Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun…

Today was a most productive day for us. We started off by getting together and while some of us were finalizing a design plan for the cell garden, others were making phone calls for more donations, and one person went to meet with the Media team about getting a new sign for the post in front of the Ecohouse. A few different options were discussed with both groups, and we will reconvine next day to discuss their viability.
We managed to get 10 bags of soil donated to us before we even left Lebel to go work on site, and one of members (along with a certain helpul person from the Engineering group) took off to go pick it up right away!
After a talk with Justin about our midterm, we took off for the Ecohouse, and continued our productive day. We managed to get quite a bit done, as we finished two whole planters, bringing our total up to 3. Thank goodness the weather is finally co-operating!
We cleared the areas of woodchips and cardboard, put down fresh cardboard, and made holes in it for our flowers. We planted more Marigolds and a few Black-Eyed Susans in these new planters, and covered the area with topsoil and peatmoss, and watered.

Pretty Marigolds

Clearing area for the second plot

Planting the second garden

Watering what we planted last day

The Marigolds we planted previously around the signpost are already looking taller, and some of the old wildflowers are growing back as well! We greatly hope we can continue working at this pace, and although the lack of enough tools for the whole team is a hinderance, we make the best of it by working alternately and everyone taking initiative to be productive in their tool-less time.
As this day ends, we still wait for more donations of flowers and soil, and are ever-hopeful for the days ahead.

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Day 2: Problems with the rooftops, and evaluating the Eco House

Over the weekend one of our team members, Ashley, initiated conversation among people of interest in facility services in order to get some head way on our Green Roof project. Ultimately, this lead to the group being directed to John Rigor, who should be in contact over the next few days. Although, some of the people contacted remain supportive of the project at hand, others did not hesitate to remind us of the obstacles ahead: conflict with unions, telephone towers atop of Laurier, liability issues, and problems with the previous irrigation system atop MacDonald Hall.

Members from the group also met on Monday at the Eco-house to view the state of the exterior of the project. Although, we were forewarned of the lack of up keep at the site, we still managed to dredge up some disappointment for what we found. We were unable to decide a realistic goal for this project. Ashley was able to allocate a tentative donation from St. Thomas of Villanova of six to eight flats of flowers that may include petunias, salvia, geraniums, and begonias. The garden of the Eco-House still needs to be weeded, stripped of wood chips, leveled and the soil needs to be turned before planting could even begin, these are a few objective for the team’s action plan for Tuesday’s work period.

Failed Rhubarb and weeds.

This needs to be cleaned up.

On tuesday, the groups moved around a little bit due to the introduction of  Dr. Jennifer Willet’s Earthship project, and we lost 2 members, but gained 4 more. We welcome Jyotsna, Harpreet, Evan, and Natalie to our group.

Despite the rainy weather, we managed a trip out to the Eco House site as a group this time to make sure everyone had a chance to see what we are working with and to put everyone on the same page. We had to do a major re-evaluation of our project and began to look at perhaps a zen/rock-garden based type of space. We saw this as an acceptable and interesting solution for the space because it would be low-maintainence, although we run into the problem of functionality for that space, and again, had to re-evaluate.

This is what we're working with.

The Lot

At this writing, all plans are tentative and the idea of cleaning up the area and donating it to the community garden has been tossed around. It’s back to the drawing board for us, once again. Our goal for before next class is to come up with as many different ideas for the space as we can.

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Day1: Planter project on residence buildings and eco-house wildflower garden

Today our group got things started on our projects allocated to us. We have been assigned two projects from the Greening,Growing and Earthship Architecture. One project is to get the rooftops of the two residence buildings green. In order to achieve our goal we would have to get permission from the University of Windsor’s Vice President of Finance Steven Willox to carry on with our project. We would achieve that by going to see him at his office on Monday and persuade him if needed. We would assure him that the expenses that would occur to renew this project would be covered by Green Corridor by fund-raising and it would only benefit the university in many ways; the image of the university would become better, the buildings would have protection from extreme weather due to insulation etc. Over the weekend every group member would go over the archives for the projects and would gain the knowledge required to achieve the final goals. Also we would have to go to the residence management and ask them for access to the roof tops. We would survey the roof tops and later have a brainstorming session to come up with ideas.

For the eco-house project we need to read the archives and survey it in order to get an idea what it is all about and we plan to do it sometime before our next class on tuesday, we would contact each other and come up with a suitable time for the survey and would come up with ideas for it next week.

Group members:

Muhammad Isa Khan Niazi

Fanny Lai

Laura Gentili

Marcy Boles

Rain Farooqi

Ashley Bujold

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LAYING THE MULCH AND CARDBOARD

  

November 8th, 2010, marked the first day, Team EcoHouse began the process of laying the cardboard and mulch. Lead by Elaina and Jodi, the group plans to soak the land surrounding the EcoHouse until it is pooling, and then laying down the cardboard to soak up the water. The cardboard has to be placed, writing side up, in a single layer. After placing the cardboard down to the ground, additional water is sprayed on top of the card board until it is totally soaked. Finally, 2-3 inches of mulch will be placed on top of the cardboards.

 

The process of wetting the soil and the cardboard is to saturate the soil. The moisture in the soil and cardboard combined with heat from the soil raises the temperature of the soil, thus killing the weeds under the cardboard and in the soil.

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TAPE REMOVAL

Throughout the week of November 1st, 2010, Team EcoHouse worked on removing tape from several hundred pieces of card board. The tape removal process occupied the group for three full classes and required additional help from other students enrolled in the Green Corridor class. Team EcoHouse and co. sorted through the different cardboard pieces one by one, disposing cardboards with waxy surfaces and high ink content. During the process of tape removal and box inspection, the group also removed all staples from the selected cardboards. Lastly, the group broke open each cardboard, so it can lay flat.

The process of box inspection, and tape and staple removal are important steps in preparing the cardboards for the winterization project. Without adequate inspection of the cardboards, the cardboard can have adverse effects on the soil by adding tape, ink, and staples to it. Throughout the winter months, the cardboard alone will decompose leaving behind the tape, staples, and traces of ink in the soil. In the upcoming weeks, Team EcoHouse will be laying down the cardboard and mulch.

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CARDBOARD PICK-UP/ MULCH DROP-OFF

In efforts to stabilize and restore the land surrounding the EcoHouse, Team EcoHouse conducted research on several different options of winterization. With the semester running out, the group decided on a method that would intertwine the different options researched. After choosing a method of winterization, the group began to contact different manufactures and producers with the city of Windsor, in efforts to obtain mulch, and card board. In the aftermath of countless emails and phone calls, the group received a response from Derrel Lauzon, and Mike Maillouz.

 

The operating manager at Devonshire Mall, Mike Lauzon, demonstrated interest in the EcoHouse project by arranging for the group to pick up a significant amount of cardboard from the mall. Mr. Lauzon provided the group with after hour security clearance, and large bins to carry away the cardboards. With the help of several students enrolled in the Green Corridor course, Team EcoHouse, lead by Elaina and Jodi, carried away several hundred large pieces of cardboard, and stored it in the basement of the EcoHouse.

 

The haunt for free mulch ended with Mike Maillour, Head of Forestry, City of Windsor, committing to provide the EcoHouse winterization project with as much mulch as required. Mike Maillour arranged for 5 truck-full of mulch to be spilled at the EcoHouse location. Without knowledge about the exact amount of mulch needed to complete the project, Team EcoHouse has placed Mr. Maillour on speed dial, just in case his assistance is needed again. In the upcoming week, team EcoHouse will be working sorting out the card boards, to decide which boxes can be used for the project.

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IMMEDIATE ACTION

Team EcoHouse Restoration continued their IMMEDIATE ACTION initiative throughout the week of Monday September 27, 2010. The team has completed a majority of the tasks associated with the primary cleanup of the EcoHouse. The remaining tasks are fixing the broken gate, removing the fence post, and cleaning up the garden in the backyard. In reference to long-term planning for the EcoHouse, the team is collaborating with Rita Hasse and Jennifer Willet in efforts to build a Green House next to the EcoHouse. The Team has conducted a lot of research on the EcoHouse and thoughout the next couple of days they will be seeking the necessary permits required and funding needed to complete the Green House.

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