On top of Wayne State’s Science Hall is a greenhouse that had not been used for about 10 years. That greenhouse is now home to the Biodiversity Network. The new student organization has reclaimed the space as a spot for urban ecologists, gardening enthusiasts, and those curious about food systems and starting a garden. Here, students are able to help grow vegetables, herbs, native plants — and new relationships.
The Biodiversity Network was created by undergraduate biochemistry student Stathis Pauls and urban planning graduate students Adam Pruitt and Natalie Lyons. Michelle Serryn, the lab coordinator for the biology department, is the faculty member involved in the Biodiversity Network. With the collaboration of Pruitt and Serryn, the greenhouse was transformed into the new space for the Biodiversity Network,
“Really, we want the space to be a place for people to collaborate and share their knowledge and passions,” said Pruitt while cleaning out a tank that will soon be the home for mantids.
The greenhouse is bustling with life. Members of the organization mix soil, plant transplants, help raise mantids and honey bees, and grow food. “Our hope in creating the Biodiversity Network was that people throughout campus and the Detroit community would be able to come together to learn about organic urban gardening and food systems,” said Pauls.
The group has already successfully started growing herbs and vegetables in the greenhouse.
“Once all our transplants are ready, we will move them to Warrior Garden, then the food we grow will be shared with the student organizations such as Students Feeding Students and the Wayne State food pantry.” said Lyons.
Written by CLAS communications associate Christiana Castillo