To Cut Water Use, USC Promises to Install New Drought-Tolerant Plants Every Three Weeks
by Axel Hellman
USC–As the state has dried up, USC has faced increasing criticism from environmental activists for its lush green lawns, heavily watered palm trees, and its signature red-and-yellow flower beds that are painstakingly re-planted by maintenance workers every few weeks.
As a measure to combat the historic drought California is facing, President Nikias announced changes to the way landscaping is done at USC by using “drought-tolerant” landscaping.
“We may be contractually exempted from paying our water bill to the city,” said President C.L. Max Nikias, “But we are not exempt from our responsibility to save water.”
The main landscape architect for USC’s campus, Dennis Browlodge, said the plan would cut water usage in half.
“It’s incredibly wasteful to plant these cardinal and gold flowers water them every day, and then rip them out as soon as the flowers fade,” said Browlodge. “Soon, we’ll be adorning our campus with native species like the California Poppy, Coyote Mint, and Manzanita up to 8 times a year. We can achieve the same level of botanical perfection and reduce our water usage in half.”
“We can even arrange to plant the new drought-tolerant landscaping to take advantage of the changing seasons. For instance, once the California Poppies are done blooming in September, we’ll remove them and plant Mariposa lilies to flower in early October. If the weather holds up, we can uproot those and get the orange creosote-bushes for Halloween.”
Representatives from the faculty environment committee are investigating ways to compost all of the vegetation that gardeners pull out of the ground every week, making the move even more sustainable.