In October, the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) at Rutgers University will open, and a breathtaking highlight will become public knowledge. The award-winning structure under construction at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences is home to the largest interior living wall in the state… Measuring 40 feet tall by 33 feet wide, the living wall is the creation of EcoWalls, a business founded by Rutgers alumni Michael Coraggio and Ryan Burrows, both of Flemington. Coraggio received his degree in landscape architecture, while Burrows earned a master’s degree in ecology and evolution… A vertical garden design and installation company that was part of the Rutgers Business Incubator program housed at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, EcoWalls was founded in 2008… For Coraggio and Burrows, the living wall on the Cook College campus is a “coming home” for the two. Life partners for 12 years, both credit their alma mater with inspiring and enabling them to do what they do.
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Inside the Rutgers EcoComplex Greenhouse in Florence, a vertical garden is taking shape. The leafy expanses- sprouting with ivies, ferns, orchids, flowering lipstick plants and nearly 120 other species- will eventually grace the interior of Rutgers University’s new Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health and set the record for the largest living wall in New Jersey… “It’s a living tapestry, a living piece of artwork,” said Michael Coraggio, CEO and founding principal of EcoWalls, which was tasked with the design and installation of the wall… EcoWalls is a Rutgers-incubated business located on the 500-plus acre campus of the Burlington County Resource Recovery Complex. It was founded in 2007 by Coraggio and Ryan Burrows, both of whom graduated from Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. They have since expanded into a national company with displays at Walt Disney World, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the Philadelphia International Flower Show, among other venues.
The concept of living walls – also called vertical gardens – isn’t entirely new, but Michael Coraggio (Cook ’06) and Ryan Burrows (GSNB ’13) have turned it into an innovative business that promotes beauty and sustainability with practical and environmentally sound applications. First “invented” in the 1930s, a living wall turns an impervious vertical surface […]