The Mountain West is a section of America noted for its grandiosity and beauty. With the spine of the Rockies running along the region, towns in this region have awe-inspiring natural scenery. Colleges here also have impeccable landscaping. The sun is out in Colorado more than most places in the country, giving lawns a green and youthful shimmer. In the past few weeks, LawnStarter has looked at the best landscaped colleges in Midwest and South, as well as on the East and West Coast. We’ve saved the best for last, wrapping up our “best of college landscaping” rankings with the Mountain West. To do this, we inspected hundreds of photos, interviewed students, alumni, and faculty, and scanned message boards. The criteria we used for ranking includes the amount of green space on campus, the prevalence and uniqueness of landscape installations, and the attention given to lawns and landscapes on campus. Here’s to hoping your school made the list!
10. Colorado Mesa University
Colorado Mesa University, located in Grand Junction, CO, has everything you could wish for in a college: small class sizes, caring professors, Rocky Mountains, and overall amazing landscaping. The quads are expertly maintained, and the landscape installations and trees are planted artistically, leading this beautiful school to a #10 ranking.
9. University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming, standing on Wyoming’s high Laramie Plains, is a regal-looking treat. At an elevation of 7,200 feet and between the Laramie and Snowy Range mountains, the school is a testament to what a great grounds crew can accomplish. With its beautiful gardens and lawns, and overall amount of green space, University of Wyoming is well deserving of a #9 spot on this list.
8. Utah State University
Located in Logan, Utah, Utah State University if a phenomenal public research university. Sitting on a ‘bench’ overlooking the valley to the west, the school’s campus is a notable asset. It’s incredibly green, covered with large, well-groomed lawns, and studded with beautiful trees. Established in 1888, the campus boasts many unique landscape installations, both new and old.
7. Brigham Young University
BYU, located in Provo, Utah, is the largest religious university in the United States, with about 34,000 on-campus students. Luckily for these students, they get to spend every day traversing a gorgeous campus. Noted for its beauty, the Y’s campus has impeccably maintained grass, trees, and flower beds, and therefore, it falls on our list at #7.
6. Westminster College
A private school residing in Salt Lake City, Westminster College is a unique beauty. While it is known for its natural scenery and brilliant architecture, the school is also a beautiful display of landscaping. Its lush green lawns are complemented by copious shrubbery and gardens, making this school especially charming the Fall.
5. University of Montana
The University of Montana, a “city within a city” located in Missoula, Montana, is a case study in grandiosity. Rated as one of the most scenic colleges by Rolling Stone, the university has all the natural makeup in the world. It’s also surprisingly well-landscaped, hosting a variety of plants and gardens, in addition to fields of green turf. The University of Montana is truly a remarkable school.
4. Regis University
Bill Murray attended this school, so you know it’s epic. Located in the metropolis of Denver, CO, Regis University is a welcome oasis of vibrant greenery and excellent landscaping. Its vast lawns are maintained to perfection by the grounds crew, so a stroll through this university is stunning.
3. University of Utah
Located in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is the state’s flagship university. It is also an unwavering symbol of beauty and great landscaping. Through its surprising amount of green space, the grounds crew here exemplifies its mastery over the diversity of lawns, trees and gardens. The school is also noted for its sustainability and renewable energy. The biggest reason Utah makes it on this list, however, is the extraordinary Red Butte Garden and Arboretum (pictured above). The Garden plays host to a variety of concerts, events, and weddings, and is adorned with a full spectrum of vibrant colors.
2. University of Colorado-Boulder
Boulder, Colorado is quickly becoming one of the most coveted destinations in the country, and part of the reason is that it’s home to the wonderful University of Colorado. Known for its bad sports teams, good tailgating, and great academics, the university is also known for its variety of beautiful colors in the spring and fall – well, year round, really. The entire city is green, which is notable for its size. Bike paths are abundant, and the quads on campus are some of the best maintained in the country. For these reasons, the University of Colorado hits our list at #2.
1. Colorado State University
Colorado State University is a lot like University of Colorado, in that it has a beautiful backdrop of mountains, a myriad of vibrant colors, great landscape installations, and plenty of green space. It pulls ahead because it has even more green space. Throughout the main campus’s 600 acres are pristine lawns, healthy trees, and ornate landscape installations. It takes a lot to stand out in the beautiful mountainous west, and it is our pleasure to recognize Colorado State University as the best landscaped college in the mountain west.
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