Across UMass Lowell, there are several green roofs that help to reduce flooding and the urban heat island effect, provide habitats for wildlife, and sequester carbon. Working in collaboration with UMass Lowell’s Student Government Association, the Office of Sustainability and Mill City Grows are redesigning some of these roofs into Rooftop Farms to inspire individual and campus-wide action for sustainability. The first such Rooftop Farm is on the second floor of University Crossing, at the top of the stairs that lead down to the atrium.
The Rooftop Farm meets both stringent structural and energy efficiency requirements, along with impressive organic production goals. To support a rotating array of vegetables and herbs, a multi-layer, modular growing system filled with compost from the university’s dining facilities is paired with an efficient on-demand smart drip irrigation system that adjusts to local weather data. The compost that UMass Lowell uses on campus is developed in partnership with Casella Organics.
Crop selection, planting and harvesting is provided by Mill City Grows. Additional Urban Agriculture sites on campus include our 1,800 sq. ft. Greenhouse and Urban Farm on East Campus and the Dane Street Community Garden at University Crossing.