Illinois State is a living laboratory with many opportunities to study issues on campus. The university and the communities demonstrate integrated sustainable systems. Whether you are researching the behavior of squirrels on the quad, studying economic development, or improving access to local foods, we have what you are looking for right outside your door.
Students and faculty have been working toward a restoration of the environmental laboratory situated along Sugar Creek, located between the Cardinal Court Student Housing and the ISU Carter Harris Physical Plant. Grants were obtained to conduct an ecological assessment and a restoration plan for the site. The broad purpose is to reestablish the environmental learning laboratory and nature trail that had been in existence at that site until the mid-1990's. This would be accomplished by reestablishing an oak-savanna ecosystem through an ecological restoration process, allowing for inter-disciplinary programming and hands-on, practical applications for students.
In 2012 a site assessment was conducted by ecology+vision, and in 2014 a preliminary set of construction documents was developed by the same company.
The environmental laboratory was originally established by Dr. Metzer in the Department of Biology. The original trail guide consisted of a walking path with interpretative displays. Remnants of the laboratory can be found on the site today.