Sustainable Landscapes Trail

Explore sustainability in practice across the Cornell University campus

Sustainable Landscapes Trail

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Cornell Botanic Gardens

Tour Information

Launched in 2017, the Sustainable Landscapes Trail highlights the sustainable design and ecosystems services of green infrastructure across the campus. Our campus is being built and designed to protect and advance a diverse, thriving, and beneficial set of natural systems. The trail features open spaces, natural areas, and landscapes with unique sustainability features.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

By utilizing grasses that are naturally slow growing such as fine-leaf fescues and allowing other areas to naturalize on their own, mowing of portions of Libe slope is limited to one time per year, significantly reducing the carbon footprin... Read more
This Ag Quad Bioretention Basin was established to redirect the increase in stormwater runoff to protect water quality and minimize downstream erosion and flooding in adjacent waterways. This system of bioretention basins incorporates desig... Read more
The garden at the entrance to Mann library tested cutting-edge guidelines and performance measures to pioneer certification under the Sustainable SITES Initiative® and showcase the Scoop & Dump method of soil restoration. The Sustainab... Read more
Known as a “green roof,” the Mann Library Green Roof features modular trays filled with growing medium that can support selected plant life and easily be removed for roof maintenance or tray replacement. This garden was designed and con... Read more
CU-Structural Soil was created at Cornell University to allow trees to grow in paved environments with required compaction yet still support healthy root growth. Goldenrain and Linden trees grow right out of the plaza pavement between Weill... Read more
A bioswale is basically a trench filled with porous materials and vegetation to reduce runoff and increase groundwater recharge. The Tower Road bioswale captures runoff from the road and sidewalk and filters it through diverse plant beds. F... Read more
In 2011, a rain garden and green roof were installed adjacent and on top of the new classroom that was built on the east side of Fernow. Rain gardens help to divert storm water from paved areas and roofs and channel it into the ground using... Read more
Three bowl-shaped stormwater basins next to Rice Hall parking lot were redesigned and constructed to remove the turf and use a diversity of plants to create a diverse habitat and better use the storm water that flowed from the parking lot. ... Read more
5 Chinkapin Oaks (Quercus muehlenbergii) fills up this space near Stocking Hall. Often times, soil underneath the pavement is compacted to the point where it excludes root growth. CU-Structural Soil was created at Cornell University to allo... Read more
The Integrated Pest Management approach, first created by scientists at Cornell in the mid-1970s to reduce pesticide use on agricultural crops, involves multiple non-chemical techniques for controlling pests and considers using pesticides o... Read more
This garden provides an opportunity to see and experience the possible impacts of changing temperature conditions associated with climate change on plants. While the project cannot simulate all aspects of climate change, the garden enables ... Read more
This filter strip and bioswale work together to remove pollution from parking lot runoff before entering Beebe Lake. This garden demonstrates the new paradigm of high-performance landscape that optimize both aesthetics and environmental per... Read more
The vegetated roof surface on the Nevin Welcome Center captures and treats precipitation falling on the building roof, acts as an insulating layer in the wintertime, and decrease the cooling demand during the summertime, demonstrating a sol... Read more
Here at the Mundy Wildflower Garden, fencing ornamental and research plantings in high-value natural areas has been our way of implementing deer population management. This is essential to maintaining and restoring ecosystem health in our r... Read more
The Mundy Wildflower Garden is part of 660 acres of natural lands on campus that Cornell Botanic Gardens manages for the long-term conservation of native biodiversity, natural communities, and ecological processes. Preserving biodiversity r... Read more
This native lawn demonstrates an alternative to traditional turf grass lawns. By using a diversity of native plants (grasses and forbs), this lawn uses no fertilizer, pesticides, requires minimal mowing and watering, and supports increased ... Read more


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