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Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University Landscape:

What we are doing:

To see all of our current projects and all of our past projects check out our Facebook page by clicking this link Southern Oregon University Landscape Facebook Page Like us to follow our progress and watch what we are up to.

Meet our newest member of the Landscape Team Mr. Justin Ross


Check out what the Landscape Team is doing to promote Sustainability at SOU:

SOU has become a certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation:

Keep your eyes peeled for the new signs around campus.

We are committed to providing the four basic elements for wildlife to thrive on campus, and although we don't always apreciate the deer munching all of our plants we accept that this is their home. There are also many other types of wildlife on campus that we wish to support including squirrels, rodents, birds, pollinators, insects, and mammals. We have recently also begun an effort to provide the esential elements for fungus to thrive on campus. We have dug out and half planted several large logs by Cox Hall that will be perfect for polypore fungi growth. 


SOU will celebrate Arbor Day April 8th, 2015 

We are looking for volunteers, please E-mail Mike Oxendine at to sign up and to request your free volunteer T-shirt. 

This year SOU will be accrediated with the Arbor Day Foundations award Tree Campus USA for our work to promote the urban forest and help educate people to the value of trees. 

SOU's Silver Maple tree in the courtyard between Shasta and McLoughlin won the City of Ashland's Tree of the Year award for 2014.

SOU Landscape has pledged with the Friends of the Earth Campaign to not use neonicotinoides on campus in an effort to help protect bees and other pollinators on campus. 



Southern Oregon University is settled in the foothills of the Siskiyou mountain range. The climate is amazing, with all four distinct seasons. “Glorious surroundings provide inspiration beyond the classroom, one of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems in the world—snow-capped mountains, wilderness areas, whitewater rivers—surrounding a lively arts community that’s among the most desirable places to live in America.”© 2012 Southern Oregon University. The Landscape Services Department employees are stewards of SOU’s diverse landscape and exemplify the college’s commitment towards sustainability. We see ourselves building on our interactive relationship with the student body and campus as a whole to fulfill the college’s vision of supporting an interdisciplinary learning environment.


We are a team of Landscape professional who strive to make Southern Oregon University a great place to live, learn, and work. Our focus is on students and making their outdoor experience at SOU a positive one. We are constantly working at improving our sustainability and environmental impact.  Our goal is to make SOU a destination campus, and continue to foster a positive environment where students are encouraged to learn and succeed. Always expanding, diversifying and revitalizing our Landscapes to accommodate the ever changing demands of our customers is our commitment to SOU.


Our team works hard, shows up (rain, snow, and shine), and works until the job is done. We are optimistic, positive, and helpful.


Please make requests for any temporary or permanent alterations to the landscape by submitting a WORK REQUEST to FMP.  All alterations must be approved and coordinated by the Landscape Services Supervisor and the Director of FMP.

Regular maintenance includes mowing, pruning, weeding, watering, fertilizing lawns, trees, and flower beds, outdoor leaf and trash pickup, and all other functions related to exterior campus beautification. The Landscape Services Department also provides support of outdoor projects for the Building Maintenance Division and capital repair or construction projects, such as heavy equipment operation and trenching.

Projects such as outdoor art exhibits, lining the sports fields for athletic events, memorial tree planting, or group activities using the campus grounds must be approved by the Landscape Services Supervisor, The Director of  FMP, and the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Departments please submit a WORK REQUEST to request FMP support.


Landscape Services only uses approved pesticides and herbicides, which are applied by State-licensed applicators. If you have any questions about a chemical being applied, please contact the Landscape Services Supervisor at 541-552-6117. Each applicator carries a Material Safety Data Sheet on the chemical being used. See SOU IPM Policy

Snow and ice removal are the responsibility of the Landscape Services Division. Maintenance of campus streets and walkways are also the responsibility of Landscape Services. See Snow and Ice Procedures

Whenever possible, honeybee swarms are relocated by our local bee keeper The Bee Girl. The Bee Girl also helps educate the campus to the benefits of Bees. For more information about bees on campus and elswhere visit

SOU receives water from Emmigrant Lake via the Talent Irrigation District through the City of Ashland.

Interesting Irrigation Facts:

  • SOU irrigates over 6,000,000 square feet
  • There are over 460 separate irrigation zones on campus, each with its own automatic valve
  • There are over 10,000 sprinkler heads on campus
  • There are miles of underground irrigation pipes on campus, some dating from early 1950

 SOU’s commitment to sustainability:

 In 2013 SOU administration decided to make a large financial and physical investment into the future sustainability of the campus irrigation system. The landscaping department undertook the most fundamental irrigation upgrade in SOU’s history. The Landscape Services Department with support from the SOU Information Technologies Department and the SOU Building Maintenance Department Electricians were able to disassemble and install all new Baseline Irrigation Solutions controllers and Smart Hydro-meter Flow valves.

 We now have the ability to monitor live water flow throughout campus, and install 50 Smart Moisture Sensors below ground spread out over campus. This will give us a graphical representation of the soil moisture levels throughout the different micro-climates on campus. Our Baseline Irrigation Solutions system has the ability to automatically adjust run times via Moisture Sensors on individual zones to ensure that the appropriate amount of water is being delivered to each area. This will help reduce the amount of run-off water on sidewalks, parking lots, and roads.

 Our Hydro-meter Flow Valves automatically sense breaks in the lines, send E-mails and Text messages and shut down the lines until the repairs have been made. The Smart Valves also record graphical flow data and monitor usage in GPM (gallons per minute).

 The 2014 North Campus Village landscape designed by local Landscape Architect Greg Covey, will meet LEED Environmental Design qualifications. It was designed with the latest technology in water saving irrigation and utilizes Baseline Irrigation Solutions system. The Irrigation system coupled with drought tolerant plants and a large number of trees make it very sustainable.

 Our goal for 2014 is to improve upon our campus irrigation filtration system. We look forward to being able to utilize the same water smart sprinkler heads that were used at the North Campus Village. We also plan on installing the 50 Moisture sensors throughout campus this fall and winter season. 

Watering is monitored by Landscape Services staff between 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., and is controlled by the Baseline Irrigation Solutions System at all times. Please report immediately any malfunctioning or misdirected irrigation equipment to 541-552-6117, or submit a WORK REQUEST. On weekends, please contact Campus Public Safety (541-552-6911) to obtain FMP emergency numbers.


Please contact the Landscape Services Division at 541-552-6117, or via WORK REQUEST to notify us of your event. This will ensure that your guests are not "surprised" by water sprinklers suddenly coming on during your event. Please notify us well in advance so that timers may be reprogrammed in a timely manner.

Who we are:

Mike Oxendine;  Landscape Services Supervisor


I have lived in Oregon since 1985 and love calling the Rogue Valley home.  I am a professional certified ISA arborist and licensed Oregon landscape professional with my own business when time allows. I have worked in the landscape industry for fifteen years and love working outside with plants. I am an avid sports enthusiast and love backpacking with my wife Erin and my dog Indy. I love working for SOU and have been here for seven years. I have a lot of vision for the Landscape at the university and look forward to being a part of a new, sustainable, and exciting future here.  I am a member of the best team on campus and really enjoy being around my co-workers.  I have recently created and chair SOU’s first Tree Advisory Council which is preparing to gain national attention when SOU receives the distinguished Tree Campus USA title from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Jay Watkins;  Landscape Services Foreman


Jay has worked at SOU since the spring of 1995. He is an expert landscaper, and knows the campus landscape better than any other SOU employee. Jay has mastered all aspects of SOU Landscape Services from heavy equipment operation, ariel lift pruning, large irrigation designs and installations, and IPM management practices. Jay is responsible for training and oversight of the Landscape. When not at work Jay has three wonderful daughters a wife, and a new grandson. He also enjoys gardening at home, scuba diving, and cowboy shooting.

 Tate Dunn;  Landscape Services Irrigation Technician


 Tate graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and gained valuable experience working for the Oregon State Parks Department, and local Nurseries.   He is our go to person for Irrigation repair and maintenance. Tate is also learning ariel lift pruning and working towards his Landscape Contractors License. When Tate is not at work he likes to hike, rock climb, garden, ride dirt bikes, and most importantly hang out with his wife.

Kyle Riggs;  Landscape Services Horticulture Specialist


 Kyle had his start in horticulture when he was five years old and grew his first Tomato plant from seeds that he had collected. Since then he has studied Environmental Studies and Biology at Sonoma State University in California, worked as a landscaper, worked as the Agricultural Technician at Mendocino College, and as the Manager at historic Hanley Farm in Central Point. Kyle is responsible for our propagation program, landscape bed design, and is our go to Farming expert.  He loves living in Ashland with his wife Nancy, son Jasper, and Daisy the Border collie. When not at work Kyle likes canoeing, reading, making, and enjoying beer.



For question or comments please feel free to contact:

Mike Oxendine, Landscape Services Supervisor