The Campus Landscape
The Campus Master Plan has provided the University with the opportunity to re-think the management of the campus grounds to date and plan for a redevelopment of the natural and man-made landscape that is more user-friendly and welcoming, more representative of the original biodiversity of Dunedin, and more sustainable.
Property Services in conjunction with landscape architects are have prepared a Landscape Development Plan for the University which will encompass Environmental Sustainable Design principles (ESD), redevelopment of the Water of Leith to attract wildlife and foster recreation, better pedestrian and cycle access, and appropriate trees and plants. Students and staff were consulted as part of the Plan project to gather their impressions of the current campus landscape and how it can be improved.
Sections of the existing campus landscape, notably those around the Clocktower and Staff Club, are iconic and a delight to the current University community and the general public. These serve as a quality benchmark for the landscape of the campus and its environs for any future landscaping project.
The following key sustainability themes were developed to guide the development of a Landscape Development Plan:
- The campus landscape should be an important component in narrating the history of the University, the land on which it sits and the community that inhabits it both present and past, through interpretive elements. The Water of Leith, which has been a constant throughout the history of the site, offers particular opportunities in this regard.
- New substantial plantings should act as carbon offsets for the University’s emissions where possible, particularly along the Water of Leith. Materials should be selected from sustainable sources, preferably local to minimise transport and waste materials and rubbish should be recycled.
- The energy efficiency of lighting and other powered elements of the landscape should be a priority and measures put in place to conserve/store water. Design shall also incorporate strategies to address potential climate change impacts.
- Where possible the reinstatement of habitat should be prioritised to promote and support native fish, birds and vertebrate species.
The Landscape Development Plan was completed at the end of 2011, and is currently being considered for adoption by the University. A copy will be included on this page when available. The Plan will be implemented in stages to suit existing projects and available funds.
Management of the Campus Grounds
The Property Services Grounds Department is responsible for the day to day management of campus outdoor areas, including keeping the grounds clean and tidy, mowing grass and pruning trees and hedges, planting new trees and flowerbeds and dealing with vandalism and health and safety issues. They also manage recycling on campus as detailed on the Recycling on Campus page.
The existing campus contains many fine landscapes and gardens, including patches of native vegetation and a number of significant exotic and native trees protected by law.
Due to the presence of abundant food bearing vegetation year round and the Water of Leith the campus grounds are also home to a number of locally representative native bird species such as Kereru, Tui, Piwakawaka, Welcome Swallow and Bellbird, and waterbirds such as Paradise Shelduck and Black Shag. Trout, Salmon, Eel and Koaro are present in the Water of Leith and sometimes visible to passing pedestrians.
The Campus Community Garden
A joint initiative of Students for Environmental Action (SEA) and the Otago University Students Association, with support from Property Services, the campus community garden project commenced in the Spring of 2011.
The purpose of the garden is to create an inclusive and accessible campus garden that can be used by staff, students and community members to learn and educate others regarding the sustainable cultivation of organic produce and about the environmental, social and economic benefits of gardening.
Located in the grounds of the old Ministry of Education classrooms on Anzac Avenue, the garden project initially consists of 3 raised beds to grow standard vegetable crops. It is hoped that the project will expand as interest from the student community grows, in a similar fashion to the popular Living Campus project at Otago Polytechnic.
For more information on the garden project, refer to the PDF below. There will be future updates on this page of the website and the News and Events page on the progress of the garden project.
SEA are looking for student volunteers to help with the garden project, please contact email@example.com.
- Download the OUSA Garden Report (in PDF format)