Campus Sustainability Office

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Grounds

Click here to go to a printable (PDF) quick facts sheet about UWO's campus grounds.

UW Oshkosh’s 171-acre campus is located in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and hosts over 1,700 trees and shrubs. University Facilities Management staff apply a variety of approaches to manage the campus landscape.  

 

We aim to purchase plants from local sources but also encourage resilience by utilizing a wide genetic base within species.

Native prairie and woodland landscaping is installed whenever possible across campus, reducing the area under turf grass. Using plants that are adapted to Wisconsin’s geology and climate reduces the need for irrigation, mowing, and other inputs. It also provides food and habitat for native birds and pollinators. Conscious landscaping has earned UW Oshkosh a monarch way station designation by the butterfly conservation group Monarch Watch and wildlife-friendly habitat certification by the National Wildlife Federation! 

Native plantings include:

  • A grove of native bur oak trees north of the Arts & Communication Building
  • Prairie plantings along Halsey and next to the tennis courts
  • and plans are in the works for much more, including a waterfront restoration in Shapiro Park!

 

In addition to herbaceous plants and forbs on campus, UW Oshkosh has many native, ornamental, and fruit trees.  The interactive campus tree map shows the location and species of campus trees. The University has been awarded Tree Camps USA designation each year since 2010 for its continued efforts to preserve and plant new trees on campus.

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We advocate conservation-positive landscapes by including endangered, threatened, rare, and endemic taxa and providing food, habitat (including artificial structures like bat and bird houses), and water for wildlife. To this end we limit our use of pesticides as much as possible and use organic fertilizers when necessary and possible. Existing invasive and exotic species are removed via attrition and replacement with native plantings as resources permit. Exceptions may be made for:

  • Academics (e.g., pedagogy and research)
  • Recreational turf areas (unless native turf grasses are available)
  • “Working landscapes” (e.g., vegetable gardens, orchards)
  • Historical/cultural gardens (avoid invasive species)
  • Replacing lost functional ecological elements where native plants are no longer possible

 

 

We reduce our water usage by maximizing precipitation benefits through the use of rain gardens and catchment basins, limit the use of supplemental irrigation once new plants become established, and using recycled or “gray” water as appropriate and as resources permit.

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