Creighton is a Tree Campus USA
More information on the press release.
Interested in growing your own food, but don't have room? Come get a plot right on campus! For just $30, you get the use of your own plot from April 3 through October 31. For more information, please contact John Schwede.
For more information, take a look at the contract, which is available here.
Sustainability in Creighton's landscaping
- Plant selection and siting
- Over the past few years, thousands of square feet of annual flower beds have been replanted with perennials and shrubs, which consume significantly less water and fertilizer.
- Native or adaptable plant and tree species are used, with care taken to match appropriate plants to each site in order to reduce water and fertilizer inputs. Disease and/or insect resistant varieties are selected, and plants that are correctly sited also tend to have fewer insect and disease problems.
- When possible, groundcover plants are used in place of turf on slopes, reducing the use of gas powered equipment for maintenance as well as reducing water, fertilizer and pesticide use. Established groundcover plantings also lessen soil erosion and runoff from precipitation.
- Care is taken to place trees such that they shade buildings during warmer months and expose them to sunlight during the winter months, decreasing the amount of energy needed to heat and cool buildings.
- Water Use
- o When possible, plants with similar water requirements are grouped and irrigation systems are zoned to water each plant type separately for more efficient water use.
- Drip irrigation is used in all new perennial and shrub installations, minimizing evaporation and delivering water directly to the roots of plants. Disease problems often caused by overhead watering are also minimized, reducing pesticide use.
- Irrigation at eight sites throughout campus is managed with a central control system linked to an on-campus weather station. The system is able to determine how much irrigation each individual zone should receive based on precipitation and evapotranspiration rates as reported by the weather station.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Plants are selected based on insect and disease resistance and their likelihood of thriving in the cultural conditions of a given site.
- Tolerance is practiced with insect and/or disease problems that are not a significant health threat to the plant.
- Care is taken to accurately identify pests in order to determine the appropriate tolerance thresholds and control methods.
- Cultural changes and lower-impact manual and chemical controls are the first line of defense when intervention is required, and the treatment option that has the least impact on non-targeted organisms and the least environmental impact while still being effective is chosen above other options. Preventative applications of pesticides are used only in areas where there are recurring insect, disease or weed problems that significantly affect the health of the landscape plants.
- With the exception of turfgrasses, plants are not fertilized on a regular schedule. Instead, fertilizer is only applied if and when there is a discernable reduction in vigor or an obvious nutrient deficiency.
- Mulching, Composting, and Waste Reduction
- Organic mulches are used as soil cover in all areas of campus. Mulching conserves soil moisture and reduces weeds and thus herbicide use.
- All landscape waste is collected and composted in an off-site facility. When possible, grass clippings and leaves are mulched into the turf rather than bagged. Material from the pruning or removal of trees is chipped on-site and used as mulch.
- Rock, retaining wall block, and other landscape materials are reused whenever possible.
- Stormwater Management and Water Quality
- The development of rain gardens is being considered, which serve to collect stormwater runoff and allow it to percolate slowly into the ground instead of directing it into storm sewers.
- Grass clippings and granular fertilizers are promptly cleared from sidewalks, driveways and streets, preventing them from ending up in the storm sewers and contributing to groundwater pollution.