Western Sustainability Goal: Create a beautiful campus with a minimum of synthetic chemicals and petroleum inputs.

Outdoor Maintenance Services


Outdoor Maintenance is committed to sustainable development by incorporating sustainable practices into daily operations. They use these methods to significantly reduce the negative environmental impact with the following methods:

  • Established pesticide free zones.
  • Use of organic fertilizer, fertile mulch, alfalfa meal, and insecticidal soaps.
  • Compost tea with beneficial bacteria's used in the rose garden as a natural fungicide also providing essential nutrients.
  • Implemented Integrated Pest Management Control methods.
  • Use of alternative weed control methods, including Mulching with wood chips, sheet mulching with cardboard, applications of vinegar, weed burning torch.
  • Selected lawns converted to wild areas.
  • Drip irrigation to save water.
  • Utilizing campus leaves and debris to create compost for the following year.
  • Selection of native and drought tolerant plants.

Program Contact: Randy Godfrey, Lead Gardener,

Green Grounds: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Pesticide Free Zone

100% of the grounds on campus are covered by an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan and 90 percent of the lawns are mulched to limit the amount of trimmings produced. The remaining 10 percent of grass trimmings are composted. The majority of Western's compost is composed of fallen leaves. Chemical herbicides and insecticides are not used on campus landscaping. As required by Washington state law, all WWU gardeners go through IPM training to earn a Pesticide Application License. When the university determines that an area should be maintained at a higher standard or more frequently manicured, herbicides and chemical fertilizers may be necessary to achieve the desired goal.


Program Contact: Randy Godfrey, Lead Gardener,

Campus Habitat: Tree Tour

Tree Tour

Western installs many native species such as vine-maple, red alder, western white pine, Douglas fir, western hemlock, and the western red cedar. Plants are matched with an area according to sun and wind exposure, water availability, and space to grow relative to adjacent species. When choosing plants for landscaping the gardening department will take a holistic approach to make sure the right plant is in the right place. Tree preservation is a high priority. Western tries to replace every tree lost from disease, is damaged, or is removed because of a construction project. See the WWU Tree Tour.

Green Equipment

WWU has transitioned to quieter 4-cycle engine leaf blowers which produce fewer emissions. The lawn mowers used by WWU gardeners are all 4-cycle engines and weed eaters and gas saws are 2-cycle engines.

Program Contact: Randy Godfrey, Lead Gardener,



Tools & Information

Services & Programs

External Resources