According to the USGS, the United States withdrawals approximately 355,000 million gallons of water each day in 2010, 33 percent of which went to irrigation. Whether American water personal lawns, golf courses, or large farms to food production, we use a lot of water. By designing our landscaping features to reduce the demand for water, we can ensure the health and vitality or not only our valuable freshwater ecosystems, but also our local Chesapeake Bay watersheds.
We can reduce our water consumption by altering our landscaping behaviors. Such strategies include:
- Using water wisely and conservatively when watering plants and washing your car;
- Planting native plants, which are adaptive to the local climate and need less water and fertilizer to thrive; and
- Fertilizing with less chemicals and with minimal applications to reduce runoff into streams
We have also implemented sustainable landscaping initiatives on campus grounds such as:
- Bumblebee and butterfly havens that encourages wildlife and minimizes maintenance;
- Native plants in gardens to maintain wildflower areas as buffers to forested areas;
- Composting all of its grass clippings and leaves for mulch;
- Certified National Wildlife Habitats;
- Integrated pest management programs that minimizes pesticides use; and
- Edible gardens, like the Innovative Food Forest and Potomac Heights Organic Vegetable Garden
Check out our Sustainability Map to learn more about our sustainable grounds on campus!