Wetlands graduate assistant Kristina Morales (center) tests water quality with young students as part of a Saturday Academy, a learning experience designed to engage middle school teachers and students in STEM. See more photos on UNCG Research Flickr.

Into the Reeds

In two separate, quiet corners of UNCG’s Peabody Park there lies exquisitely fertile terrain – for wildlife, for native plants, and for research. The work that takes place there spans from water quality to mammal diversity to STEM education to recreational therapy.

Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. They provide numerous environmental services, raising runoff water quality and increasing biotic diversity. And when used as living laboratories, wetlands are also extremely productive academic ecosystems.

UNCG’s two wetlands, created in 2017, have quickly become a nexus of research and learning, for the university community and beyond.

Peabody Park dates back to 1901, when the first university president Charles Duncan McIver established it as a place for recreation and hands-on learning for students. Part of the park held a man-made lake, which was drained in 1954.

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Originally published Spring 2019.

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