The Goal: To extend the actions and principles of sustainability to the land owned and managed by SLU. To be a leader and source of sustainable land use practices as a responsible member of the North Country community.
The Problem: The SLU campus and other University-owned lands span the range from highly developed to virtually untouched landscapes. Sustainable stewardship practices should be applied to all of these landscapes in order to ensure the health and safety of all inhabitants -- both human and non-human. A specific zoning strategy, identifying a range of appropriate uses such as current and future intensive human use, developed natural, primitive use and bioreserve and associated stewardship commitments, need to be developed. Specific indicators and standards of the health and quality of each of these areas should accompany land use and preservation goals.
Opportunities for St. Lawrence University:
University land presents many opportunities for our students, faculty, staff, and the North Country community.
- University-owned property can be used for curricular exploration of the environment. Relatively undisturbed sites are already routinely used for education and research. Disturbed natural sites can increasingly be used as study sites for restoration. Sustainable living principles can be applied to developed areas.
- Land management decisions at SLU should consider the broader landscape within which we are situated. Sections of the SLU campus can be made into a wildlife corridor, connecting fragmented forested blocks.
- Storm water runoff could be filtered with additional rain gardens such as those around the Johnson Hall of Science and other low-impact development techniques that are designed to reduce flooding and non-point source pollution of ground and surface water.
- Pesticide and herbicide use can be further reduced. Future landscaping should include native, drought-resistant vegetation that does not require the use of fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, or fertilizers.
- Rarely used open areas could be restored as forested areas. Future carbon sequestration credits may be generated from these lands. (Reforestation has begun at the Environmentally Sustainable Landscape on Route 68)
- Opportunities for formal designation of areas as “bioreserves” would enable SLU to preserve habitat for native species.
- Primitive human uses, where appropriate, can be enhanced and expanded, facilitating a more meaningful connection to nature for the University and local communities. SLU lands can serve as important connections to other nearby preserved lands, expanding the opportunities for a local network of trails. Interpretive materials can be included to provide a meaningful experience to all visitors.
Appendix for Land
Bucknell: Uses integrated pest management (IPM) techniques in landscaping its grounds, resulting in a reduction in the quantity of herbicides and insecticides required.
Connecticut College: Connecticut College has made a commitment to remove all the invasive plant species on their campus and use local plants in their landscaping.
SLU Success Stories:
- St. Lawrence updated its integrated pest management plan in 2006 with the environmental resolution in mind. The updated plan aims to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides as well as increase the use of biological controls.
- The Johnson Hall of Science includes a sustainable landscape. The selection of trees, shrubs and ground covers by the landscape architect were for the purpose of minimizing the use of mowers, fresh water irrigation, and herbicides and pesticides. A rain garden captures storm water runoff.
- 20 acres of no-mow zones have been created in places on campus with low human traffic. The goal is to reduce the use of fossil fuels needed to maintain campus and thus reduce the carbon footprint of grounds maintenance at SLU.