A new aquatic landscape tour highlights the plants and pollinators that enhance Chapman’s experience

Take a moment to admire the vibrant flowers of the glowing hyacinth tea tree. Watch out for pollinators as you pass the yucca hummingbird. I leaned over to look closely at the emerald green leaves of the manzanita carpet.

These green opportunities extend throughout Chapman University. And now experiences are made even more immersive thanks to banners containing QR codes that link to images and information about the drought-tolerant landscapes that thrive around campus.

Chapman’s new Water-Wise Landscape Virtual Tour has a primary goal – to enrich the Chapman experience by inviting community members to stop and smell the scent of sage. But there is another goal as well.

said Jenny Kaufman, Chapman’s director of energy conservation and sustainability.

The smartphone displays information about landscaping on campus
A smartphone and QR codes on the signs provide access to Water-Wise Landscape tour information.

The launch of the Water-Wise Landscape tour on April 28 culminates in the latest leg of Chapman’s commitment to water conservation. This effort, which began in 2014, includes:

  • Introducing drip irrigation to non-turfed landscaping areas.
  • Refitting sprinklers with low-flow nozzles on recreational turf sites.
  • Adding more than 4,100 square feet of artificial turf to the residential living areas.
  • Replacing water-intensive plants with drought-tolerant landscaping throughout the campus.
  • Educate students and others about opportunities to reduce personal water use.

By the end of this school year alone, 25,369 square feet of lawn on Orange’s main campus will be converted into drought-tolerant landscaping, resulting in an estimated annual water saving of 712,362 gallons.

Kaufman said it’s a moment to enjoy the progress and spread the word that adopting a wise approach doesn’t have to sacrifice overall visual or sensory appeal.

“I love that we’re making it a celebration of California’s drought-tolerant plants as we share information that we hope will get people thinking about adding them to their home landscape,” she said.

It’s easy to get started with the campus landscape tour experience. Just look for signs that say “Water-Wise Landscape Tour” at six locations:

  • Station 1 – Memorial, Bertie and Moulton Halls
  • Station 2 – Reeves, Smith & DeMille Halls
  • Station 3 – Moscow Art Center
  • Stop 4 – Walnut Street and Grand Street
  • Station 5 – Al Jawz Street and Center Street
  • Station 6 – Davis Apartments and Sando Residence Centre

Then use your smartphone and the QR code on the signs to access information about the landscape near each stop on the tour.

“We got great feedback on the cohesive look of the landscape and the nice variety of species represented,” Kaufman said. “We believe that people will also appreciate all the details they will find in the virtual tour.”

Kaufman credited the many contributions of the Chapman Campus Planning and Design Group as well as longtime campus contractor Bright View to realizing the university’s vision of aquatic landscapes.

Going forward, Kaufman added, Chapman will continue to identify landscape transformation opportunities at the main campus in Orange as well as at the Rinker Health Sciences Campus in Irvine. The university does this even while recognizing the need to maintain some grassy areas that serve the recreational needs of students.

“I would encourage everyone to walk around campus and visit QR codes to learn about the plants and pollinators they come across every day,” Kaufman said. “I think those who do the tour will appreciate the deliberate choices that were made and the intrinsic value that was added.”

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