The Best of Show (Academic/EducationalCategory) award-winning Sustainable Wetland Garden, located near Widener Hall and Cottage Hall, is a working demonstration of sustainable principles and management.
Sustainable elements include recycled-glass pavers, biological filtration of campus storm water runoff, and native plant communities.
Significant portions of what is now the Sustainable Wetland Garden began as part of Temple University’s 1997 entry in the Philadelphia Flower Show. "The Green Machine," an exhibit detailing how created wetlands could be used for cleaning wastewater, won Best of Show for that year in the Academic Educational category.
After the 1997 Flower Show, students in the Design-Build Studio in the Landscape Architecture curriculum spent the following two years —spring 1998 and 1999 —retrofitting the exhibit for the sustainable wetland garden.
The exposed cullet (recycled glass) paving from “The Green Machine” also made the transition to the wetland garden.
The garden is entirely made of native species and comprises several diverse habitats. The wetland portion functions as a bio-filter —the vegetation and microorganisms filter out pollution that is generated from the surrounding buildings.