Current Initiatives

NMU Hoop House

About Us

The Northern Michigan University hoop house serves as a collaborative learning center for eaters of all ages who are curious about where food comes from and how it it grown. Through research and education on sustainable agriculture, the project aims to expand our local food system, increase food security and provide increased access to fresh, healthy food.

The project aims to help current farmers, potential farmers and the greater community learn more about sustainable agriculture practices and using hoop houses to extend the growing season in a northern climate.

Seeds are started in the greenhouse until it is warm enough to transplant them into the hoop house. Harvests from the hoop house are used by the culinary program at NMU and donated to local food banks. When possible, seeds are collected and saved for the next planting, and waste materials are composted to create organic fertilizer.


To promote the full cycle of producing sustainable and locally grown food through educational and research opportunities for students, faculty and staff at Northern Michigan University and the greater Marquette Community.

The Hoop House is available to every gardener, community member and student regardless of experience.

Come Grow With US

The hoop house is available to any individual who wants to experiment and learn. Interested in a directed study? Interested in soils and native plants? Have some landscape art you want to display? There are endless opportunities at the NMU hoop house!

Superior Acre Permaculture Garden

About Us

The Superior Acre Permaculture (SAP) garden aims to create an educational opportunity for students and community members by building an active outdoor learning classroom. SAP is available to every gardener, community member and student regardless of experience. You can come to learn or you can come to educate.

The EEGS garden club and Students for Sustainable Living, the student organizations that created the SAP garden,  plan on promoting progressive thinking on a local and global scale, establishing a shift in sustainable practices for urban agricultural development

Mission Statement

By establishing a sustainable land site on Northern Michigan University’s campus, students are given the option to explore growing food, learn healthy living habits and find proactive solutions to work toward sustainable and regenerative practices.

Current Events and Future Plans

The SAP Garden is currently in its second year of growth.  Students, faculty and community members are working to develop garden beds, remediate the soil and perform general upkeep of crops for the first several seasons of the garden’s development.

With coming growing seasons, students plan to continue working in the garden as well as promoting it as an educational tool, inviting different classes to tour the SAP garden or even do work in the garden that could enhance their learning experience.

Outdoor Learning Areas

The goal of the Outdoor Learning Area (OLA) is to promote academic and recreational experiences on campus by cultivating sustainably designed green spaces.  It is an educational space where faculty and students can come for a relaxing lunch or study break, youth groups can learn about biodiversity and animal/plant interactions, volunteers can grow new plant species and remove invasive plant species, and visitors can harvest seeds to create a seed bank that can be used throughout the region. Students and faculty can also interact with the space through coursework and research.


Native Plants Study Area - 1.5 acres

Located between the new dorms and New Science Facility, the oldest OLA is a jack pine forest and prairie field that is used as a place for student research, field experience and a living seed bank for the campus and community. Since its inception in 2009, over 20 native plant species were planted and biodiversity increased by over 33%.

Geological Park - 0.3 acres

A new addition in 2016, this circle area in front of New Science Facility features relocated boulders and Michigan-native trees that represent the geology and ecology of the region. It is currently used as a walkway from the staff parking lot to the science facilities, and in the future will be used as a research area for rock identification.

Naturalized Area - 1 acre

Primarily utilized by the Center for Native American Studies, this mixture of turf grass, naturalized and Michigan-native plants will be used for plant species identification and comparison with the Native Plants Study Area. Classes gather and special events are held at a fire ring located in the red pine forest.





The "Cold is Cool" campaign encourages students, and everyone for that matter, to be weary of their carbon footprint [pawprint] during seemingly innocent household tasks like doing the laundry. If you wash your clothes with cold water versus warm water, you can cut back on emissions by 90%! What is so crazy about that, is the fact that using warm water to wash your clothes is of no greater benefit to your clothes as cold water is. Cold water and cold water detergents decrease the setting of stains as well as the shrinking of clothes!



Look for the posters in your laundry room in campus residence hall or apartment!


Want to learn about more ways to conserve energy when doing the laundry?

Here are some tips brought to you by the Alliance to Save Energy:

  • Do full loads of laundry. Filling up your washing machine with water requires energy, and it’s a waste if done for a partial load.
  • Do not over-wash clothes. Delicate and gently worn clothes don't need as long of a wash cycle as soiled, sturdy clothes.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after every load. A lint-free filter improves air circulation and quickens drying, whereas a clogged filter and vent can cause a home fire.
  • Separate light and heavy items before drying. Lightweight items take less drying time, so don’t waste dryer time by throwing your undergarments and t-shirts in with your towels and rugs.
  • Don't over-dry clothes. Take clothes out while they are still slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing — another energy user. If your dryer has an auto-dry feature, use that instead of the timer.