Students Encouraged to Utilize Green Space on Campus

Spring is finally here – temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming and students are itching to spend their time outdoors. However, campus has undergone many changes during the past year, limiting recreational use in some areas.

Student Studying on Tech Lawn
Click image to enlarge

Students studying together on Tech Lawn.

Don’t be discouraged – the “Please Keep off the Grass” signs are coming down soon, and there are still plenty of ideal locations for a game of Frisbee, sunbathing, reading and soaking up good conversation and sunlight with friends.

Couch Park

Formerly known as the Burger Bowl, this space re-opened on Friday, March 23, just in time for students returning from Spring Break. Though officially owned by the City of Atlanta, Georgia Tech Facilities maintains the area and the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) handles its space management and reservations.

“Couch Park is first and foremost for use by the student body and is not open to anyone else with exception to other schools during official games and matches,” said Jonathan Hart, assistant director of Facilities for the CRC. He continues to promote recreation and encourages students to use the field whenever available. Many students may not realize the grass on both sides of the sidewalk is available for play; Hart advises students to maximize use so multiple groups can occupy the fields simultaneously without disruption.

A new hybrid grass has been planted on the field called TifSport, which is highly durable grass used for athletics, similar to turf. The new grass makes Couch Park one of the few areas on campus that can endure heavy sports, such as rugby and soccer. Golf clubs, though, are still prohibited.

Reservations can be made on the CRC website, and schedules will be posted on the centrally located message board. Beside the message board, a new flagpole has also been installed. The thirty-foot-tall flagpole centered on the field contains a siren in case of a thunderstorm and will display a flag to identify availability at all times, instructing students that “Red Means No, Green Means Go.”

For full rules and regulations of usage for Couch Park, please contact Jonathan Hart.

Harrison Lawn

Harrison Lawn is located on Cherry Street, where the infamous steam engine is located, adjacent to Harrison Square. This area also contains fescue grass: not great for a game of rugby, but ideal for studying or eating lunch. Harrison Lawn is currently open for use.

Tech Lawn

Tech Lawn, also known as “Flagpole,” is the grassy area in front of Tech Tower. Tech Lawn is reserved for large-scale Institute events planned by the Alumni Association, such as Ramblin’ On for graduating students. No student group is allowed to reserve the space or use the field for sporting activities that may harm the landscape. Though restricted, Tech Lawn welcomes students to take a break on East Campus by sitting on the lawn, pulling out a good book to read or hanging out with a few friends. This space is scheduled to reopen in early May.

Fifth Street Bridge

The green spaces located on both ends of the bridge leading up to Technology Square are commonly used for sunbathing, tailgating during football season, Homecoming and Greek Week events, and the Flicks on Fifth summer movie series sponsored by the Student Center Programs Council. This area does not support sporting activities, unless it requires little weight and traction, such as cornhole. The area is currently closed due to sodding, but is scheduled to reopen April 15.

Skiles Triangle Lawn

Skiles Triangle Lawn, as its name reflects, is the triangular-shaped area, surrounded on its three sides by the Student Center, Tech Walk and Skiles Classroom Building. This area is also still restricted until the grass is completely rooted. The grass in this triangle is fescue, so it cannot withstand heavy traffic. However, it is open to students for picnicking or studying outside. Skiles Triangle Lawn is expected to be open in June.

Tech Green

Formerly known as Yellow Jacket Park, Tech Green is the area near the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons that is surrounded by the four sidewalks that compose Tech Walk (formerly known as Skiles Walkway). Though the Clough Commons opened for the fall 2011 semester, the grass remained under contract and is not completely developed. The grass used on the newly renovated space, called zoysia, not only repels weeds, but also is less prone to insect and fungus damage and helps maintain sustainable irrigation and sewage during rainy seasons. The grass has not fully rooted yet, but the space is likely to be open by August.