IAA to Bring Life to Dorm Rooms

IAA instructor Ken Ingram and students get plants ready for last year's Green Office Program.

Image Credit: IAA

July 8, 2014 Ed Priola

Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of an instructor and students from the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), Terps moving into the dormitories for the fall 2014 semester will receive green plants to help decorate their rooms and improve air quality.

IAA instructor and advisor Ken Ingram was awarded a grant through the Pepsi Enhancement Fund to supply the plants. Pepsi grants fund programs or events that create a campus community, appeal to campus citizens and advance the university’s academic mission.

The “Green Dorm Room Project” is modeled after the successful “Green Office Program” Ingram administered during the 2013-2014 academic year. The IAA partnered with the University of Maryland’s Office of Sustainability to supply hundreds of plants to beautify campus offices.  

This spring student volunteers got 500 plants ready for students moving into their dorms this August. “Basically it is a houseplant giveaway to incoming resident students,” says Kelsie Birney, an IAA student who recently completed a special problems class assignment involved in selecting ideal plants for the project. “The project will integrate some of the early topics covered in INAG 100: Introduction to Plant Science, which is taught each fall.”

Ingram was also able to attain a second Pepsi Enhancement Fund grant for a program he’s named “We Are Golf.” It’s modeled after a national campaign conducted by national golf organizations that united to bring the golf industry to the attention of policy makers. “There is a misconception that golf is an elitist sport,” says IAA student Brian Knott, who is also a member of the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS). “The truth is golf courses have many environmental and social benefits and the golf industry as a whole has a significant economic impact.”

The “We Are Golf” event will take place over two days and is planned to coincide with the Biennial Ryder Cup Matches at Gleneagles in Scotland September 26-28. Ingram plans to involve students enrolled in his INAG 242: Golf Course Design and Construction class and says activities will include chipping and putting contests on the lawn in front of Jull Hall, distributions of literature about the value of the golf industry, and a flat screen television for live coverage of the golf tournament.