close up of a bumblebee on an echinacea plant - if you click on the photo for the larger version, you'll see some amazing detail on the wings. I love this photo (and no, I'm not just saying that because the photographer happens to be my boss!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Staff Appreciation Day

It takes a lot more than just students and professors to keep the university running, whether it's organizing student life activities, keeping the plaza landscaped, keeping the campus safe, maintaining budgets and records, cleaning your classrooms and offices, running the computer labs, delivering mail, writing grants and everything in between.

Every year the HR department puts together a staff appreciation event for all of these people and Chancellor Steven Diner hands out awards to some of the hardest working folks on campus. To the left, Henry Lionel Anderson holds up his award... can you believe he hasn't called out sick in 30 years?

In the top right photo below, the HR department smiles for the camera... they look relieved that all the planning is over, don't they? Director Elena Serra was so happy she can be seen dancing in the top left photo :)

Aside from the music, bingo, and chance to mingle with people you don't often see on a daily basis, one of the draws is that you get ice cream and food served to you by the bigshots on campus (as you can see from the bottom right photo above). It's a nice break from sitting in front of my computer all day!

You can view all photos from the event on the Rutgers Newark HR website