MIT Constructs Garden Space

Designed as a garden that will be, in part, maintained by students, the new garden hosts nearly 40 varieties of plants to attract and support pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, and moths. The Hive Garden also serves as a test bed for co-designing outdoor spaces to connect to, and learn from, nature in an urban setting.

PGMS Announces 2019 Green Star Award Winners

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recently awarded 19 colleges and universities with its Green Star Award, which recognizes grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence.

Syracuse U Becomes Bee Campus Certified

Now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, the university has minimized hazards to pollinators and created native pollinator habitats across campus.

Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Begins Using Electric Landscaping Equipment

Thanks to a collaboration with the sustainability office and a $12,000 Greening IUPUI grant, grounds workers now have an arsenal of new electric equipment: two tillers, nine leaf blowers, nine weed trimmers, five chainsaws, two pole saws and two push mowers.

Southern Illinois U Receives Arboretum Accreditation

The university recently acquired Level II accreditation from the Arboretum Accreditation Program for its 1,200-acre main campus landscape that features nearly 5,200 trees, including 155 species and 72 genera of plants. The arboretum has a strategic plan, a governing board, public programming and a complete inventory of every tree and woody plant.

SUNY New Paltz Earns Bee Campus USA Certification

The college’s new certification comes on the heels of the new Biodiversity Initiative, a collective of New Paltz students, faculty and staff who are developing pollinator-friendly spaces on campus, and educating peers and colleagues about the importance of these hardworking insects, birds and small mammals.

Illinois Central College to Install Remediation Wetland

Currently under construction, the wetland will aid in removal of nitrate that is found in the runoff water from 50 acres of on-campus farmland demonstration fields. The water will move through drainage tiles underground and into streams that later end up in the Illinois River.

Lane CC Becomes Bee Campus Certified

Although efforts to promote healthy pollinator habitat on campus have been ongoing for quite some time, the campus recently acquired the Bee Campus USA certification, signifying efforts to create habitats that support pollinators and educating the community on their importance.

U Saskatchewan Begins Using Compost On Campus

For the first time, grounds crews at the university are using compost from campus food waste, that is dehydrated and composted together with landscaping waste, to fertilize campus gardens, flower beds and athletic fields.

Lawrence U Earns Bee Campus Designation

The university recently achieved Bee Campus USA certification for its efforts to support pollinators across campus. Through the process of supporting pollinators, the campus is also being used as a living lab to study how to keep populations healthy in an urban environment.

Northeastern U Earns Arboretum Status By ArbNet

Northeastern’s Boston campus was named a Level II arboretum, which means it has more than 100 different species of trees, a policy that documents how the trees are maintained and acquired, and educational programming for the public. More than 1,400 individual trees, representing 143 different species, shelter the walkways between buildings and surround the open green spaces.

Harvard U Installs Rain Gardens

In an effort to curb impacts from flooding on campus, two pilot rain gardens were installed that will help absorb storm water overflow and filter out chemicals and pollutants. The university hopes to add more of them if they prove effective at flood reduction.

East Carolina U Obtains Bee Campus USA Certification

The university's new certification was attained after it established a Bee Campus USA committee, developed a list of pollinator-friendly native plant species, hosted a film screening and other awareness events, set up bee hives on its Health Sciences Campus, and posted signage to educate campus and the broader community. To raise awareness about projects on campus, ECU has published a webpage to disseminate information such as the Integrated Pest Management Plan, student and faculty research into pollinator issues, and information about upcoming events.

Hope College Receives Tree Campus USA Recognition

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus tree management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Hope, which has 500 documented trees in its central campus, earned the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.

Pennsylvania State U to Develop Living Lab for Stormwater Infrastructure Research

A proposal to develop a living laboratory for green stormwater infrastructure research, education and innovation on campus was recently funded through the university’s Strategic Plan Seed Grant program. The goal of the proposal is to implement long-term, cost-effective solutions to water quality and quantity. Expanding the current relevant courses at Penn State on stormwater management to include green stormwater infrastructure practices is one of the priorities of this project.

U Pittsburgh–Johnstown Attains Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Designation

To be certified, the university's 655-acre grounds and 15 miles of trails met environmental management standards in five key areas: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, water quality and conservation, resource management, and outreach and education. Recertification is required every three years to maintain the designation.

U Pittsburgh Students Install Bee Houses

A team of undergraduates, called Bee Friendly Pitt, has installed seven bee houses near plantings and pollinator gardens throughout the Pittsburgh campus. Bee Friendly Pitt was conceived during the spring term as part of an environmental studies program sustainability course, which focuses on developing impactful sustainability projects on campus and in the community.

St. Joseph's College Earns Bee Campus Certification

The college now hosts a pollinator garden on its nearly 500-acre campus, offers educational outreach programming about pollinators, and complies with other requirements of the Bee Campus USA.

U California Davis Gets Grant for Water-Conserving Landscapes

The University of California, Davis’ California Center for Urban Horticulture recently received a donation from TreeTown USA to help develop water-conserving landscapes through the center's SmartLandscape Initiative. By combining low water-use plants with the latest available irrigation technology, the horticultural innovation center will be an educational tool focused on measuring and monitoring water use data and reducing urban landscape water waste.

Walsh U Attains Tree Campus USA Designation

The university was recently honored with Tree Campus USA recognition by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee; developing a campus tree-care plan; dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program; hosting an Arbor Day observance; and creating a student service-learning project.

California State U Dominguez Hills Becomes Tree Campus USA Certified

The university was recently honored with Tree Campus USA recognition by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee; developing a campus tree-care plan for its 346-acre campus; dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program; hosting an Arbor Day observance; and creating a student service-learning project.

U Massachusetts Lowell Installs Rooftop Vegetable Garden

Thanks to a collaboration between the university and a Lowell-based urban farming nonprofit, there’s a new rooftop, modular garden consisting of about 180 plants growing in individual milk crates filled with compost that originated from the university's dining halls. The primary purpose of the garden is to educate passersby about the university's Urban Agriculture Program.

U Virginia Earns Tree Campus USA Recognition

The university recently earned the 2018 Tree Campus USA designation for stewarding campus trees in accordance with Tree Campus USA guidelines, which are based on five core standards for sustainable campus forest management.

Yale U Implements Smart Irrigation Systems

Yale Grounds Maintenance implemented sprinkler and irrigation systems that use weather-based automated technology, which is controlled using a smartphone app. The app, which is connected to local meteorology forecasts, will pause if rain is predicted, thus limiting waste by complementing what is naturally occurring. In addition, lawns in four residential colleges utilize flow-sensing smart technology in order to limit excessive water use. A flow-sensing valve in the main pipe will automatically close if unusually-high water output is found.

Colorado College Becomes Tree Campus USA Certified

The college was recently honored by the Arbor Day Foundation with a 2018 Tree Campus USA recognition. It achieved the title by completing Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee and a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.

Central College Receives Tree Campus USA Recognition

The college is now Tree Campus USA certified, thanks to students who spearheaded the efforts to complete the requirements. Students now produce a Tree of the Week column for the college’s sustainability blog, profiling the diverse tree species on campus.

California State U, Northridge Obtains Bee Campus Designation

Joining 57 other U.S. campuses in improving college landscapes for pollinators, the university will form a campus committee to provide a forum for the campus community to get involved in providing pollinator education, and establishing or restoring habitat that provides food, nesting sites and sites for pollinators. The university will be responsible for developing and maintaining a campus pollinator habitat plan, hosting an annual campus event to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators, and offering workshops to students who are interested in learning more about these topics.

U Maine Presque Isle Receives Composting Grant

The new grant project, in collaboration with the university’s Agricultural Science and Environmental Science and Sustainability faculty, Green Committee, Facilities crew, and campus food service vendor Sodexo, will allow the university to establish an on-campus, year-round food composting effort. The $5,650 grant came from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

U Pittsburgh Conducts Tree Inventory

The tree inventory of campus trees is underway in an effort to track progress toward the university's goal of increasing the campus tree canopy 50 percent by 2030. The inventory will also provide data for on-campus biological and environmental science research, and inform the design of new landscapes.

Jefferson CC Receives Funding for Stormwater Management

The community college was recently selected to receive $980,000 from the latest round of New York State Regional Economic Development Council funds. The funding will be used on the main entry corridor to campus to install bio-retention medians, porous roadway shoulders and educational signage with ongoing monitoring.

Appalachian State U Attains Bee Campus USA Designation

The Xerces Society has recognized the university for providing safe habitats for bees and other pollinators on campus. The university will host pollinator workshops, awareness events and utilize a committee for spreading awareness about bees. The certification also ensures Appalachian does not use bee-harming pesticides on campus and that a list of the campus pollinator plants is made available.

Colby College Achieves LEED Platinum & SITES Certification

Grossman Hall, a nearly 16,000-square-foot building that opened in September 2017 is now LEED Platinum. The hall features a 48 percent reduction in energy use due to a high-performance building envelope and an efficient HVAC system with energy recovery. Low-flow fixtures contribute to a 45.5 percent reduction in potable water use in the building. Across campus, the college’s lacrosse, soccer and practice fields in the outdoor competition center have received certification through the Sustainable SITES Initiative for including stormwater runoff filtration and an irrigation system that conserves water by automatically adjusting to precipitation and evaporation rates with the use of rain and soil sensors.

U Massachusetts Amherst Launches Student-Run Organic Vineyard

The new vineyard received an initial $3,000 grant from the university's Sustainability Innovation and Engagement Fund in spring 2017, which supported preparatory steps such as soil analysis and installing an irrigation system. The professor that teaches viticulture received a Sustainable Curriculum Initiative award from UMass Libraries to enhance the sustainability aspect of viticulture courses.

Hope College Student Completes Campus & City Tree Inventory

A Hope College sophomore student completed a summer research project that was a collaboration between the city of Holland, Hope College Biology Department, and the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute. Taking 10 weeks, 3,500 trees on public property in the city of Holland were inventoried. The inventoried trees are projected to provide more than $16,166 in environmental value annually, according to preliminary calculations that do not factor in electricity offset yet. Using information from the trees, a faculty member and two students of computer science released a phone app that helps users identify Holland trees.

Western Carolina U Students Develop Campus Tree App

Students from natural resources and conservation management classes, environmental science, computer information systems and graphic design, with the guidance of faculty and the assistance of an alumnus, have collaborated to produce a smartphone app called WCUTrees. The app allows users to view and identify nearly every tree on WCU’s developed campus. Users can search for them by name or by using the interactive map. The app also provides information on each species of tree.

Pennsylvania State U Beaver Prolongs Growing Season With Greenhouse

At the Beaver campus, a new high tunnel is 96 feet long and will help fill campus-supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions and the local Salvation Army’s food bank year-round.

U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Earns Bee Campus USA Certification

Making the world safer for pollinators through extensive habitat improvements, awareness efforts, and engagement strategies earned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recognition as a certified Bee Campus USA. The Bee Campus USA program is designed to amass the strengths of educational campuses across the country for the benefit of native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, bats, beetles and flies that 90 percent of the world's wild plant species rely on for pollination.

Mississippi State U Opens Community Garden

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place in mid-October for the MSU Community Garden. The garden includes eight accessible planters and 19 large raised planters. The garden also features two autonomous farming robots, or “Farmbots,” operated by the Students for Sustainable Campus organization and two 2,000-gallon cisterns that hold rain water and condensation from a nearby air conditioning unit. Compost for use in the garden is collected from dining halls and Campus Landscape.

Indiana U Bloomington Shares First Harvest From Campus Garden

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the school's Sustainability Innovation Fund last fall, a garden plot now provides food on campus and gives back to the local community, while teaching students about sustainable agriculture and food systems.

U New Hampshire Opens Aquaponic Greenhouse Facility

Under construction for two years, the new aquaponics research facility at the university's Kingman Research Farm will allow scientists to evaluate hydroponic plants grown in a recirculating aquaculture system with nutrients from the food fed to fish. Using three identical greenhouses, researchers aim to develop an economically sustainable aquaculture production system design.

Cornell U Unveils Sustainable Landscapes Trail

The trail includes 20 stops that have sustainability features, including bioswales, rain gardens, green roofs, a climate change garden, stormwater control design, native plantings and pollinator habitat. Markers and an online walking map highlight how design, construction and the management of campus grounds can enhance and promote healthy landscape ecosystems.

Delta College Receives Bee Campus USA Certification

Campus ground crews have been steadily increasing wildflower-planted areas and native plant habitat, as well as designating pollinator habitat, that have enable the college to obtain the Bee Campus USA certification. The college undertook seven steps including establishing a committee, developing a plan, sponsoring student service-learning projects and installing signage around campus.

Vanderbilt U Buys Solar Trash Compactors & Electric Mowers

Starting fall 2018, students can enroll in designated courses that increase their knowledge of sustainability as reflected in the human and scientific dimensions as well as ethics and policy.

Washington Post Covers Rise of Campus Gardens

Citing a 2015 university food gardens study co-authored by a Southern Illinois University professor of geography and director of environmental studies, the article highlights a burgeoning trend over the past decade in which college students across the country volunteer their time to get back to the land or to forge a connection to the land for the first time.

Bucknell U Prepares 5-Acre Campus Garden

Preliminary construction and site preparation began this summer on a 5-acre campus garden that will provide a platform for academic collaborations, sustainable food production, student life and wellness, and community engagement.

Lehigh U Installs Solar-Powered Recycling & Trash Receptacles

The university is removing more than 150 open-top trash cans and replacing them with Bigbelly trash and recycle bins in an effort to cut labor and waste costs. The bins have a sensor and compactor mechanism powered by the sun that allows the material inside to be compressed when it senses the trash level is too high. Then when the bin is full, a red light blinks and trash collectors are notified through an app on their phones.

Susquehanna U Becomes Bee Campus USA Certified

The new certification signifies that the university has taken strides to support pollinators, which includes maintaining landscape spaces that attract pollinators, hosting educational events and keeping bee hives. Next steps include Susquehanna's Department of Facilities Management drafting an integrated pest management plan to govern the use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.

U Texas Rio Grande Valley Attains Bee Campus USA Designation

The new certification as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program means that the university provides healthy habitats with a variety of native plants and free of pesticides. The Lower Rio Grande Valley is an area that can especially help with butterflies, as it is home to nearly 40 percent of the 700 species of butterflies found in the U.S. The university recently added a butterfly garden on its Brownsville Campus.

U Texas Austin Grounds Goes Nearly 100% Organic

The university's 431 acres are now organic thanks to ongoing effort to discontinue the use of chemicals to fertilize and control weeds. The university grounds team makes and uses 250 gallons of compost tea each week to enrich the soil and make plants healthier, which nearly eliminates the use of chemicals and reduces water use for irrigation. The tea is made from compost, coffee grounds, molasses and seaweed. Some limited chemical treatments are used to manage invasive plants and fire ants.

Danville Area CC Sustainability Land Learning Lab Receives Grant

The $20,000 gift from the Arconic Foundation includes funds to improve the honey bee project with new bees and hives, bee suits, and honey harvest equipment. Another portion of the funds will provide tools to aid in production and curriculum such as a solar powered remote weather station and agricultural drone. Finally, the grant provides funds for equipment to improve working conditions at the lab – a utility vehicle and gas generator.