Campus greens and courtyards are among the most memorable campus outdoor places. They provide settings for classes and special events, for recreation and contemplation, fostering a sense of tranquility while offering vistas of the surrounding architecture.
Plans for both the new Whitman College, completed in fall 2008, and the renovated Butler College, completed in fall 2009, have incorporated large courtyards and open green spaces around the buildings. Butler College includes the Memorial Court, an amphitheater-like space that is irrigated with rainwater harvested from an underground tank. Other Butler courts function as light wells, bringing daylight into floors below and reducing the need for artificial lighting.
On the core campus, the 2006-2016 Campus Plan provides for the restoration of historic courtyards with new lawns and pavement, native soils to help lawns withstand heavy use, and new drainage systems to recycle rainwater back into lawns and planting beds and reduce runoff. Other historic areas are being enhanced by removing obsolete walks, reducing graveled areas for parked carts and returning more planting space for lawn and trees. New perimeter pavements will permit maintenance traffic without damaging lawns and new plantings.