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University of California, Davis is one of two platinum-level bicycle-friendly universities in the United States, the highest honor bestowed annually by The League of American Bicyclists. The university limited motor vehicles on campus in 1968 and has been a role model for bike-friendly campuses across the United States. UC Davis pioneered the use of bicycle and pedestrian roundabouts for efficiency improvements and safety concerns.

The Challenge

UC Davis completed an expansion to their Tercero campus with the addition of seven new residence halls, a 250-seat lecture hall, and 1,700 bicycle parking spaces. To accommodate the new bicycle traffic, the UC Davis design team began an improvement project, which included 1,000 square feet of landscape to create a bicycle and pedestrian roundabout. UC Davis needed a sprinkler that would keep the roundabout beautiful without creating runoff on the bikeway.

The Solution

Prevention of runoff was essential for bicyclist and pedestrian safety. It was also necessary to find a sprinkler that would meet the highest green building standards for water and energy efficiency. To meet these needs, Matt Forrest, the landscape and grounds supervisor at UC Davis, selected the Hunter MP Rotator® SR Series to irrigate the new plantings. Forrest said, “The UC Davis design team prefers overhead watering to drip because of the reduced maintenance, so the MP Rotator SR Series was the perfect choice.”

The MP Rotator line saves water through high distribution uniformity, wind-resistant streams, and a low precipitation rate that soils can absorb to prevent runoff. Hunter’s MP800SR, a short-radius version of the MP Rotator, is designed for tight areas like the roundabouts at UC Davis.

The Result

Forrest needed to design the landscaping with low water use plants, so he turned to the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars plant pallet to achieve low water use. He selected Yucca Filamentous and ground cover roses for a beautiful contrast of colors. Forrest said, “We have been experimenting with the Arboretum All-Stars in tight areas and combined with the MP Rotator we have achieved better distribution and a lower precipitation rate (than traditional sprays) which works well with mixed plantings.”