Sustainable turf management takes root on campus

Enjoying CU turf

What do Frisbee games, outdoor study sessions, and afternoon naps have in common? They all require grass, preferably inviting, natural grass.

Grounds crews in Facilities Management and Housing & Dining Services are embarking upon their second season of organic turf practices. This means that we rely on a handful of sustainable practices for nurturing the green lawns seen around campus. We apply a special seed blend that is acclimated for the unique climate of the Front Range and numerous microclimates found around campus, and follow up with organic fertilizer to feed the grass and strengthen its root system. Since turf health is a direct response to soil health, we practice aerification of the soil and apply compost tea, which is full of beneficial microorganisms, to improve soil health and promote a dense turf that provides fewer openings for weeds to establish.

The sustainable turf management initiative took form in 2010, when a turf task force was formed to analyze options to reduce or eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides on campus. For more information, find a presentation on the Campus Sustainability website.

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