This Percentage for the Arts garden was designed by one of our students in 2000. The idea behind the design was ‘living art’. Filled with native prairie grasses and flowers, it truly is.
The UW-La Crosse campus is located less than a mile from the Mississippi River banks, between marshland and limestone bluffs. We are lucky that our surroundings are so serene, and we’re careful that our activities don’t cause harm. Insecticides and pesticides can run off to the marshland, and so non-chemical methods are the first choice. To control pests and encourage plant diversity, UW-La Crosse uses a variety of environmentally-conscious techniques. Integrated Pest Management (or IPM for short) is our all-encompassing approach to landscaping.
“Integrated Pest Management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.”
IPM is truly a long-term solution, and the university takes an intensive approach to IPM, starting with what we plant. We choose only natives or cultivars of natives, and only the most resistant. We select plants that will survive the harsh winters and are drought-tolerant in our climate. As part of the IPM program, UW-L has actively been diversifying our gardens in recent years, both trees and perennials.
To control weeds without chemicals, we use as much mulch as we can. Mulch is a great solution because it also conserves water and cools the roots of the plants. We also keep our mulch as environmentally friendly as possible: it’s a waste product of a local lumber mill.
Pesticides are always a last resort, and only when safety or plant health is a concern. Whenever possible, treatments are tailored to remove only the problem species and do no harm to surrounding plants. To ensure that pesticides are applied properly, Landscape Services require that all persons applying pesticides must be certified to do so.