Grounds


Accomplishments
  • Greatly reduced number of pickup trucks owned in favor of golf carts
  • Plant selection for turf, shrubs, and trees is targeted for drought tolerance (i.e. Strip median plantings on Spring Garden St. have required no irrigation since established)
  • Correct pruning for healthiest plants is done as part of Integrated Pest Management (i.e. Large trees are pruned to reduce damage from wind and ice)
  • Trees that are taken down are given away as firewood
  • Tree tops are chipped into mulch, some of which is kept for use at UNCG
  • Irrigation systems use “rain-stop” devices to prevent watering in the rain
  • Newer installations provide more efficient underground and drip irrigation
  • Organic or slow-release fertilizers used for less frequent applications, decreasing labor and fuel costs (i.e. Milorganite, which is made from treated sewer sludge)
  • Fuel-efficient, biodiesel mulching mowers are chosen for purchase because mulched grass clippings that remain on turf reduce the need for fertilizers and irrigation
  • All other equipment purchased is the most fuel-efficient such as biodiesel tractors and the newest leaf blowers, which are up to 80% more efficient than old models and some use gasohol
  • Peabody Park has been in the process of “going natural” for years with volunteers periodically removing English Ivy and other invasive plants
  • UNCG stopped the harmful mowing of stream banks long ago, before the city
  • Experiments in wildflower seeding are under way
  • Some of the annual leaf fall is composted
Short-Term Goals
  • Expand composting facilities for campus grounds’ organic waste
    • Minimal financial investment, but does require some land
    • Reduces disposal costs
    • Results in a beneficial byproduct that UNCG can use and sell
  • Campus-wide Litter Pick & Pride campaign
    • Educational literature and communication; more well-placed litter containers (daily litter removal requires surprising quantities of personnel hours, gasoline, etc., that could be better spent on sustainability efforts)
    • Volunteer program to assist in litter removal from campus areas where volunteers work or live, e.g. library staff clean up around the library, resident students outside their dorms
  • Irrigation self-audit system for campus grounds and sports fields
  • Install rainwater collection and storage system at Sports Turf Care Center
    • Pilot program to serve as a model and the inspiration for other campus departments and buildings
Long-Term Goals
  • Pollinator-friendly plantings
    • Establish flowering and nectar-producing plantings, with emphasis on late-summer-blooming varieties in highly visible locations
    • Encourage and support populations of honeybees, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc., which are so essential to agricultural food production
    • Perhaps an educational demo garden, with labeled plants, in Peabody Park?
  • Sustainable reconstruction of existing soccer-practice field
    • Improve field performance with better surface leveling as well as drainage, runoff control, and efficient sub-irrigation using collected rainwater
  • Convert to warm-season turf grass on our five existing golf greens
    • Greatly reduced maintenance costs would result from a reduced dependence on irrigation, fertilizers, and re-planting
  • Install “green” toilet facility at the Outdoor Student Recreation Area volleyball and basketball courts
    • Model the use of composting, solar and/or wind energy, and rainwater harvesting technologies
    • Provide service to a student area currently lacking sanitary facilities

Resources