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Tree groves planted in parking lots would provide visual retreat.

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Buffer planting is needed to screen views off-campus.

9. Parking and Buffers

Character

Throughout all parking areas on the University, the planting development should strive to incorporate naturalistic groves of native trees. Large expanses of asphalt may be reduced by incorporating smaller islands into single larger islands to create these informal tree groves. In addition, the perimeter of the campus will require buffer plantings in those areas where the adjacent land use is prominent and visually impacts the campus. These areas shall be treated with a combination of dense native evergreen and deciduous plant materials which screen and block views. Native plants should be the primary buffer planting so as to blend with the Conservation Areas and other native landscape areas outside of the University's boundaries. Once established, the island tree groves within parking areas and the buffer zones will appear to have been native.

Recommendations

  1. Tree groves in large islands of parking areas should be incorporated to provide shade canopies and a visual retreat from the expanse of pavement. Restriping the width of parking spaces from 9 feet to 8.5 feet will free up some space and allow for larger planting islands with a limited parking loss.
  2. Buffer planting will provide a mixture of understory evergreens in addition to shade trees. These buffer plantings should be strategically placed at the perimeter of parking areas and along the campus boundaries where views extend into adjacent residential areas.
  3. Exemplary landscape treatments at storm drainage retention ponds should occur and provide elevated design ideas for the entire community. The use of native grasses and water-loving perennials will soften the pond edges. A repetition of the plants used at the Commons is recommended here.
  4. Existing cultivated, high maintenance plants should be transplanted out of these zones to the higher maintenance garden zones.
  5. The planting beds in the buffer areas should have long, sweeping curves. Avoid straight plant bed edges which parallel the property line.

Maintenance

A low level of maintenance will be important in this zone. The use of native plants will support this.

Issues

  • Eventual thinning of undergrowth will be necessary in the parking lot islands.
  • Mulch should be applied to the perimeter of the native tree groves and buffer plantings to provide for a clean edge treatment. This should be applied 2 times a year to maintain 3" of cover.
  • Removal of leaf litter will become important in the parking lots where turf exists.

Plant Palette

Trees

Acer rubrum/Red Maple
Cryptomeria japonica/Cryptomeria
Ilex vomitoria/Yaupon Holly
Juniperus virginiana/Eastern Red Cedar
Liquidambar styraciflua/Sweetgum
Magnolia grandiflora/Southern Magnolia
Pinus virginiana/Virginia Pine
Quercus laurifolia/Laurel Oak
Quercus nigra/Water Oak

Large Shrubs/Grasses

Arundo donax/Giant Reed Grass
Lindera benzoin/Spicebush
Lonicera sempervirens/Coral Honeysuckle
Miscanthus giganteus/Giant Silver Grass
Myrica cerifera/Wax Myrtle
Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine'/ 'Cloud Nine' Switchgrass
Prunus caroliniana/Carolina Cherry Laurel
Ternstroemia gymnanthera/Cleyera
Viburnum tinus/Laurustinus