Question asked anonymously via email:
Why does UNF cut the grass — making noise and using gasoline — in January when the grass is dormant? Can we please stop this and reduce CO2 emissions in the process.
Question answered vie email by Will Smith, Assistant Director, Landscaping and Grounds Division:
The Landscaping and Grounds Division mows on an as needed basis during the winter months due to Northeast Florida climate variations. While we recognize that the grass goes into a semi dormant period in Northeast Florida (419 Certified Bermuda, St. Augustine Grass and Bahia Grass), our region unfortunately seldomly has sustained cold enough weather to prompt no growth at all. During these winter months, our turf maintenance is minimal, and we try our best to maintain these areas at acceptable industry standard best practices for turf health and aesthetics. Additionally, weeds continue to grow during these months and most of our clippings are weeds that have grown up over the grasses. By periodically mowing these areas, we can cut down on the amount of chemicals needed to treat these weeds. Our overall goal is to maintain the campus at an aesthetically pleasing standard while abiding by science based Green Industry Best Management Practices that follow environmentally safe landscaping practices to conserve and protect our ground and surface waters. We are fortunate to have one of the most biologically diverse campuses in the State of Florida. Staff remains cognizant of that feature of our campus and works to insure the overall health of the various natural communities remains one of our top priorities.