Landscape & Urban Gardening

Eat Your Campus

You can eat the organically-grown fruit, vegetables and herbs in the campus gardens. Check out the edible campus map by clicking the image to the right or learn more The Edible Campus from grounds. 

Students, staff and faculty can grow vegetables and herbs in their own 4 x 8 foot raised bed. Raised bed users are responsible for planting, maintenance and harvest during the growing season. Hand tools, watering cans and hoses are available at each site. Gardeners can receive free vegetable starts at the Grounds Department’s annual Plant Sale

There are two campus community gardens. The Chardin Community Garden is located next to the sidewalk between Chardin Hall and the Seattle University Park. It has 15 raised beds. The Broadway Community Garden is located south of the Broadway Garage at the corner of Broadway Ave. and E. Columbia St. It has 12 raised beds.

To sign up for a raised bed, contact Shannon Britton at brittons@seattleu.edu.

Trees of Seattle University

Alyssa Lau, graphic design intern at CEJS, created a map which locates some of the outstanding trees that make our campus grounds so unique. Learn more here.

Food with Spirit

Food with Spirit is a student club started in 2012 which grows produce in community gardens at SU. The produce is donated to lunch programs in the area such as Community Lunch at Central Lutheran Church, St James Cathedral Kitchen and Chief Seattle Club. Plans are in the works to provide fresh produce to the Food Pantry located in the Gender Justice Center on campus. Learn more.

Sustainable Soccer Field

In 2017 the Grounds Fields Team received Environmental Facility Certification from the Sport Turf Managers Association for sustainably maintaining the turf for Championship Field. Learn more.

SU Tree Care Program

The Tree Care Program (started Spring 2017) includes an outlined Tree Care Plan and a Tree Advisory Committee. The plan identifies best practices and procedures used in selection, site preparation, preventative maintenance, evaluation, design, protection, preservation, hazard removals and replacement for trees. The overall program goal is to ensure safe attractive sustainable campus urban forest. The Committee will facilitate annual activities for the campus community, such as service learning projects and earth week celebrations. Measurable outcomes include increased tree canopy, increased ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, and improved educational outreach on the health and significance of campus trees. Learn more.

Tree Campus USA

SU Grounds achieved the Tree Campus USA designation in 2018, and will be working to meet the criteria yearly. Learn more here.

Organic Methods

Our gorgeous landscape has been maintained without the use of chemical pesticides since 1998. Our gardeners brew compost tea and spray it on plants, release good insects to eat the bad ones, and let leaves decompose where they fall. Learn more.

Greenroofs

The large pine trees between Bannan and the Quad grow in a greenroof over the biology labs. The greenroof over the Admissions & Alumni Building’s lobby has trays growing grasses in 6 inches of soil. Greenroofs absorb heat and insulate the building, reduce rainwater runoff, and provide wildlife habitat.  

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are landscaped depressions that collect rain water runoff from streets, sidewalks and roofs. The soil and plants remove pollutants as the runoff slowly infiltrates the groundwater table.

SU has two rain gardens:

  • One between Hunthausen and Xavier Hall in front of the 1103 building
    • The 1103 East Madison Building was created to prevent basement flooding in the neighboring 4 buildings.
  • On either side of the Lemieux Library main entrance
    • About 100,000 gallons of rain are contained in the rain garden during a peak storm event. 

Themed Gardens  

Medicinal plants are grown in our Healing Garden. The Shakespeare Garden has plants mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare. The Ethnobotanic Garden highlights plants used by Northwest indigenous peoples for food, utility and sacred purposes. And Fujitaro Kubota designed many of our gardens. Learn more.

Wildlife Sanctuary and Wildlife Habitat

Since 1989, our landscape has been designated a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Our gardens provide water, food and shelter for birds and insects. Diverse plants bear seeds, berries, pollen and nectar. Layered trees and shrubs provide shelter with a seamless, dense cover. Learn more.

In 2007, the National Wildlife Federation qualified the campus as a Wildlife Habitat. This means that we provide necessary food, water, and shelter for birds, insects, and other animals. Learn more.

Current Projects

Check out Grounds and Landscapings Current Projects to see the newest editions to Seattle University's campus landscape. 

Questions?

Contact the Grounds and Landscaping office at (206) 296-6440 or email Shannon Britton, the Grounds and Landscaping Manager, at brittons@seattleu.edu

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