The Green Roof Garden hosts tours and volunteer work days that allow attendees to gain experience in urban food production and pollinator conservation. Want to join in our mission of great food, grown on a great campus and serving a great cause? Sign up to volunteer or schedule a tour! Rooftop access to the Geography-Geology Building is limited to authorized students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Georgia community.
In the 1960's, a green roof was constructed atop the UGA Geography-Geology building to serve as a temperature buffer for the Climatology Laboratory. Since 2007, a rotating cast of professors, students and volunteers have further utilized this green space by planting and maintaining a flourishing fruit and vegetable garden. Students, volunteers and the Office of Sustainability’s Urban Agriculture Intern now work to ensure that this 3,000-sq.ft. growing space stays healthy and productive.
The University’s urban landscape is highly-fragmented by traffic, developments, city expansion, and pesticide use. Thus, the RoofBuzz project was developed to transform the Green Roof Garden into a habitat corridor for pollinators. This project is a partnership with the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and their Connect to Protect program. The goal of Connect to Protect is to create a blanket of native plants across Georgia by supporting pollinator populations and migrations and re-connecting the landscape. Native plant species thrive on the rooftop and serve as a vital source of food and habitat for our pollinators. It also serves as a space for students and community members alike to learn about pollinator decline, the consequences of such decline, native plants that serve as a food and habitat source, and easy ways that each of us can work to conserve pollinator populations for years to come.
More About Green Roofs
Green roofs absorb solar radiation and reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect. This typically results when natural surfaces such as soils and vegetation, which absorb heat and release it back to the atmosphere as cooled water vapor, are replaced with constructed surfaces like concrete and brick (absorb heat and release heat). Other sources of urban heat are waste heat from AC units and refrigeration, traffic exhaust and pollution, and tall buildings that obstruct air circulation. A green roof helps to break this warming cycle. Rooftop vegetation holds storm water, then absorbs sunlight, and then releases water vapor back to the atmosphere, creating a cooling effect (similar to the human body producing sweat).
Green roofs improve local air and water quality; rooftop vegetation captures storm water and filters it before returning it to the atmosphere. This service improves water quality and reduces surface runoff. In addition, the plants sequester CO2 and other airborne pollutants, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and improve local air quality.
The vegetation on green roofs insulates buildings by buffering the building's temperature, holding warmth in the winter, and cooling in the summer. This can serve to reduce heating and cooling costs, as well as helping to prevent unnecessary energy waste. In addition, the lifespan of a covered rooftop is prolonged, reducing building material waste and disposal.
Green roofs can serve as a space for local food production, improving local access to fresh food and reducing food insecurity. Produce from the Green Roof Garden is donated to the Campus Kitchen at UGA and added to their weekly delivery bags of fresh, wholesome food for families in need.