The pit was created when topsoil was carried away to cover a nearby landfill. Now, the 5-acre site can support only grass. So Kurtz is testing the best way to enable it to grow trees.
That's where fighting climate change comes in. Trees soak up carbon dioxide—the most common greenhouse gas—and transform it into tree trunks, roots and, eventually, soil organic matter. Forests can store more carbon than other landscape types, so planting forests is promoted as a climate-change mitigation strategy.
Last fall, Kurtz marked out plots on the 5-acre site and treated them with various types and concentrations of compost and conventional fertilizer, then monitored the level of nutrients in the soil. The next step is to plant young trees, and follow how they grow.
Columns Digital Magazine
The UW Alumni Association is proud to announce that Columns is now available as an interactive digital magazine. It's presented using the Issuu viewer so you can browse through it just as you would the printed version. You can zoom in, print pages or share articles by e-mail.
Just click the "Digital magazine" link next to the cover image to start browsing.
Need a little more help? Gets some tips for using the Issuu viewer.