Olivia DrakeAugust 26, 20215min
For more than a decade, the student group WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan University) has worked to transform a .75 acre of sloping, sandy land into a thriving permaculture site. Located inside the West College Courtyard, the garden boasts a biodiverse natural ecosystem with plants that are beneficial to humans and wildlife. Birds, bees, butterflies (and humans) enjoy the plethora of seasonal produce: blackberries, blueberries, pears, apples, corn, currants, and more. Seasonal flowers, from beebalm to woodland sunflowers, provide insects with nectar-rich meals, and grassy native groundcovers spread to absorb heavy rain and eliminate the need…

Rachel Wachman '24April 16, 20211min
Thirteen student-led groups are the recipients of Jewett Center for Community Partnerships Student Innovation Fund awards. These awards support community engagement projects with grants up to $750 each. “The common theme is that they all want to positively impact the greater Middletown community,” said Rhea Drozdenko, JCCP community participation coordinator. “There is no one right way to do community engagement, and the Innovation Fund supports nontraditional ideas. It's important that our grantees are grounded in the ideas of mutual respect and collective responsibility as they go out into the community." All applicants are required to read the Cardinal Community Commitment —the University's…

Olivia DrakeJuly 20, 20202min
Although human activity on campus is sparse during the summer and during the COVID-19 pandemic, birds, butterflies, bees, and the occasional groundhog are enjoying the plethora of pollen, nectar, berries, and fruits the campus grounds have to offer. Pictured are summery scenes taken from the Foss Hill and West College areas of campus on July 20: (Photos by Olivia Drake) (more…)

Olivia DrakeJuly 7, 20153min
In 2011, the student organization WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan), created WILD WestCo, a .75 acre sustainable landscaping initiative in the West College Courtyard. WILD Wes developed a landscape design and implementation plan following a permacultural ethic. Today, the courtyard features more than 40 shrubs, dozens of fruit trees, two rain gardens, a rainwater catchment system, multiple wood chip pathways lined in rye, clover and buckwheat, a seating area, compost area and hundreds of perennials that draw birds, insects and other wildlife. The landscape requires minimal resources and maintenance. As a member of WILD Wes, Heather…

Olivia DrakeJuly 8, 20142min
Following the principles of permaculture, the student group WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan) has transformed the West College Courtyard — once an eroded hillside with compacted soil and diseased trees — into complex ecosystems that provide food, attract insects and requires minimal resources and maintenance. The students also are working on a terraced garden near Summerfields. Follow the group's progress on their blog. Pictured are summer blooms, berries, bees and other bugs thriving in the garden on July 8. (Photos by Olivia Drake) (more…)

Olivia DrakeJuly 1, 20138min
Behind Wesleyan's historic College Row is a picture of New England college charm. But in the green expanses of lawn, where most see tradition and classic beauty, a group of Wesleyan students saw an environmental affront. For the past three years, a student group known as WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design), has attempted an alternative approach to landscaping. With Wesleyan’s support, WILD Wes has embarked on a bold experiment: ditch the lawn near the West College Courtyard and replace it with a sustainable landscape, based on the principles of permaculture. Permaculture design is meant to mimic natural patterns,…