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Campus Grounds


The University of Kansas is committed to sustaining the campus landscape and open space by developing and implementing plans, practices, and educational opportunities aimed at enhancing the aesthetics, function, and historic context of the landscape.


Goal 1:  Preserve campus and community culture, history, and space

Objective 1.1: Preserve and enhance historic landscapes and open spaces on campus

There are many outdoor historic and cultural spaces at KU that help preserve KU's sense of place and ties to history.

Strategy 1.1.1:  Prohibit development on KU’s historic and cultural landscapes and open spaces

Strategy 1.1.2:  Preserve outdoor memorials and sculptures that enhance the campus landscape through a protection, maintenance and replacement program

Strategy 1.1.3:  Create opportunities for donors to contribute to the preservation and beautification of the campus landscape in accordance with the Policy on Plaques and Gifts within the Campus Landscape


Goal 2:  Maintain the campus landscape using sustainable practices

Objective 2.1:  Reduce the negative impacts of landscape maintenance practices

Unsustainable landscape practices pollute soils and stormwater runoff thus negatively affecting people and ecosystems downstream.

Strategy 2.1.1:  Continue to reduce the use of chemicals such as herbicides and ice melt on the campus landscape by exploring environmentally friendly alternatives

Strategy 2.1.2:  Reduce dependence of gasoline-powered maintenance equipment

Strategy 2.1.3:  Develop guidelines to reduce the amount of top-soil loss during new construction and redevelopment projects

Strategy 2.1.4:  Use climate adaptive plantings to reduce the need for maintenance such as the use of chemicals, gasoline-powered equipment and irrigation


Objective 2.2:  Mitigate heat island effects

Elevated temperature from urban heat islands, particularly during the summer, can negatively affect a community's environment and quality of life.

Strategy 2.2.1:  Minimize the square footage of paved area where possible

Strategy 2.2.2:  Use high albedo surfaces such as light colored pavements and green roofs where feasible


Goal 3:  Reduce stormwater runoff

       Objective 3.1:  Adopt responsible stormwater management practices.

Impervious areas reduce the amount of rainwater that can naturally infiltrate into the soil. An increase in the volume and rate of storm water runoff leads to more frequent and severe flooding, stream bank erosion, and poor water quality.

Strategy 3.1.1:  Update the existing Stormwater Master Plan to include best management practices

Strategy 3.1.2:  Increase the square footage of rain gardens, bioswales and climate adapted plantings on Main Campus

Strategy 3.1.3:  Reduce the square footage of non-permeable pavements on campus by converting pavements to permeable surfaces

Strategy 3.1.4:  Develop building standards that encourage or require green roofs


Objective 3.1:  Capture stormwater for irrigation

Water is a finite resource and using treated water consumes energy.

Strategy 3.1.1:  Determine opportunities and limitations for using non-potable for campus landscaping

Strategy 3.1.2:  Use existing underground stormwater storage to collect stormwater runoff

Coronavirus Update

KU Recycling and KU Surplus have resumed services. As part of our efforts to reduce an on-campus presence and promote social distancing, we will continue to limit special collections that are not mission critical. For updated information on KU's response to COVID-19, visit protect.ku.edu

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