Randolph embraces C3, replaces annual flowers with perennials

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lincoln Korver
  • Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

To anyone who has ever visited Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, it should be clear why it has been nicknamed "the Showplace of the Air Force."

The Taj Mahal, the flags on Harmon Drive and the unique architecture and landscaping are just a few things that Randolph has to offer.

To go along with the Culture of Cost Consciousness idea the Air Force has adopted, leadership at Randolph has decided to plant perennial flowers instead of annuals.

"Annuals will grow and flower for only one season," John Howry, Randolph landscape architect, said. "Perennials are plants that will continue to flower ever year... Replacing annuals with perennials creates a more sustainable landscape and lowers maintenance costs. Annuals were being replaced four times a year due to their short lifespan. Perennials only need to be planted once."

Having a culture of cost consciousness should be part of everyone's daily life, Richard Trevino, Randolph civil engineer, said. Not only is it important to be a good steward of taxpayers' dollars, but it is also integral that people spend money wisely in their personal lives as well.
Once the perennials are rooted on base, the future costs of landscaping are expected to decrease dramatically.

"We have saved a lot on our grounds maintenance contract in the past couple of years by simply changing our acquisition strategy, which has resulted in more competitive pricing," Howry said. "Replacing the annuals with more sustainable perennials is the final move at achieving a more controllable-cost environment and we anticipate the savings to be around $40,000 a year."

The replacement of annuals with perennials will save the Air Force money by eliminating the cost of having to purchase and install flowers every quarter.

"I personally believe it is important for everyone to be prudent spenders of government resources and for the Air Force to consolidate its expenditures, reduce waste and achieve a more efficient way of doing business." Howry said, "Thus, transforming into a cost-conscious culture is critical."

Along with replacing annuals with perennials, other ways people can help the Air Force save money is by doing things like monitoring air-conditioning usage, making sure computers and computer screens are off when they aren't in use and by turning lights off when the last person leaves the room.

"Thousands of people come to Randolph every day," Trevino said. "Base appearance is a very important aspect for the historical perspective of the base and is a very noticeable factor as people drive on base. By changing to perennials, we can show everyone the Air Force is not only committed to being good stewards of taxpayers' dollars, but also dedicated to preserving the historical significance of Randolph."