Sustainability: Grounds & Landscape

Grounds & Landscape

In caring for the campus, Cal Poly Humboldt follows best practices for Humboldt's region and climate including: drip irrigation, converting lawn areas to mulch and shrubs and reducing the overall area that must be watered by breaking up the landscape (by adding shrubbery and other landscaping features).

Part of the reduction of watered landscape includes Humboldt's artificial turf football, soccer and indoor fields-- all made with the use of recycled tires.

The areas of campus that are watered with greater frequency are timed or computer-controlled to minimize over-watering.

Humboldt is home to the tallest tree on any college campus anywhere in the world, a 240 foot Sitka Spruce.

In 2012, Humboldt was lauded by California Garden Clubs, Inc, for among other things, "its abundance of native plants and trees and their colorful foliage." The group bestowed a Landscape Design Commendation upon Humboldt.

The award-winning landscape also features 'moon trees,' so called because the seeds of these redwoods orbited the moon in the Apollo 14 lunar module. It was all part of an experiment carried out by astronaut Stuart Roosa, who wanted to investigate the effects of zero gravity on the seminal development of different tree species. To Roosa's surprise, nearly all of the seeds he took with him into space germinated and many made their way to Humboldt where they were planted. Decades later, there is no discerible difference between moon trees and terrestrial redwoods.

The university's largest stand of trees is actually located 45 minutes east of campus near the Korbel logging community. Officially called the L.W. Schatz Demonstration Tree Farm, the plot is a 400-acre living laboratory managed by L.W. Schatz's son, Gordon Schatz. Along with generous funding to establish the Schatz Energy Research Center, the Schatz family donated this acreage in 1987. Today students use it for graduate studies and developing skills with forestry techniques. 

Redwoods at Humboldt

Humboldt landscape

Lawn mower

Redwoods and stairs at Humboldt