With over 1,400 acres, Cal Poly Pomona is known for its beautiful landscapes and vast open space. Along with this amount of land comes a lot of maintenance. However, the university practices ways to keep the grounds in the best condition possible while minimizing the impact on the environment. Some of the ways this is accomplished is by using reclaimed water for irrigation, planting native and drought tolerant plants, turning landscape trimmings and green waste into mulch, utilizing advanced technology to control the amount of water used for irrigation, and reducing the amount of turf. The university also protects wildlife habitat and preserves open space by building on previously developed sites whenever possible.

What CPP is Doing

Since 1965, Cal Poly Pomona has been using reclaimed water to irrigate fields and pastures. But utilizing this source of water, the campus is able to preserve our most valuable resource. Plans are underway to construct a water filtration facility on campus to better utilize the ground water in university-owned wells. This facility will further reduce our reliance on potable water and the costs associated with purchasing water while properly maintaining landscaped areas. Signs are placed around campus to advertise the university’s efforts to utilize reclaimed water as a means of conserving our most valuable natural resource. These signs are placed in visible places to inform the campus community of the benefits of reclaimed water.

Choosing plant species wisely means more than just picking perennials instead of annuals. In landscaped areas, plants that are drought tolerant and native to the region are the preferred species for Cal Poly Pomona. This reduces the need for fertilizers and irrigation while maintaining the natural look of campus grounds.

Over four hundred tons of landscape trimmings and green waste are kept on campus and turned into mulch. The mulch is then used around campus as a low maintenance ground cover. This is beneficial in many ways, including water reduction, landfill diversion, and serves as a durable yet permeable surface, all of which result in cost savings. Many grassy open spaces with low utilization are being transformed into these environmentally friendly gardens containing mulch and drought tolerant plants.

In an effort to reduce over watering, the campus has implemented an irrigation technology to better control the amount of time that sprinklers are running. This system is also able to sense when it is raining, and as a result it turns off the irrigation system. Staff are able to control the irrigation controls remotely which saves time.