Project Leads: Jim Horner & Theron Klos
Sponsor: Facilities Services & Capital Projects
TGIF Grant: $40,000
Additional Funds: $1,000
Project Theme: Habitat Restoration
2009 Application Submission
Project Description: This project will prepare a master plan that includes locations, methodology, and plant palettes for converting selected grass lawns to regionally appropriate plants and promotes more efficient use of water and fossil fuel resources while respecting how open space is used.
Goals: Develop a master plan for converting grass lawns to regionally appropriate plants. Promote efficient use of potable water resources and improve energy efficiency by reducing fossil fuel consumption. Create more native habitats for plant and wildlife biodiversity. Assist campus in planting drought tolerant plans and creating organic lawns and playing fields. Reduce the current use of 47,530,000 gal per year of water for the campus landscape irrigation system. Assemble a team of landscape industry specialists experienced in development of contemporary ecological landscapes and materials as well as campus maintenance staff and students. Develop the approach, baseline data, plant lists, and priority sites through a series of open workshops. Present a draft master plan to Facilities Services and the Design Review Committee. Refine the plan and prepare contract documents to implement trial conversions in two representative areas. Install educational signage to inform the campus community about the projects. Involve students to help perform post construction evaluations and data gathering every three months for 18 months to document water use, plant growth and refine the maintenance practices. Update the Landscape Master Plan and Landscape Heritage Plan websites to reflect the revised goals.
TGIF Blog Posts about Lawns to Meadows
Map of Lawns at North West Campus
"We are making great progress. Two large lawn areas near Strawberry Creek have recently been transformed. The photos are of a new lawn conversion south of Hildebrand Hall. I leveraged funds from the construction project to replace the mowed turf lawn with a Native Grassland sod that should only need to be cut once or twice a year. As it grows it will start to look very shaggy. We employed the latest low precipitation irrigation heads to get it established and keep it alive. Grounds has also removed turf south of Birge Hall and is starting to replace it with groundcovers and perennials in addition to other sites previously mentioned on the list of potential sites."
-Jim Horner, 6/15/11
2010-2011 Year End Report
Turf Grass Conversions Update, April 2011
Next Steps: The Anthony Hall site is exposed to south facing sun and thus requires a large amount of water for maintenance of the lawn, currently requiring 661 gallons per week, which translates to approximately 26,460 gallons per year. The project team proposes the conversion of the current lawn to drought tolerant ground covers and low shrub plantings to be used as lawn substitutes. These steps will reduce the need for maintenance and repairs, while simultaneously lowering water costs. The lawn behind the Alumni Annex building is an open north facing lawn. The proposed changes will save water (current water usage: 3,600 gallons per week and 144,000 gallons per year) and reduce maintenance while still retaining open space and creek side sitting space qualities.
Lawns to Meadows Presentation at May CACS Meeting
Next Steps: Compare water, fuel, and labor use to baseline data, and observe other changes to flora and fauna at conversion sites. Project leader Jim Horner received TGIF permission to postpone the Anthony Hall lawn conversion as Fall/Winter 2012 construction at Anthony Hall will have be impacting the lawn. Conversion of the Anthony Hall lawn will commence upon completion of construction activities. The work on Anthony Hall is part of the Student Community Center improvements and will help the Graduate Assembly to get LEED certification for Anthony Hall.
The Anthony Hall Landscape Conversion was designed through a collaboration between Lutsko Associates and Capital Projects. The conversion took place early spring semester 2013.
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