Leadership in Biodiversity & Performative Landscapes
In conjunction with the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, the Danforth Campus and, more recently, the Medical School Campus, have made significant improvements to their respective landscapes. Over the last three years, Focal Pointe, the basic service contractor that provides all landscape services on WashU’s properties, has been a critical partner in advancing the transformation of the landscape. Key strategies include shifting turf to landscape, prioritizing natives plants in virtually all new plantings, selecting nativars that have be bred to withstand more urban conditions and anticipated climate change shifts, and designing for stormwater retention. As a result, the campus has been dramatically altered in a way that reduces the need for chemicals, creates safe homes and pathways for the biotic community, supports the native ecosystem, and is beautiful in all seasons.
Cody Azotea has been a key champion of sustainable landscape planning, design and implementation. He brings an rich knowledge of plants, matched with a passion that drives him to identify novel opportunities that push the envelope. Cody talks about plants like they are his children. He knows each by name, what they like and don’t like, and how to nurture them in a way where they will thrive. He seeks out unique plants and historic varieties, works with artesian nurseries, and advocates to bring rare natives and native cultivars to campus. He is personally very committed to sustainability and has driven many company initiatives to advance Focal Pointe’s operations, including their participation in the Green Business Challenge. Hiring the right contractor can make a huge difference in what is possible for sustainability efforts. Cody’s leadership and expertise have been instrumental in advancing WashU’s exemplary landscape program.