water conservation & quality
The University of Georgia is recognized as a regional leader in water conservation. Conservation strategies in outdoor water use contribute to UGA’s nearly 30% reduction in potable water use since 2007. Need for landscape irrigation is minimized through the use of native plants, micro-climate appropriate planting design, and minimization of turf areas and annual color beds. Non-potable water is prioritized for outdoor applications (during severe drought conditions non-potable water is the sole source of outdoor watering). Rainwater and condensate water is harvested and used for irrigation, refill of campus fountains, and care of specimen trees.
University Architects and FMD Grounds Department have worked on campus to remove paved surfaces, significantly increase green space through sustainable redevelopment, and install well over 70 bioretention areas (rain gardens) and other stormwater best management practices to slow down, filter and infiltrate runoff. These landscape features improve water quality on campus, in natural waterways such as Tanyard Creek and Lily Branch in Athens, and communities downstream.
plants & pest management
Native plants are used extensively at UGA. The Georgia Piedmont and southeastern US provide a palette of plants that are adapted to the region and contribute to the sense of place at UGA. In addition to prioritizing native plant materials in new plantings, University Architects, FMD Grounds Department and engaged student groups are actively removing exotic invasive plants from the UGA campus.
UGA seeks to minimize the use of potentially harmful fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. Landscapes that require significant resources are minimized. When treatment is required, spot treatment is utilized versus blanket applications when feasible. Seasonal color beds are being managed organically to minimize unwanted weeds and pests while maintaining an environment for beneficial insects.