• Common Sense Conservation Since 1938
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To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana's wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action.

Butler University

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Certification Status: Gold Level: Conservation Champion

Certification Date: December 2014

Project Overview: 

IWF is proud to announce that Butler University is the 2nd university in the State of Indiana to become certified as a Sustainable Campus Landscape. 

Butler's Gold Level Conservation Champion certification means that they have achieved the highest level of landscape conservation in managing their campus grounds. In their Sustainable Landscape Plan(see below) they have outlined their fulfillment of 13 goals from the 5 program categories within the LSC Program. 

There are many great sustainable landscape initiatives happening on campus, including the established Butler University Prairie, multiple new rain gardens which feature native plantings and help manage stormwater runoff, the use of pervious pavement options in parking lots and walkways, smart sprinkler systems, and a green roof.

The university and countless volunteers have also committed hours of work in eradicating damaging and aggravating invasives such as honeysuckle and garlic mustard in order to give native plants a chance to grow.

Other exciting BU initiatives include the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) farm, the inventive single-stream recycling program, and their newest project, their Sunset Avenue Streetscape project(currently being installed) which will include a pervious pavement bike lane.

The image on the left is a wooded area on Butler's campus before honeysuckle eradication. The image on the right shows the area directly across the pedestrian path where the invasive honeysuckle plants were removed, exposing the understory of the forest, and giving plants native to the region a chance to grow.


Butler has also been making important changes outside of the LSC certification process, too. Butler’s campus boasts two buildings which have been awarded Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, and their renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse has kept similar sustainable practices in mind. The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan was implemented by the University Sustainability Council in September of 2014 and will remain in effect until 2050. The plan seeks to have the campus eliminate operational green house gas emissions by 2050 and to become a “zerowaste” campus where everything is recycled or composted by 2030. Through this plan Butler will provide education, research, and community engagement that will enable others to end green house gas emissions. Butler will also publicly report progress on an annual basis. This is a monumental plan that will greatly improve the environment for Butler’s campus, the city of Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana.

Butler's Sustainable Landscape Plan:

Click below to preview Butler's Sustainability plan.

Acknowledgements, IWF would like to thank:

Dr. Rebecca Dolan - Director of the Friesner Herbarium, for initially engaging Butler University in the LSC program and for her guidance and support as the plan was being developed.

McKenzie Beverage - Sustainability Coordinator, for her hard work to coordinate the completion of Butler's Landscape Plan.

Brandon Euen - Butler student and Friesner Herbarium Intern, for the summer he devoted to gathering information, data, and photos and for his hard work in writing and assembling the Landscape Plan document. 

The Staff of Butler's Facilities Department - for their hard work to implement more sustainable practices in their grounds maintenance and contruction projects throughout campus.