Washington University in St. Louis’ goal is to foster human and environmental health through low impact, resilient landscapes that provide an array of ecosystem services.
In the last five years, dozens of sustainable landscape projects have been completed at the university. The Danforth Campus, which has long been known for its beautiful park-like landscapes and iconic tree allees, is integrating native and adaptive plantings throughout, significantly expanding biodiversity and creating green infrastructure to naturally manage stormwater.
Sections of turf grass have been replaced with native and adaptive planting beds that require little or no irrigation and reduce the need for mowing. Rain gardens and bioswales have been installed in many drainage zones to slow and filter stormwater. Pervious pavers create solid walking and bike parking surfaces while allowing water to percolate into the ground instead of draining to over-burdened sewers.
The university is now home to four large green roofs: the School of Medicine’s Hope Plaza, the South 40 House back lawn, the McMillan Hall addition and the Lofts off-campus student housing.