The Green Infrastructure Pollinator Garden at the University of Utah
Imagine a smoldering late-August day on campus. The pavement radiates heat and you struggle to find a place to take cover from the sun. The walk from the Marriott Library to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts seems nearly impossible. You wonder what will come first: the museum doors or your poor body in a puddle on the walkway. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see something breathtaking: a tree, shrubs, greenery! The space is alive with color and excitement. And behold – a rock to sit on. You take the scene in. An oasis, a refuge.
It does not take long for you to realize that you are not the only creature taking refuge in this assemblage of habitat. Bees buzz around you, busy transferring pollen from flower to flower. Birds and insects swoop in and out. There are even a few other humans enjoying the space. A growing community of plants, pollinators, and Utahns.
And the best thing about it? It is not imaginary – at least not for long! The Green Infrastructure Pollinator Garden is coming to campus. In addition to providing beautiful plants, habitat, and spaces for taking a break during a busy day, this space will serve as an innovative solution for water management. A winding bioswale channels and retains stormwater as it runs off from neighboring sidewalks, alleviating pesky flooding in the basement of Planning + Architecture. Water-wise plants reduce irrigation needs while still providing benefit to humans and other species alike. Altogether, this garden is the ultimate package and a welcomed asset to the University of Utah.
PROJECT UPDATE: May 28, 2019
If you haven’t been to campus’s Green Infrastructure-Pollinator Garden yet, what are you waiting for?! The vision of students and faculty leaders is very much alive as the space blossoms with flowers and draws attention from passerby, as well as pollinators (of course)! Future plans for the garden include the addition of extra seating, signage, and artwork. Also keep your eyes peeled for a project video, coming soon. Whoever you are, and whatever brings you to the University of Utah, stop by the garden for a chance to unwind and appreciate the buzzing life around you.