Professor and Course Name

Michelle Hirsh, Global Change Biology



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Sarah Lawrence College is an institution that inspires innovation within its students and teaches them how to understand and act upon the challenges that our ever-changing society raises. Currently, society is presented with some of the largest ecological crises that humans have ever faced, the consequences of which are widespread, affecting everyone on the planet. In order to address environmental devastation, all institutions must re-evaluate their current practices and implement significant changes. No college is better equipped for creating such change than Sarah Lawrence; founded on innovative educational techniques, we possess the knowledge and creativity that can be harnessed to create environmentally sustainable and economically viable policies on campus. One of the most simple and cost-effective ways to reduce the college’s ecological footprint lies within our landscaping practices. The college currently uses an unnecessary amount of water and fossil fuels on maintaining plant species and grassy areas. In order to cut back on water and fossil fuel use, the college can implement basic changes including planting native species, establishing a rain garden, and incorporating Xeriscaping techniques. Replacing the excess of non-native species on campus with native plantings will provide ecological and economic benefits by dramatically reducing the need for watering, fertilizer use, and maintenance. Establishing a rain garden is an aesthetically pleasing solution to improving water quality and mitigating flooding. Xeriscaping is a landscaping alternative that will conserve resources, save money, beautify our campus and provide a central source for community. All of these changes will increase the aesthetic value of campus and improve the quality of student life.

Publication Date

Spring 2016



Sustainable Landscaping at Sarah Lawrence College