Retreat & Ecology Campus
The Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus is a "wilderness classroom" that serves as a complement to Loyola's urban campus setting, providing a unique field education opportunity for students studying the environment.
On 98 acres of natural wetland and forest habitat that includes a student-operated organic farm, students study nature in nature, living and learning with our faculty. LUREC courses, student internships, and research opportunities provide an applied and practical learning dimension to the curriculum at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability, preparing students for careers in food systems and sustainable agriculture, conservation of biodiversity, and restoration of natural ecosystems.
This summer, take a course in Loyola's "wilderness classroom" at the Retreat and Ecology Campus and get hands-on experience in ecology, restoration and sustainability. For a list of courses and requirements, visit Summer Sessions.
Students studying environmental science, food systems, and sustainable agriculture have opportunities to work on the farm, learning first-hand how to plan crop planting and harvesting schedules to supply the produce needed to fulfill weekly shares for the Community Supported Agriculture business. Students run the farm every growing season while applying and testing new sustainable agriculture techniques, learning from local farmers, and expanding the farm business. For more information, visit the Student Farm.
Students studying to become conservation biologists—conserving the earth's biodiversity—or Restoration Ecologists—restoring damaged ecosystems—will gain practical experience working with faculty at LUREC to implement biodiversity recovery and ecosystem restoration plans. They remove invasive species, rehydrate an artificially drained wetland, and perform controlled burns to restore natural ecosystem function and biodiversity. In our cutting-edge invasives-to-energy program, students collect the invasive plant biomass and convert it into clean, renewable energy that is used to heat the LUREC farm hoop house and greenhouse in the winter. For more information, see Restoration.
Workshops and Programs
In addition to academic programs, the Retreat and Ecology Campus offers all students, the Loyola community and neighbors a number of chances to get involved through workshops, retreats and other events. For more information, see Workshops and Programs.
For more information, visit the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus.