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Come Enjoy UNLV’s Park-like Setting

Just leave the vampire eradication equipment and fire pits at home

Campus News  |  Jun 9, 2017  |  By Diane Russell
student plays guitar outside

The UNLV campus grounds provide a perfect place to enjoy the summer. (Aaron Mayes/UNLV Creative Services)

Robert Lynn can be a little possessive about the campus grounds. As someone who’s spent 32 years tending to the university’s turf, trees, and desert plants, it’s to be expected that he might have a few rules for enjoying the space.

But his main message is: Come one, come all.

He hopes to see not just students and staff enjoying UNLV’s park-like setting this summer, but also people from the larger Southern Nevada community.

Take a brisk walk. Go for a jog. Or toss a Frisbee.

Plant yourself under a shady tree and break out a book. If you’re not taking summer courses, you might even be able to read a book of your own choosing. Imagine that.

Serenade passersby as you strum your guitar or practice your piccolo. And if you don’t mind hauling your harp around, have at it.

Set up an easel and try your hand at sketching or painting.

Or head to the Donald H. Baepler Xeric Garden, to bone up on your desert plants.

With its wide walkways, the campus is a great place to teach your kids how to ride a bike.

“I’ve seen all those things,” said Lynn, the facilities manager for the university’s department of landscape, grounds, and arboretum. “We work hard at keeping the campus beautiful and we want people to enjoy it.”

The former President’s Classified Employee of the Year thinks the campus is particularly attractive to people during the summer, when the abundance of trees and other plants can mean temperatures are up to 20 degrees cooler in the heart of campus than elsewhere in the city.

Mindful that people do enjoy using the lawns, “We try to have all our watering completed by 7 a.m. so that the grounds aren’t really wet,” Lynn said.

But while Lynn will welcome you to enjoy UNLV’s grounds, there are a few things you aren’t allowed to do on campus that you might be able to do in some other parks.

  • Don’t set up barbecues or anything else that involves fire.
  • Don’t attach things to the trees.
  • And don’t drive stakes into the ground to support a volleyball or badminton net or for any other purpose. Save those pointy pieces of wood for the undead. If you were to inadvertently spear an irrigation line, neither the grounds crews nor the plants would appreciate it.