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U Students Replace Grass with Water-wise Design

The University of Utah is using  water-wise landscaping across campus as part of its effort to achieve water neutrality by 2020. This Thursday, students from the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department’s sustainability committee will help the university’s landscape crew replace 8,000 square feet of grass space with sustainable landscaping.

June 25, 2014 – Through a student-funded initiative, 8,000 square feet of grass on the University of Utah campus will be converted to a water-wise landscape design, which is expected to save more than 100,000 gallons of water annually.

Students and university landscape personnel will work together Thursday, June 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., to plant low-water-use trees and shrubs on the hillside north of the S.J. Quinney Law building.

“This area was scheduled to be redone due to construction, so we’re thrilled the students got involved and helped get the funding needed to update the space with a more sustainable design,” said Sue Pope, grounds supervisor. “Without them, this space would have been grass again.”

Students on the sustainability committee in the U’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department were awarded a Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund grant to complete the project. SCIF funds are supported by student fees and are available to all students who wish to engage in a sustainability-focused project on campus.

The project is part of the committee’s effort to earn Tree Campus USA recognition, a program managed by the Arbor Day Foundation and acknowledges universities and colleges that make special efforts to care for their trees and educate the community about the benefits of trees.

“The University of Utah is already fulfilling most of the Tree Campus USA requirements,” said Troy Bennett, chair of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism sustainability committee. “This project satisfies the requirement for a student service-learning project and brings us one step closer.”