Monday, November 20, 2017

Follow SDSU  Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook Follow SDSU on Google+ SDSU RSS Feed

The Centennial Landscape Project added trees, outdoor furniture and more drought-tolerant plants. The Centennial Landscape Project added trees, outdoor furniture and more drought-tolerant plants.
 


Centennial Mall Makeover

The two-month turf removal project in Centennial Mall is now complete.
By Tobin Vaughn
 

New seating is in and shade is on the way. With the removal of protective fencing in late September, a two-month turf removal project in the middle of Centennial Mall is now complete.

The Centennial Landscape Project replaced grass berms and concrete benches with trees, outdoor furniture and more drought-tolerant plants. In addition to reducing campus water consumption, the renovation was also intended to create a more inviting public space.

Between July 25 and Sept. 22, a landscape crew from SDSU Facilities Services installed 14 Tipuana tipu trees in the mall along with jasmine ground cover, sage and false agaves. SDSU Landscape Services Manager Josh Koss said the plants, especially the trees, were selected as part of an overall effort to make the campus more sustainable.

“Trees provide a huge benefit to the environment,” Koss said. “They provide shade, clean the air and are good for storm water runoff, so any amount of trees that you add to a landscape is good.”

More “programmable space"

Koss said the tipus will grow to be more like the larger trees at the north end of the mall, eventually providing a canopy of shade from the SDSU Bookstore to near the Conrad Prebys Aztecs Student Union. He also pointed out that, unlike the broad grass-covered area near Scripps Cottage, students and others rarely made use of the mall’s narrow, elevated grassy knolls.

“People weren't all over it like they are at Scripps Cottage, so we could take that out,” Koss said. “It just wasn’t a programmable space.”

Then there’s the water conservation. By using bubblers to irrigate the new trees and ground cover instead of the sprinklers that watered the grass, Koss estimates the university is saving 180,000 gallons of water per year.

“It’s just more efficient,” he said. “The water is now being delivered right where it needs to go.”

More to come

The furniture that was been added to the mall’s gathering areas is temporary. It will be replaced by items deemed more suitable for the new spaces.

The Centennial Landscape Project is just the first of several similar makeovers planned for other areas of campus, including Campanile Plaza. No firm timetable is set as the other projects are in various stages of planning.