Two bee hives are installed on the front lawn of the Governor's Mansion on the west Capitol Campus. View information regarding the 2017 honey bee hives.
On east campus, DES grounds staff have installed three mason bee houses on the plaza. Mason bees are native to Washington. They do not produce honey but are very efficient in transferring pollen from plant-to-plant.
The Department of Enterprise Services conducted an 'ecolawn' pilot project on parts of the Capitol Campus grounds in 2016.
Enterprise Services conducted the pilot project as part of a broader effort to:
As a result, DES groundskeepers received a 2016 Innovations in State Government award for their use of environmentally-friendly landscape practices on the Capitol Campus from the National Association of State Chief Administrators.
In 2017, Enterprise Services is continuing many of the green practices throughout the campus that worked well and also saved on labor and resources like:
In addition, Enterprise Services continues to expand the ecolawn program on the East Campus to improve aesthetics and promote continued increases in the variety of bees and other pollinators, including:
Enterprise Services also is actively working to increase the density and vigor of turfgrass on the campus over time to naturally crowd out and suppress weeds so that the application of herbicides can be reduced.
Enterprise Services adopted its approach for 2017 based on:
See the Campus Grounds Management Plan that details the strategies implemented in the Fall of 2016.
There are several types of ecolawns but the term generally refers to the use of slow-growing grasses and low perennials. Generally, the species of grasses grown in an ecolawn are different than those used in a conventional lawn. An ecolawn requires less mowing, irrigation, fertilizer and pesticide use compared to a typical lawn. Since an ecolawn is mowed infrequently, or not at all, another benefit is less organic material being sent to a landfill or composting facility.