NIU is committed to managing its grounds in a sustainable manner, including restoration of open spaces to create more native habitats. Ecological restoration is important for many reasons, including the conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem services such as clean air and water, and mitigation of climate change.

Our East Lagoon, a vital asset to the DeKalb community, requires significant repairs and restoration to mitigate a mounting array of challenges and better capitalize on the potential environmental, sustainability, and community benefits this important resource can provide. Over the past few years, NIU students have collaborated with faculty, Grounds, and ENCAP, Inc to restore sections of the East Lagoon shoreline to native, wetland habitat. The goals of these student-led projects were to protect the lagoon from further erosion, provide habitat for fish and other living species, improve the water quality of the lagoon, attract natural wildlife and increase the stability of the shoreline over time. Wetlands are an important natural feature that provides many ecosystem services including not just shoreline stabilization, but also flood control, pollution filtration, storm and wind buffers, carbon sinks (storage), and habitat for local wildlife. Long-term, we hope to restore the entire East Lagoon shoreline.

Read more about one of the lagoon planting events in NIU Today.

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