Grounds & Stormwater


UNC Asheville’s Grounds Crew works tirelessly to keep our campus in such a beautiful state. Over the past several years, their accomplishments include:

  • replacing all trees removed from campus due to construction, death, or disease
  • increasing use of the landscape as a support to academics
  • making the UNC Asheville campus an organic campus, using sustainable agriculture concepts
  • continuing the mindset of a restorative maintenance, through soil building, removing invasive exotics, and restoring natural systems

A major accomplishment also includes the continued use of native plant species. Using native plants adds beauty to the landscape and preserves natural heritage; provides food and habitat for native wildlife; serves as an important genetic resource for future crops or other plant-derived products; decreases the amount of water needed for landscape maintenance; produces extensive root systems to hold soil in place; and protects water quality by counteracting soil erosion.

Storm Water Management

Through grants from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund and other sources, the campus has created a system of bioretention pond and storm-water wetlands which provide treatment for storm water runoff prior to the water entering Glenn Creek and Reed Creek, which are on or adjacent to campus. Pocket wetlands and rain gardens allow for environmentally friendly infiltration and storage of storm water run-off. Bio-retention ponds across campus clean water before it enters the campus streams that feed into nearby creeks and the local river system.

Vegetated roofs are utilized as a storm water management feature, but are also beneficial to building insulation, extending the life of a roof, and in reducing the heat island effect. There are vegetated roofs on Whitesides Hall and the Sam Millar complex.

A strategy known as low impact development was used in the construction of the Sam Millar Facilities building, which reduces the impact the development of a site has on the environment. A number of features allow for environmentally friendly infiltration and storage of storm water run-off. The Low Impact Features at Sam Millar include:

  • rain gardens
  • infiltration basins
  • pocket wetlands
  • permeable pavements
  • bio-retention ponds