Native Vegetation | Pepperdine University

Native Vegetation



Our Malibu campus is located along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, and contains a unique and diverse environment. In order to minimize our impact on that environment, Pepperdine has made a commitment to maintaining vegetation native to California's Mediterranean climate. This eliminates the need for fertilizer, irrigation, and pesticides, while reducing air pollution, minimizing erosion, and improving water quality. Native vegetation has a superior carbon balance relative to exotic or non-native species, as it has no dormant season and removes atmospheric carbon year-round. Moreover, native vegetation is considered a valuable public resource due to its significant ecological value.

Drescher Graduate Campus Native Vegetation

The 50-acre Drescher Graduate Campus, completed in 2003, contained at least 50% native vegetation for landscaping. Soil and seeds collected on-site before the project began were used to replant the slopes. In an effort to blend the Graduate Campus with the surrounding environment, the surrounding slopes contain approximately 99% native vegetation with only a handful of non-native plants. KCAL news highlighted this development in a newscast entitled "In the Garden."


Open Space

As part of Pepperdine's effort to maintain our environment, 500 acres out of the 830 that make up the Malibu Campus have been set aside for conservation. This provides a pristine natural environment complete with native vegetation and wildlife at no cost to the state.

Landscape Management

All on-campus tree trimmings and most brush clearance debris is "chipped" and used to create pathways and for weed suppression. Non-native landscaping is irrigated with reclaimed water, thereby reducing the amount of potable water used on campus.

Landscape management staff - Pepperdine University

At Pepperdine we strive to achieve a clean, quiet and healthy campus environment. That's why we prioritize electric landscaping equipment over gas. Soon we will begin piloting emission-free zones with our new electric landscape equipment from Mean Green!

Sustainable Pest Management

The use of anti-coagulant rodenticides, commonly known as rat poison, has recently gained attention for its link to the death of native predatory animals. In particular, anti-coagulant rodenticides are known to bio-accumulate in larger animals that have consumed rodents that have ingested rodenticides. In May 2014, Pepperdine phased out the use of rodenticides in favor of a poison-free pest management system.

Lela's Tree
Lela's Tree - Pepperdine University

At the recommendation of two different professional arborists the original Lela's tree unfortunately had to be removed due to safety issues. Both Arborists felt that with the upcoming El Niño storms the tree was a high risk for failure. Our main concern and reason for removal was for the safety of our students. 

The new tree is a 107 year old Sevilliano tree. In the land of the Bible, the olive tree was, and is, the most important of all the trees because it is a source of food, light, hygiene and healing. For nearly 6,000 years, olives have been eaten as a Mediterranean staple food and olive oil has been used for cooking, in lamps for light (Ex. 27:20, Lev. 24:2), for medicine, and for anointing oil in religious ceremonies (Ex. 30:24-25). By the time of the Roman conquest of Judea, the olive had become one of the most basic dietary items, even of the poor.

(Borrowed from Teaching letters - Bridges for Peace)