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Sustainability at Yale
Garden & Grounds
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Grounds Compost Tea Study

Yale’s Compost Tea Study is a collaborative initiative between students and faculty from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Grounds and Maintenance, and the Office of Sustainability. This project demonstrates how the campus can be engaged as a living laboratory.  Blue markers in eight locations across the campus identify plots of soil that are being used to assess the impact of using compost tea as a soil amendment. The joint pilot project monitors four different treatment protocols that will compare the effects of a compost tea amendment, made from Yale’s composted food waste, versus current treatment methods on the ecology of the soil. The above and below ground response to the four treatments will be assessed by students.

Healthy soils absorb more water, filter urban pollutants, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Measuring both soil and vegetation responses will not only provide information relevant to ecosystem function but also will have useful implications for landscape management on campus.