Campus Landscape Master Plan: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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The Campus Landscape Master Plan (CLMP) presents a shared vision for the overall campus landscape and provides specific design guidelines, tested through extensive public engagement and stakeholder input. The campus community desires a landscape that inspires, nurtures, restores and educates. They desire a multifunctional landscape that provides opportunities for collaboration, celebration and gathering; a landscape that clearly defines the University of Illinois brand and is accessible, safe, inviting and manageable; a landscape that respects origins and heritage, a landscape that will amplify the region’s biodiversity and assist in the University with achieving its Climate Leadership commitments. The CLMP outlines a vision to achieve a resilient, sustainable campus landscape. The realization of this vision will require a commitment towards phased investment year by year over the coming decades. By committing to a sustainable campus the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will embody resilience as a model landscape in the Midwest and a world-leader in campus native landscape expression and honoring rain water as a valued resource.

Water Quality and Professional Turfgrass Managers

North Carolina State University Extension has developed a fact sheet to provide professional turf managers with management strategies that preserve and protect water resources. It includes best management practices for:

  • erosion and sedimentation
  • wetlands
  • ponds and lakes
  • turfgrass selection
  • fertilizers
  • irrigation
  • mowing
  • integrated pest management, and
  • pesticide selection, use, storage, and disposal

Urban runoff threatens water quality. Infrastructure changes could help.

Read the full story from WUNC.

It’s storm season, and that means flood season.

When it rains, water sheets off the roofs, parking lots, and roads that cover an increasing portion of the landscape. To avoid flooding, city infrastructure focuses on moving all that water into pipes and streams, getting it downstream and out of town as fast as possible. But the current standard for dealing with stormwater makes pollution worse for everything and everyone depending on urban streams, including the people who get their drinking water from farther down the river.

As cities continue to develop at lightning speed, washing our problems down the river becomes an increasingly unsustainable prospect.

SAWS reports drought sparks interest in water-saving yards in San Antonio

Read the full story at Texas Public Radio.

The San Antonio Water System reports the drought is sparking interest among customers about how to install a water-saving landscape.

The city-owned water utility offers education, water-saver coupons, and other rebates to make it easier to replace thirsty lawns with native or drought tolerant vegetation and do away with automatic sprinkler systems.

Mitigating the impacts from stormwater runoff in solar construction

Read the full story at Solar Builder.

The scale of solar deployment required to meet the various state and federal goals for decarbonizing our economy will require that additional open, cleared land be leveraged to support this buildout.

As such, it’s critically important that as our industry scales up, environmental impacts such as stormwater runoff are properly managed both during and after construction.

Landscape industry seeks to transition to zero emissions

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

The landscape industry is seeking to transition to zero emissions but two industry organizations warn that the shift will require investment in expensive equipment and infrastructure. The American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) will work together on an approach to the responsible transition from gas to zero-emission equipment in the industry.

Florida’s 76,000 stormwater ponds emit more carbon than they store

Read the full story from the University of Florida.

As Florida and other states become more urbanized, an increasing number of stormwater ponds are built. Florida already has 76,000 such ponds. The newer ones emit more carbon than they store, a new study finds. Researchers hope this finding will inform policy makers and others about when, where and how to install stormwater ponds.

The grass isn’t always greener

Read the full story at Q Magazine.

America’s largest irrigated crop is not corn, soy, or anything else you might find in the commodity marketplace. It’s turf grass: the crop that American homeowners grow in pursuit of the dream of a lush, green, manicured lawn. According to NASA, the United States has around 40 million acres of turf grass, which is an area roughly equivalent to that of the state of Wisconsin. This makes turf grass our largest irrigated crop and one that has replaced scores of diverse habitats for wildlife. Turf grass helps lawn-owners achieve a long-cherished suburban fantasy, but it does not produce food or anything else useful for the environment. In fact, the dream of a pristine lawn comes at a high cost, requiring excessive inputs like water, gas, and chemicals. What might it take to reimagine the American lawn?  

She reclaims toxic waste dumps, and she just won a major landscape architecture award

Read the full story from NPR.

Landscape architecture has never quite gotten the adulation of capital-A architecture, but perhaps a new prize can help change that — especially since it’s being given to an innovative designer who’s been respectfully referred to as “the toxic beauty queen of brownfield remediation.”

The inaugural winner of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize is Julie Bargmann, a professor at the University of Virginia and founder of a studio called D.I.R.T – Dump It Right There. The award, announced today by the Cultural Landscape Foundation, is intended to confer the status of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, as well as a similar purse — $100,000 for the winner.

New book celebrates Illinois couple’s turning back time in their own backyard

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Wildflowers peek their heads through the grass. An eastern tailed-blue butterfly flits among the tall, swaying blades as a red-winged blackbird flies overhead. When Fred Delcomyn looks outside, this is what he might see.

In 2001, when he and his wife, Nancy, moved to their home outside of Urbana, Illinois, it looked a lot different…

They’re also co-authors of the new book, “A Backyard Prairie. The Hidden Beauty of Tallgrass and Wildflowers.”