Outdoor Spaces: Social Sustainability 

  • ISU Campus Services continues to add colorful perennials around campus to inspire a sense of beauty in those who visit. This is a continuation of the Campus Beautification Initiative, which includes an expansion of Reiman Gardens, for which Iowa State has been recognized as the world's fifth most beautiful campuses.
  • Campus Services and Facilities Services have strong relationships with the ISU Landscape Architecture and Horticulture departments, enabling the adoption of creative landscaping solutions for campus.
  • Campus Services and Facilities Services collaborate with different classes to create educational opportunities for students with projects, including plantings, landscape design and rebuilding outdoor areas and structures, such as patios.
  • Campus Services offers plants, as well as planting plans and procedures, that act as teaching tools to classes at the request of students and faculty members.
  • In 2016, Campus Services collaborated with the Horticulture department for the Witchhazel Walk project, which was partially funded by Facilities Planning and Management.
  • Campus Services prioritizes pedestrian and bicycle transportation, as well as related issues of safety, visibility, proper signage and traffic signals, which includes routinely examining entrances and exits of campus buildings and researching capacity and use to ensure sidewalks meet the needs of students.
  • In response to an increased need for and interest in spaces and technology to allow more people to work outside, Campus Services partnered with Student Government to place 35 tables, funded by students, and placed throughout campus in new and expanded outdoor seating areas. Included in this initiative is the inclusion of outdoor, solar-powered charging stations.
  • Campus Services supports the needs of students by providing more dining options throughout campus, partnering with Purchasing and Procurement to find low-cost spaces to accommodate food trucks on campus and provide necessary amenities, such as picnic tables and power.
  • Campus Services offers a “free wood” program, collected from downed and damaged trees that are not used to make mulch or repurposed for the TreeCYcle program, for community use.
  • Iowa State University earned the Tree Campus USA designation awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation. This designation is based on five standards surrounding tree health and student involvement: the creation of a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program, hosting an arbor day observance, as well as completing a service learning project.
  • The installation of new LEDs on campus provide a safer outdoor environment by supplying more expansive lit areas throughout campus, compared to traditional lighting.

"This can be a stressful environment for students, at least during certain times of the year. Seeing people out playing Frisbee or laying in the sun or walking their dogs on central campus gives people a nice, safe place that they can always feel good about when they walk past."

-Barb Steiner, Plant Services Supervisor