University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Inclusion for native species of plants on campus

Inclusion for native species of plants makes way for Pitt-Johnstown’s campus planters initiative.

Dr. Christine Dahlin and David Finney, supervisor of campus grounds, work together to bring beautiful life to campus through planting efforts.

 Every year the campus planters are rooted with native flowers starting in May. The planters are located all along the campus grounds to make sure that the gorgeous colors and smells are spread and enjoyed across campus. The flowers are purchased and brought to campus from local greenhouses including Southerwood Gardens, Mock’s Greenhouse, and Stuver’s Riverside Nursery.

“We will be planting the campus planters with combinations of native pollinator-friendly wildflowers. This is all in an effort to beautify campus, not only for current students and staff, but for future Pitt-Johnstown students and families.” Finney said. “These species of wildflowers have been selected specifically for late summer and fall blooming to coincide with the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.”

Flowers of choice include: false aster boltonia asteroides in colors pink, purple, and blue, cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis in a vibrant red, great blue lobelia siphilitica in purple and blue, New England aster symphyotrichum novae-angliae which is a light purple shade, sneezeweed helenium autumnnale is a perfect orange for fall, Showy goldenrod solidago speciose as a golden yellow, and another orange-red flower called orange coneflower rudbeckia fulgida. All the flowers mentioned are native to the area.

The flowers are chosen carefully to coincide with new student tours, the start of a new semester, and other events such as summer camps or sporting events that take place at the university so that they can be enjoyed by a wide audience. With an exuberant display of wildflowers soon to come, the 2020 planting year is sure to excite.