The large lawn area across from G. Edward Rudloff pool near Parking Lot G will be getting a transformation on Saturday as part of Earth Week.
The 4,180-square foot lawn will be taken out and replaced with mulch in a process called sheet mulching.
According to Sonoma State’s NewsCenter, the large expanse of grass requires 134,763 gallons of water each year to maintain. The renovation project seeks to reduce the amount of water allocated to lawn maintenance.
“The lawn transformation will involve taking out all the grass and putting in drought-tolerant landscaping.” said Campus Rec Sustainability Coordinator Savannah Guinn.
Many organizations on campus have fought in an ongoing struggle to make this renovation happen.
“This is something that the students working on the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) Report have been pushing for,” said Jeff Baldwin, professor and chair of the geography and global studies department, “This is something that a lot of different groups have been pushing for.”
According to Guinn, JUMP tried to apply for a grant to fund the project from aCalifornia State University Campuses program called The Greenovation Fund. When the program denied the grant request, the students dedicated to the lawn transformation project had to reassess their strategy.
“We still wanted to do it even though we didn’t get the grant,” Guinn said. “JUMP had to put some of their resources towards it [and the] Campus Rec is providing a lot of the cardboard needed for the sheet mulching process. Now the university is getting free labor since student volunteers will be doing the work. We’ll take it any way we can get it, as long as it happens. That’s what’s important.”
After finding an affordable way to organize the project, facilities management gave JUMP the go-ahead. Now the lawn transformation will conclude the Earth Week celebrations, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on Saturday.
In addition to the lawn transformation, there will be many other events and activities on campus to help get students involved with Earth Week.
There was an Earth Day Fair from 11 a.m. to– 3 p.m on Monday in Darwin Stevenson Quadwith interactive tabling activities, prizes and free bike maintenance. Tuesday there will be free yoga from noon to 1 p.m. outside the Rec Center and a Campus Garden Work Party from noon to 2 p.m. at the Campus Garden.
On Friday, a documentary called “Time to Choose” will be shown on LoboVision at 7 p.m.
There will also be a weeklong clothing drive with drop-off locations in the Campus Rec, The Student Center, the library, and International Hall.
When asked to explain the purpose of Sonoma State’sEarth Week festivities, Guinn said, “Earth Day is an internationally celebrated holiday that’s a celebration of the environment, resources and all that the planet offers us.”
Sonoma State’s fervent dedication to the environment and sustainable practiceshas earned it the school’s Bronze Award in sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.