Five things you didn’t know about your outdoor campus environment – sustainably

Five things you didn’t know about your outdoor campus environment – sustainably

Beehives, communal gardens, insect hotels, Wild on Purpose, and recycling of flower bulbs and rainwater. The above is just a small sample of the many sustainable activities that the Campus Service horticultural team works on daily. In this article, we take a closer look at these, and you can take an active part in sustainable activities on campus too.

Last modified: 03.12.2021

1. Communal gardens cultivate budding communities

In 2019, campus space in Aalborg was set aside to be used as communal gardens for students and staff. The project was a great success, and in addition to many people enjoying growing their own vegetables and plants, the Facebook group for the communal gardens also supported a budding community where AAU staff and students now help each other out. The horticultural team takes good care of the gardens and ensures that the beds are watered with rainwater to give the communal gardens the best conditions for growth.

Contact the coordinator for the Physical Study Environment ( to book one of the communal gardens.

2. The campus is buzzing with biodiversity

At students’ request, three beehives will be set up on Campus East in spring 2022. All students and staff can book one of the hives free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

This means a real, free opportunity to cultivate the insects and produce real AAU honey on campus. Contact the coordinator for the Physical Study Environment ( to book a hive.

In addition to the hives, insect hotels will be installed in 2021/2022 – either in the form of “hotels” or old tree trunks. The insect hotels aim to increase biodiversity on campus.

2. A large drainage system lies underneath the big football on Campus East

The horticultural team (of course) use rainwater to water the communal gardens and other beds. This is because there is a big drainage system underneath the big football pitch on Campus East that collects rainwater in a 19-cubic-metre basin, from where the water is pumped into a portable irrigation system that is used to water all our flowerpots and new beds.

4. Wild on Purpose is evolving: Pick a bouquet of the farmer’s flower mix on campus

Three years ago, the gardening team planted a “meadow mix for clay soil”, as it suited our soil type the best and because it was the best option for competing with the grass – as grass is a very tough opponent to the Wild on Purpose concept.

In 2021, a “farmer’s flower mix” was sown instead, as lots of seeds from the old mix are still in the ground. The new flower mix has been a huge success, with many people picking bouquets to take home from campus, which the horticultural team encourages.

5. AAU flowers have many lives

The plants in our flower boxes are perennials, so when the gardeners make changes in the boxes, they make new beds for the “old” plants, giving them new life in a new environment.

The plants in our round flowerpots on the main campus are now in their second season (as of 2021), as there have been no staff or students to enjoy them during Covid, but there will be a switch to summer flowers in May 2022 and then the “old” plants will be used for new beds.

The outdoor environment as part of a good student life

You can enjoy the various green initiatives from the greenhouses on Campus East. The greenhouses are frequently used in the spring and winter months as group rooms, extending outdoor life and light with the warmth of the sun’s rays. At Campus Service, we get good feedback from students who enjoy using the greenhouses for group work and lunch – a great opportunity to enjoy nature while having a plug for laptops.

Put your own green touch on campus

If you have an idea for a sustainable outdoors activity, we would love to hear from you via email, and it will be raised in the Sustainable Campus Forum, where students and staff work together for a greener campus.