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Informal, native plantings are recommended at the perimeter of Conservation areas.

8. Conservation Area

Character

The Conservation Areas will remain largely unchanged with the exception of those portions that lie interior to the campus core areas. Here edge treatments such as the addition of informal plant masses and selective thinning and clearing around the periphery would occur. Appropriate interpretive graphics for future educational support should be added. Conservation areas adjacent to the Chancellor's Walk could become outdoor classrooms as well, that co-exist with the Academic row of buildings.The remaining conservation areas require less protection from disturbance. Trails and interpretive graphics should be incorporated for the growing population of users such as students and the general public.

Recommendations

  1. Cultivated plantings should not occur in these areas; the use of natives will be the rule.
  2. Management and manipulation of native species will be important here to show off their educational value.
  3. The larger conservation area to the eastern edge of the campus will become the area most frequently visited by the public. Interpretive graphics should educate the public on appropriate use and behavior.
  4. The smaller conservation areas within the Academic Core area will remain and should be protected as outdoor classrooms.
  5. The major design components of these areas will become a standardized interpretive graphic component and trail system.
  6. A classification system for the level of disturbance allowed should be planned and developed for these Conservation Areas.
  7. A study should be performed to determine the feasibility of connecting all of the Conservation areas with trails and native landscape plantings.

Maintenance

A low level of maintenance should continue in this zone and upkeep should be restricted to the trails and entry gardens. The Biology Department will continue to manage the maintenance of native plant materials here for educational purposes, i.e., controlled burns.

Issues

  • The ecological benefits of prescribed burns should play a major role in the University's mission to educate the public on the native coastal environment and ecosystem management.
  • Lawn areas on the perimeter of the Conservation Areas should be maintained to a moderate level. Limited spraying and mowing is necessary here.
  • Trails should be paved with natural materials such as mulch. Maintenance of these pathway materials will be important for safe walkways.
  • Clean-up of fallen tree litter on pathways and to the perimeter of these areas is important.

Plant Palette

Trees

Cercis canadensis/Eastern Redbud
Cornus florida/Flowering Dogwood
Ilex vomitoria/Yaupon Holly
Magnolia virginiana/Sweetbay
Pinus palustris/Longleaf Pine
Quercus marilandica/Blackjack Oak

Shrubs

Aesculus pavia/Red Buckeye
Callicarpa americana/American Beautyberry
Clethra alnifolia/Summersweet
Euonymous americana/Hearts a Burstin
Itea virginiaca/Virginia Sweetspire
Lyonia lucida/Fetter Bush

Grasses/Ground Covers

Andropogon virginicus/Broom Sedge
Aristida stricta/Wire Grass
Panicum virgatum/Switch Grass
Schizachyrium scoparium/Little Bluestem