Maintaining the landscape and horticultural variety of Wake Forest’s property is a much more complex and integrated endeavor than one might suspect, as proven by David Davis, Wake’s Manager of Landscaping Services. A new administration at the university brought new and progressive views on sustainability, and a shift in the landscaping practices of old.

For years now, Davis has been working to ensure sustainable landscape by ensuring integrated pest management, paying close attention to species selection (consistently favoring native species over invasive), and realizing that the little things do in fact matter- such as reusing leaves for compost in order to minimize resource input.

Most notably in recent years, a collaboration of individuals at both Wake Forest and the surrounding neighborhood have been working to create a Cherokee garden on Wake’s campus. This project, which began in the fall of 2008, came into full bloom on April 22nd with a Native American blessing of the garden. The garden, which serves as a scenic intersect between the campus’ drylands and wetlands, owes its biodiversity to the collection of storm-water atop a layered bedrock.

It is hoped that this garden will be used as an outdoor classroom, one that can be valued for its subtle beauty and functional use as an exhibit of native species.  Davis sites his creative freedom in projects as one of his favorite parts of the job. He particularly enjoyed the evolution of the campus garden project which saw the transformation of a once unimpressive landscape into a diverse and intrinsically beautiful place.

Kathleen Pritchard, Outreach and Communications Intern