Sustainability Superstars: President Sarah Mangelsdorf and Dr. Karl Rosengren

With the assistance of Green Rep Eleanor Oi (thanks, Eleanor!), Green Reps Program Coordinator Sherin George and Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie had the opportunity to welcome President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf last month to the University on behalf of the Green Reps (pictured below).

Did you know that President Mangelsdorf and her husband, Dr. Karl Rosengren (Professor, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Psychology) have purchased some compost bins to place behind the garage at Witmer House? Once the bins arrive, they hope to get all the caterers that work at Witmer House to start composting leftovers from gatherings held there. Mangelsdorf and Rosengren planted a few herbs in the Witmer House garden this year and plan to put in a full-scale garden next year that will use some of the compost.

Rosengren has been actively working with Keith Bonnlander (Horticulturalist CNLP ISA), John McIntyre (Manager of Horticulture and Grounds), Karen Berger (Associate Professor of instruction, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and the students of Karen’s Hydrology class. The students are working on proposals to redesign and implement two parts of the Witmer grounds.

The first project proposals focus on a grassy area inside the circular drive at Witmer House. Currently, the roots of a large tree within the circle are damaged and the plan is to turn the space into a low maintenance sustainable garden with plants native to New York. Ideally, this garden will also serve as a teaching garden.

The second project proposals involve creating a rain garden at the outlet of a drain that captures the runoff from the new addition at the Witmer House. Currently, the runoff washes out in the back of the lot. Rosengren’s plan is again to put in low maintenance plants that are native to our region.

Both of these projects will be funded by Mangelsdorf and Rosengren. Rosengren explains, “We think these are unique projects that get students collaborating with folks working on the grounds to think creatively, promote sustainable landscaping, and beautify the grounds of Witmer House. We are quite excited about these projects—and we hope these are merely the beginning!”

Interestingly enough, both Mangelsdorf’s and Rosengren’s fathers started the recycling programs in their respective hometowns. This passion for sustainability has clearly been passed along to the next generation.

Join us in extending a most sincere welcome to President Mangelsdorf and Karl Rosengren!

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