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.