...You think I make this stuff up? Check out http://www.pointloma.edu/PhysicalPlant/Sustainability/The_Grass_Vote.htm
...To be fair the advocates of removing the lawns at PLNU may not necessarily be thinking such luscious alternatives such as cactus...yucca...and puncture vines...but "native" certainly doesn't mean the standard of beauty that we have become accustomed to in modern landscaping...which has taken over 100 years at PLNU to develop... I but for your reference I have placed the picture above and below as examples of San Diego area native landscape...
...."But the earth is dying and the penguins are drowning and we have no water and the farmers have pillaged the land and Uncle Albert has got it right and who will save Willy and I must do something and we have to save the earth and...and...and...and..."
News flash! Willy died!
...Hold on while I wash my face after getting ill...
...So anyway... this got me thinking as I studied the Grass Vote at PLNU...and trying to examine the considerations of this issue...you know...that little process we used to call "analysis" of any particular topic...which has now been superceded by passionate cries of..."WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!!!!!!"...and shrill voices that have grabbed the microphones...or websites... are persuading our everyone...including our college students...that nearly everything is worth "kicking to the curb" in the name of sustainability, natural and renewable...something CS Lewis called "chronological snobbery"...worth the read if you are interested...
...but so sorry I have this little problem...I am afflicted with something called "common sense"...and also a desire for analysis before making important decisions...so I wrote a note to the person in charge of the "Grass Vote" at PLNU for clarification...so I will post below the questions I raised...
1) What, if any, is the potential impact on recruiting and admissions? As a parent prior to coming to PLNU as a faculty member, I know that the visual appearance of PLNU is a significant factor for many applicants. While some applicants may find dry-scape/native preferable, I would think a majority would prefer the campus as is.
2) What is the economic value in water savings to the campus? Was this quantified in any way or only that it will “save water?”
3) Is there any potential impact on our staff members in grounds keeping? If we reduce maintenance of lawn areas does this mean we are reducing staff? Have they been consulted? It seems to me that we have at least the potential to remove some of the hardest working and lowest paid staff members at PLNU.
4) What is the potential impact on student employment? I know that some students work at PLNU in grounds keeping over the summer to earn tuition. Has this been considered?
5) Are there other alternatives to native? For instance, I am currently considering new forms of artificial turf. This has been used extensively at military installations in the Point Loma area and new versions of this product are far superior to older versions. Certainly in some areas (shaded, rooted, marginal drainage, etc.) alternative turf may be superior to what we have.
6) What is the current effort at PLNU to reclaim water? Could water reclamation be a potential solution?
7) Is there any capacity at PLNU in the current budget situation to even consider alterations to the landscape? When faculty and staff wages are frozen is there potential backlash to such initiatives?
..So I guess my point is that I am asking for people to think before you tear up lawn...remove sprinkler systems...lay off workers...change PLNU forever...just think before you jump off a cliff, OK? ...Let's at least talk through all the issues before action...
...And the cool thing is that I have received a response on my questions! Tune in for coming posts!