Sustainable Landscaping on Campus
The AASHE Resource Center now has resources in every major category with the release of a new list of campus sustainable landscaping policies, practices and plans. Perhaps given less attention then other areas of campus sustainability, campus grounds do play an important role - often designed to be beautiful and welcoming, increasingly, they are also being designed with an eye to water efficiency and without the use of pesticides.
Although we have been fortunate to have ample rain here in Kentucky this Spring, many states are facing droughts and it is a great time to look at some of the many benefits of xeriscape and water efficient landscaping. Campuses like Florida State University and the University of Florida have commitments to xeriscaping (a landscaping philosophy that emphasizes using native and drought-resistant plants which do not require supplemental irrigation). Broward Community College also emphasizes the use of native planting, while the University of Delaware utilizes a bioswale at one of their parking lots.
In addition, AASHE's STARS Program includes a section on "Grounds" as well. I encourage readers to visit any of the above mentioned resources and post your comments and suggestions. In particular, I would be interested to hear how campuses have engaged students in promoting sustainable campus grounds management.
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