Department of Environmental Sciences

About GUTS


The mission of GreeningUT Through Service Learning (GUTS) is to create native landscapes at the University of Toledo which increases sustainability, conservation, and biodiversity through the work of students and undergraduate service learning volunteers.  

Our vision is to decrease the reliance on fossil fuels needed to maintain turf grasses, increase the water filtration heading into the Ottawa River, and restore local habitat for native wildlife.


GreeningUT through Service Learning (GUTS) is an on-campus student project funded by the Student Green Fund. Student employees and faculty advisors focus on 3 main areas: native plantings and garden projects, greenhouse cultivation, and service learning opportunities. Through these projects, GUTS works to increase biodiversity and water filtration to the Ottawa River on campus by reducing turf grass plantings and replacing them with native plants.

Numerous projects have been completed on campus since GUTS’ inception in 2016. Completed projects include the Bowman Oddy South Courtyard plantings, the Center for Performing Arts rain garden, and the newly created Bowman Oddy South Prairie. GUTS has also provided support and plants to a variety of projects including the Academic House Prairie, Campus Classroom Garden, and Lot 3 Bioswale. With these projects underway, plans to complete additional native plantings on campus are in the works. A  garden at Carlson Library is expected to be completed Fall 2019, and a prairie planting at the Flatlands Watering Hole expected to be completed in 2020.

With so many ongoing projects and plantings, GUTS harvests seeds from completed plantings and germinates the seeds in the campus greenhouses for the next year. Preparing and growing young plants requires careful attention and specific conditions. We want all of our plants to survive when they get transplanted and we make sure plants have the highest chance of survival through watering and weeding. These tasks, as well as garden planning and clean up, are completed by GUTS team members. These paid student employees also organize and hold Service Learning opportunities.

The third focus area of GUTS is creating and running service learning opportunities for students of all majors taking courses offered in the Department of Environmental Sciences. While partaking in a service learning event, students will experience real-life applications of what they have learned in class while gaining marketable skills and increased networking. The student volunteers work with seed harvesting, cleaning, outplanting, and a variety of other greenhouse tasks. On a yearly basis, GUTS has over 200 student volunteer 800 hours of work.

Working on these focus areas to working to develop native plantings, GreeningUT Through Service Learning is excited for future increases in sustainability and biodiversity on campus.


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GUTS Logos Created by Sarah Knauf, BGSU Graphic Design Student

Last Updated: 5/27/20