Land, Water, Life
- Inspired by student research and recommendations, Yale has installed multiple urban meadows and rain gardens throughout campus.
- More than 8,000 trees have been planted in the City of New Haven through the Urban Resources Initiative, a not-for-profit-university partnership. Over 130 of the these are on campus, 48 of which recognize Yale employees for long-term service.
- Initiatives in Yale’s Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan aim to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from campus, improving water quality and public health.
- Yale’s Water Management Plan recognizes water as a critical resource, promotes metering, conservation technologies and conservation research, and prioritizes adaptive management strategies.
What You Can Do
- Help us save water on campus by being conscientious of your use.
- Discover Yale’s many green spaces that help to manage stormwater.
- Join the many students, faculty and staff who participate annually in bird walks on campus and citizen science events to survey and record biodiversity on campus.
Our Objectives and Goals
Urban Growth and Campus Planning
Develop transformative approaches to urban growth and campus planning that address financial, environmental, and social imperatives
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines
By 2019, update campus land use planning guidelines to ensure enhanced human health, improved biodiversity, and enhanced environmental quality.
An update to the Framework for Campus Planning will be completed by 2023, informed by the forthcoming biodiversity plan, campus resilience plan, tree management plan, and campus-wide health and well-being initiatives. A number of planning documents are already updated and in use including High Performance Design Standards, the Sustainable Transportation Framework, and Sustainable Stormwater and Water Management Plans.
Efficient Campus Growth
By 2020, develop and implement planning strategies to efficiently accommodate increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
Facilities Planning analyzed innovative workplace scenarios to densify and use campus space more efficiently. This is coupled with an initiative to update Yale’s iconic historic buildings to include high performing walls and roofs. Projects are underway to test this approach with the goal of reducing annual campus growth by 50% while accommodating increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
Land and Water Management
Develop innovative approaches to land and water management that enhance human health, biodiversity, and environmental vitality
After discovering an aphid infestation in a willow tree in Kroon’s southern courtyard, members of Yale Landscaping and Grounds and the School of the Environment worked together to come up with a creative solution. This solution—which needed to be in alignment with the School’s environmental values—turned out to be releasing more than 9,000 lady beetles both on that tree and throughout the surrounding courtyard. Lady beetles prey on aphids, and their release helped to control the aphid population.
Landscape Management and Use
By 2021, define standards for innovative landscape management to enhance care and use of Yale land inside and outside of New Haven.
The Yale Tree Management Plan is under development, and will guide campus tree care and canopy growth. It will include an updated tree survey and guidelines for managing the university’s existing tree inventory, maintenance needs, and new planting opportunities.
In addition, high-level guidelines for landscape development by specific campus space types were adopted. Management and maintenance protocols are being created in alignment with outcomes from the university’s biodiversity plan, the resilience plan, and a study of the health co-benefits of campus greenspaces.
Stormwater and Water Management
By 2020, implement recommendations as proposed in 2016 supplements to campus Stormwater and Water Management Plans in explicit alignment with municipal, regional, and state priorities.
Potable water use has decreased 2.19% since 2013. Many water conservation projects from the 2013 and 2017 Stormwater and Water Management Reports have been implemented. However, there have also been new construction projects and maintenance issues which have prevented overall water reduction from being higher.
By 2023, establish campus best practices, standards, benchmarks, and biodiversity goals and strategies to meet and measure performance to create a campus biodiversity plan.
With supervision from researchers affiliated with the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, students from Yale College and the Yale School of the Environment have been conducting assessments of alternative landscape installations and helping to prepare a set of designed experiments that will inform the campus biodiversity plan.