This month’s spotlight features an exciting new project at St. Edward’s University – the John Brooks Williams Natural Science and Technology Center – South Building. RVi has worked closely with Sasaki Associates for more than 10 years on the St. Edward’s University master plan, helping enhance the campus’ outdoor spaces and is working closely with architects Moore Ruble Yudell and STG on this current project. Spearheaded by Professor of Biology Dr. William Quinn, the new courtyard draws its inspiration from the Wild Basin Wildlife Preserve and features native plants and demonstration gardens that will educate students and visitors. All efforts are being made to create a space that is both attractive and educational with xeriscapic techniques used in plant selection and storm water treatment practices that include rain gardens.

Typical turf ground cover is being replaced with decomposed granite that will allow the plants to find and follow their natural growth patterns and serve as a model to students of how micro-climates affect a plant’s ability to flourish in nature. Visitors to the courtyard will see plants atypical to the urban environment such as: Nolina, Eve’s Necklace, Blue Grama and Little Bluestem.  The new courtyard and outdoor classroom will serve as another great addition in educating tomorrow’s leaders and stewarding resources wisely.