Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Last Field Trip

We went on our last field trip today to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. We were going to spend most of our day there sightseeing and getting a presentation on their sustainable efforts from Patty Shanahan and we were going to get a second presentation from the vice president of sustainability, Arthur Gibson, at Baxter.

The bus ride to get to the garden was about an hour and thirty minutes. When we got there, we were dropped off at the entrance and from there we went to our presentation room to drop off our stuff. We got there in the morning and our presentation wasn't scheduled until after noon. This gave us about an hour and a half to roam around the park. My professor Aleen showed us some of her favorite attractions, the Japanese Garden and the Rose Garden. After she showed them to us, we were given free time and we were allowed to go wherever we wanted within the garden.
Barbara, Me, Rebecca, and Beatrice
I walked around with Sarah, Beatrice, Esin, Barbara, and Rebecca. We let our noses lead us to where we were going. The garden was very huge and we didn't feel like walking around all of it so we observed a section of the pond. There were so many beautiful flowers and plants in the garden. The different smells were really intoxicating but you had to be careful that you didn't walk around a place that had fresh fertilizer placed. After we were done exploring, we went back to the presentation room and we quickly ate our lunch there before Patty came to talk to us. Most of what she shared with us was the sustainability operations that have been implemented and some ones that are set to be complete in the next few months. A big one that has been accomplished is that their Science Center has been certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold.

Before our presentation from Baxter, we went to the Science Center to see some of the labs and to get a glimpse of the roof top garden. My favorite part of the lab was the side that Aleen affectionately nicknamed 'the dead and dirt side.' There we saw a lot of dead insects and plants that were preserved. When we were done in the science buildings Arthur Gibson came to talk to us about the sustainability efforts at Baxter. Baxter is a health care company that focuses on treating hemophilia, kidney disease, immune disorders and other chronic and acute medical conditions. What Arthur had the time to share with us was the company's commitment to the environment and he also showed us the different LEED Gold buildings that they ran.

The bus ride back home was a big torture. We had to drop off Aleen in the city because she was teaching a class that evening. On our way back to campus, we were hit with a lot of traffic and to make things even worse, a tow vehicle decided to hit us a little bit on the side. When our bus driver made sure that the bus and the rest of us were OK, we got back on course for the university. It took us about two hours to get back on campus and I had to rush dinner because I had to finish my company comparison assignment.

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