At a time when virtual experiences must often replace in-person ones, we are pleased to announce significant updates to the virtual Danforth Campus Sustainability Tour that was unveiled a couple years ago.
The interactive GIS map-based tour now features 24 stops, starting with the new grand entrance to the Danforth Campus, the award-winning East End Transformation. Tour participants can learn about off-the-beaten path sustainability features, like the living wall in Weil Hall or the nurse log in the sunken garden, while gaining a better understanding of the overarching principles that guided the planning, design, and construction of the project.
After an extensive tour of the unique east end features, the tour meanders through main campus, exploring native landscape gardens, mixed use paths, and older buildings that have been retrofitted for energy savings. Newer projects, like the expanded bike and pedestrian bridge that provides access to the neighborhoods and business district north of campus, and the LEED-Platinum Sumers Recreation Center, are explored before heading to the South 40, where undergraduates start their residential campus experience as first years. It continues past gardens, dining locations, and student-run businesses on the South 40, such as the Sharing With A Purpose Trading Post, a free used-goods thrift store, and Bears Bikes, a bike rental business. Finally, the tour ends at the Danforth University Center, one of the first LEED- certified projects at WashU and a central gathering place and meal spot for students.
The tour’s content was curated by the Office of Sustainability to highlight some of the many projects and spaces that have been shaped by a wide variety of stakeholders over time, including students, faculty and staff from many departments. A united articulation of strategic priorities that value developing a sense of place and advancing environmental sustainability have resulted in a transformation our historic campus into a truly sustainable one. These locations make up a small sample of the variety of ways by which WashU is fully committed to being a national leader in addressing climate change, preventing environmental degradation, and improving human health.
Whether you haven’t been on campus for a while and are feeling nostalgic, or you are looking for physically distant activities to bide the time, you can follow the tour in person by walking the outlined route or virtually with a computer or mobile device. It is approximately 1.8 miles long and takes about 45 minutes to walk.