Six months ago, Cal State Fullerton announced that it was letting sections of lawn die as part of its ongoing efforts to meet statewide mandates, due to the statewide drought.
Under the April mandate, the University targeted a 28 percent reduction in water usage — or roughly 50 million gallons.
This month, facilities operations is entering its next phase, that of removing sections of lawn that have been allowed to die.
Eleven acres of turf, or more than 471,000 square feet of lawn throughout the campus — which have not been watered since May — will be removed and replaced with xeriscape, or low-water-use landscaping.
Areas include the stretch of lawn at the corner of State College Boulevard and Nutwood Avenue west to and including the grass areas around Mihaylo Hall; numerous sections of grass between the Pollak Library and Titan Shops, the library and the Kinesiology and Health Science Building and from the west entrance over to the lawn just east of the Engineering and Computer Science buildings; and nearly every area around the Visual Arts Center from Arts Drive to Student Union Way.
“During the months of May, June and July, the campus saved 18.5 million gallons of water in large part because of not watering those lawns,” said Megan Moscol, sustainability programs manager in facilities operations and management.
Other efforts include installation of low-flow fixtures and faucet aerators, water bottle refill stations and bioswales to catch runoff water, as well as drip irrigation in planters filled with drought-tolerant plants. Coming online soon are advance technology meters to help monitor water use in buildings and grounds, and the use of soil amendments that will help further reduce water use on landscaping.
“The savings have put us on track to meet the state mandates,” said Willem van der Pol, interim associate vice president, facilities planning and management. “Now it comes down to all of us doing our part and making good choices on water use.”