The Ring

UVic turns off sprinklers and naturalizes campus

Mon, 2011-06-06 13:09

The University of Victoria is letting the grass grow and reducing irrigation in selected areas of campus to save resources and enhance sustainability.

Beginning this spring, UVic is reducing the number of grass cuts in a number of areas, including the Alumni Garry Oak meadow, areas near the Alumni Chip Trail and student residence buildings, and part of the Cedar Hill Corner property.

Irrigation in these areas will also be reduced, which is expected to result in savings of more than 8,500 cubic metres of water and $17,000 per year. The university’s Sustainability Action Plan: Campus Operations 2009-2014 includes the goal of reducing campus water use by 25 per cent by 2015.

“This initiative is part of a long-term plan to reduce the university’s consumption of resources while maintaining natural landscapes,” says Tom Smith, executive director of Facilities Management. “The campus grounds in public areas and near buildings will continue to be maintained in their current state, while other areas will take on a more natural look over time.”

A map that outlines three zones with different levels of grounds maintenance will guide the approach to mowing and irrigation. The university will monitor and evaluate the revised maintenance approach over the next year.