Despite Drought, University of Iowa Pentacrest Grass Stays Green
By Mark Carlson, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Many landscapes at the University of Iowa have been affected by this summer’s drought, but there’s one area where you would never know it: the Pentacrest along Clinton Street.
“The Pentacrest is the ‘face’ of the University, an important tool in marketing to prospective students, staff and faculty,” university spokesman Tom Moore said in a statement. “As the ‘icon’ of the university we have established the highest standard of maintenance possible with given resources for the Pentacrest.”
Inquires about how much water is used to keep the Pentacrest grass green, and at what cost, were not answered on Wednesday.
In the same statement Moore said costs to maintain the grass are “minimal.” Last week, officials with the city of Coralville began asking residents to voluntarily cut back on their water usage.
The University of Iowa uses a gauged underground irrigation system to water only the front-facing portion of the Pentacrest. According to Moore, the University of Iowa has some of the lowest levels of irrigated grass in the Big Ten. About 90 percent of the grass at the University of Nebraska is irrigated by an underground system.
“We’re in phase one of a drought plan,” said University of Nebraska news director Kelly Bartling. “We do focus on some zones, but let some go dormant.”
Bartling said the University of Nebraska isn’t currently using their entire system because of the drought situation.
“I think it looks nice to the visitors, and when freshmen come for orientation it looks good for the parents,” Frannie Rizzo of Iowa City said of the green Pentacrest.
Right now, there are no plans to cut back on water usage on the Pentacrest.
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