Institute for Sustainable Development

Facilities Management and Services hosts regular arboretum tours on campus.

Visit their web site for a schedule of tours.


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Landscaping and Grounds

One of the most appreciated aspects of California State University, Chico is its beautiful campus. Big Chico Creek, with seasonal populations of wild Chinook salmon, runs through the center of campus. As stewards of the land, the campus community understands the fragility of this ecosystem and recognizes the university's role in supporting its integrity. The University takes action to manage its landscaping and grounds to ensure that this extraordinary space and its unique natural resources are managed for the enjoyment of future generations.  

The grounds at Chico State are primarily maintained by Facilities Management and Services' (FMS) Grounds and Landscape Services Department and University Housing. Since April 1997, Facilities Management and Services' (FMS) Grounds and Landscape Services Department has switched to almost 90 percent organic landscaping using many native plant species, trading in chemicals for organic compounds, using different management techniques like integrated pest management, and mechanical pest control. University Housing also cares for its grounds using integrated pest management, organically based flower fertilizers, and non-systemic herbicides.

Creekside Nature Walk is a self-guided walk along Big Chico Creek to view native plant species demarcated with numbered posts referenced in an educational brochure. (The brochure is available at the Bidwell Mansion, CSU, Chico Alumni Association, and the Office for the Department of Biological Sciences.)

Restoration Along Big Chico Creek

Restoration along Big Chico Creek involved students and faculty to restore the riparian buffer strip to a more naturally functioning ecosystem with native riparian plant species.

In 2016 the grounds and landscape department completed a bioswale project along the north area of the Student Services Building. This project included new irrigation, drought resistant plants, and boulders that will reduce water use in the area.


The Arboretum was officially dedicated in 1982 and is home to more than 1,000 trees with more than 250 species from every part of the world. Many of these trees were planted by Chico's founding father, John Bidwell.

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