2023 All Together Green Facilities Management News On-Campus Solutions Sustainable Innovation

New Landscaping for Point of View Retreat


The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School’s Point of View (POV) retreat facility is kicking off the spring semester with new, pollinator-friendly, landscaping. Its exterior boasts a custom trellis for flowering vines, redesigned beds along entrances with perennial shrubs and flowering plants, and new native and flowering trees. The plants were chosen with the local ecology and long-term resiliency in mind to create a vibrant new exterior for the facility that complements its serene landscape overlooking Belmont Bay where wildlife thrives.  
Jessica Avila-Franco, POV’s Events and Site Manager, in collaboration with Erich Miller, Mason Facilities Management Grounds Program Manager and certified Arborist, developed a landscaping plan that prioritized native species to enhance the natural beauty of the facility, while also supporting local pollinator species.  
Avila-Franco applied for funding through University Sustainability’s Patriot Green Fund - a grant from Mason Facilities that allows the campus community to contribute to solutions to reduce Mason’s environmental impact. In Fall 2022, the application was approved by the Patriot Green Fund Committee, which consists of students, staff, and faculty, and was awarded $20,000 for completion of the project. 

“Point of View is a unique and peaceful place within George Mason University,” said Avila-Franco “The addition of native, pollinator-friendly plants and landscaping (thanks to Erich and the Patriot Green Fund Grant) allows us to enhance the location’s natural beauty while continuing our commitment to be environmentally and ecologically conscious.” 
This initiative will also contribute to the specimens included in George Mason University’s accredited Arboretum collection, which can be accessed online as well as enjoyed in-person to explore the ecological diversity on Mason’s campuses.  
"This collaborative effort between Facilities Management, Point of View, and University Sustainability is a testament to our continued commitment to improve, enhance, and incorporate our mission to provide excellent campus environments for all students, staff, and visitors to learn from and enjoy,” said Miller 

POV is a dedicated space for peacebuilding practices and learning that provides customized in-person and online training, while also facilitating support to local, national, and global organizations and communities. It is available for facility rentals meetings, retreats, and special events and can be reserved online.  

If you have an idea of your own to make Mason more sustainable, reach out through the Patriot Green Fund interest form for more information on how to get started. The upcoming and final PGF submission deadline for Spring 2023 is March 10. 

Story Credit: Sarah D'alexander
Photo Credit: Erich Miller