Here's why NKU isn't cutting the grass on parts of campus anymor - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Here's why NKU isn't cutting the grass on parts of campus anymore

(Provided, Northern Kentucky University) (Provided, Northern Kentucky University)
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS (FOX19) -

In an effort to curtail climate change, many businesses, cities and schools are looking for ways to curb their carbon emissions while cutting operation costs.

Northern Kentucky University on Friday announced they will set aside 4.8 acres of their property as “no-mow zones,” which means parts of campuses will be allowed to return to their natural state.

"No-mow zones" are nothing new, but are generally zoning rules where cities don't have to worry about upkeep — generally in low-trafficked areas.

In this case, the motivation for the new rules on NKU's campus is both environmentalism and reducing bills. Getting rid of constant upkeep of land reduces the university’s carbon footprint by decreasing the use of gas powered lawn mowers and fertilizers.

“Converting several low-visibility lawns on campus to no-mow zones will allow the grounds crew to re-allocate time to higher visibility areas,” Tess Phinney, NKU sustainability manager said in a statement. “NKU is among the first in our region to specifically designate areas that were once mowed lawns as 'no-mow zones' for the purpose of reducing our carbon footprint and allowing native flora and fauna to return.”  

NKU’s four no-mow zones include: 

  • An area north of the Honors House.
  • An area north of Johns Hill Road and west of University Drive.
  • An area west of University Drive and southeast of Campus Drive.
  • An area southwest of Campbell Drive near the Campbell Drive substation.

Earlier this year, NKU released its sustainability strategy, outlining its strategies to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Other recent efforts by the university include:

  • Using geothermal energy to heat and cool the campus recreation center. Geothermal harnesses the Earth’s heat just below the surface. It’s the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective heating/cooling system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • On Earth Day last year, NKU launched their bike share program. Students can borrow a bike for free for two hour increments. 
  • The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) is the university's regional bus service faculty, staff and students can use for free. Click here for routes

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