Killing Turfgrass at RU’s Schaumburg Campus

After April’s prescribed burn of the detention pond wetland, more changes in the Robin Campus landscape are in progress this May. The following update is from landscape architect Bill Bedrossian, of Bedrock Earthscapes, who is heading the campus redesign project in Schaumburg:

The month of May will be a transformational month for the Robin Campus landscape. Per our Sustainable Site campus landscape plan created over the last year, low input native plantings will be replacing much of the high input and resource intensive turf grass areas. Over the next few weeks, those who visit the Robin Campus will begin to see much of the turf grass in open areas and on the parking lot islands turning brown. Last Friday, eight of the thirteen acres of turfgrass were treated with a contact herbicide that will kill the grass. The open areas will then be seeded in mid to late May with native prairie mixes. The parking lot islands will be planted with native grasses using seed, plugs or plants. A few native flower beds will also be installed on the west parking lot islands. Native seedings take three years to fully establish as they build their root systems for the first few years before displaying their characteristic top growth.

This year, you will see primarily cover grasses and a few showy natives late in the season. More native plants will be evident in the second summer, and then by the third year the seeded areas should start to look like a healthy native plant community. As the new seedings and plants are getting established, we ask that you begin to watch with interest to see if you can identify our new native plants as they begin to get emerge, and please, use care to avoid walking over the newly planted native areas.

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