There are many ways UCO is trying to manage its landscape to preserve our ecosystem and reduce energy needs as well. Some examples follow:
A computer controlled irrigation system ensures we only use the right amount of water for irrigation purposes. The system can be controlled remotely and operates primarily at night to conserve water.
UCO mulches its flowerbeds as much as possible to control undesired weeds and to reduce moisture evaporation.
UCO also has plans to become a botanical garden by 2012. In 2006 a committee began work to identify existing and possible gardens that could be established and dedicated with proper markings, etc, to declare itself a Display Garden in 2007. The first ten gardens were dedicated on September 21, 2007 at the Bell Tower Plaza which is part of the Centennial Garden, at Plunkett Park. This project is being recognized as an Oklahoma Centennial event. Future plans call for more gardens, added horticulture staff, expanded teaching of botanical related classes using the existing gardens materials, and record keeping that will support the establishment of a botanical garden. The current effort is known as "Central Gardens at UCO." In 2005 UCO applied for and received designation as a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Wildlife Habitat. This designation means that NWF recognizes that UCO provides food, water, shelter and places for raising young for local wildlife. UCO has placed ten bluebird boxes around campus. Six of these have been accepted by the birds and have produced young for the first time in 2006. In 2007, UCO erected a martin house north of Broncho Lake. Plans call for leaving the old water detention area to the west of the Garland Godfrey entrance as a future garden asset for wildlife use as well as for teaching botanical subjects.
UCO has an active workforce that that tries hard to keep UCO free of litter. Containers are placed around campus and many hours of labor are spent in retrieving the litter that does wind up outside. Our efforts to keep UCO green and beautiful can be improved with the help of all students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus.
Integrated pest management is a system that minimizes the use of pesticides and fertilizers on campus as much as possible. Pests can best be eliminated by elimination of their food and shelter sources. Reduction of litter, clean facilities and moisture control of facilities, etc are just a few of the active measures being taken in this area.