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
The Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) hosted a month-long exhibit by artist and iconographer Angela Manno focusing on threatened and endangered species in Spring 2023. The exhibit, entitled “Sacred Biodiversity: Icons of Threatened and Endangered Species,” elevated discussions around biocentrism: a worldview that gives inherent value to all living things. The exhibit was sponsored by ISM’s new initiative Religion, Ecology, and Expressive Culture, which launched in January 2023 to amplify connections between arts, culture, and ongoing ecological crises. The exhibit affirmed the important role Yale’s collections’ community plays in advancing sustainability through connecting with people’s values and emotions in an inclusive way.
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines
By 2025, complete the update to the Framework for Campus Planning.
In 2023, we initiated a supplement to the Framework for Campus Planning that will summarize Yale’s planning work over the last twenty years in anticipation of the 2025 update to the Framework. The 2025 update will set the campus planning direction for the next quarter century.
Efficient Campus Growth
By 2020, develop and implement planning strategies to efficiently accommodate increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
This goal was achieved in 2020, when Facilities Planning adopted an approach to new buildings and renovations that maximizes efficiency using flexible workspace principles. Working within Yale’s flexible work model approach, Yale is assessing impacts and implementing projects based on shared workstations.
Land and Water Management
Develop innovative approaches to land and water management that enhance human health, biodiversity, and environmental vitality
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.
This goal was achieved in 2021. In 2023, Yale earned Tree Campus Higher Education recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation based on implementation of Yale’s robust Tree Management Plan; over 500 hours of volunteer tree planting by students, alumni, faculty, and staff; and hosting an annual campus-wide celebration to enhance learning about the benefits of trees.
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.
This original goal was achieved in 2020. Yale has since begun development of a campus-wide Stormwater Master Plan, which will guide implementation of priority stormwater mitigation projects, is nearing completion. We have identified highly vulnerable areas and are mapping out short-, mid-, and long-term solutions for mitigation.
By 2025, establish campus best practices, standards, benchmarks, and biodiversity goals and strategies to meet and measure performance to create a campus biodiversity plan.
Although progress on the plan was delayed due to staffing challenges, renewed work on this goal will be advanced with a new Facilities Open Space Committee. In addition, current projects have highlighted and prioritized biodiversity, including the Marsh Botanical Gardens Master Plan and the Divinity School Living Village.