Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Native Grasses in the Campus Drive Median

Thousands of California fescue ( Festuca california), Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), and red fescue ( Festuca rubra) grass plugs have been planted in the Campus Drive Median from the Cantor Arts Center to Lasuen durning the past 2 years. The most recent planting was January 22, 2005, when Magic ( volunteers set out about 20,000 plants.

In a Stanford Report article "Tending the Farm" about Herb Fong, reporter Lis Trei writes:

The university is turning Campus Drive into a botanical boulevard featuring Mediterranean zone plants from Chile, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean region, interspersed with flora native to California such as coast live oaks. These are plants that survive in regions with winter rainfall and summer drought. "We want the boulevard to be an educational tool," planner Chan [Associate Director Judy Chan, Planning Office], says. For Fong, the plan makes sense because it introduces attractive, low-maintenance plants like bunch grasses. "They're not Mediterranean per se," he says, "but they don't require any water or mowing once they're established. We're trying to reduce the amount of resources we need but still keep a lovely landscape."

Fong's plan is water this initial "prairie" as needed to ensure survival. He hopes he can curtail this watering as the plants mature. He also plans to extend the grass plantings along all the medians and adjacent campus drive areas to reduce the annual grass cover. He will see how successful are these initial plantings prove before moving on to future applications.

1 comment:

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