• 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.

Landscaping the Sustainable Campus

The Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program encourages sustainable and ecologically friendly practices at colleges and universities around Indiana.

By enrolling in this program, and forming a partnership with IWF, campuses receive guidance, ideas, and helpful resources from IWF regarding how to care for turfgrass in a sustainable fashion and transform areas into wildlife friendly habitats.

Landscaping the Sustainable Campus demonstrates that schools do not need to sacrifice aesthetics for sustainability when designing and maintaining campus grounds. Environmental stewardship can reduce campuses’ impacts on Indiana’s ecosystems while enhancing their visual appeal and reducing maintenance costs. With three different certification levels, Landscaping the Sustainable Campus is accessible and adaptable to your campus. Read a more detailed overview of the program below and download our guide for more information on the levels of certification and application process.

Current Projects

Purdue University

IWF would like to acknowledge Purdue University in being the first campus to earn certification in the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program. We would like to thank Gary Evans, Don Stanley, Michael Gulich, Will Heidbreder, Scott Helmkamp, Tamm Hoggatt, Phil Richey, and Ross Blythe for their tireless efforts in completing and implementing their Sustainable Landscape Plan.

Purdue has led the way in sustainable landscaping by creating a comprehensive plan to improve landscaping practices to increase wildlife habitat, manage surface runoff and reduce excessive nutrient pollution. Purdue University received the highest level of certification in April 2012, and since that time they have begun to see remarkable positive results.

“Purdue University has benefitted from the partnership with the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) and the participation in the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus (LSC) programs. Developing an LSC plan is an achievable goal which focuses on sustainable design and on-going maintenance of the campus landscape. IWF’s leadership in developing the LSC program will allow Indiana campuses to benefit from each other’s achievements by providing resources and benchmarking across the state. Purdue is proud to be the first campus to achieve LSC certification and looks forward to continued collaboration with IWF.”

The changes implemented by Purdue demonstrate that moderately altering landscaping practices can make a world of difference. The projects created by Purdue for this program have allowed for various student research opportunities, which offer further insight into best management strategies for campuses. Many aspects of the plan pair well with certification for other sustainability programs, allowing Purdue to accomplish multiple sustainability goals.

One of the most notable improvements to Purdue’s campus can be seen along the Ross Ade Stadium parking lot. The bioswale filter strips along the parking lot and roadway in this area initially experienced flooding during rain events due to a lack of well developed root systems. The establishment of the native vegetation in these bioswale filter strips has drastically reduced flooding and allows for water to infiltrate the soil rather than run off into the storm sewers.







The Schleman Hall Green Roof Project is a great resource and study area for student projects related to energy efficiency, insect populations, and stormwater management
Bioswale filter strip along the Ross Ade Stadium parking lot  





It is the hope of IWF that after considering the success that Purdue University has reached with the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program, other Indiana campuses will also choose to participate in the program!


Butler University

IWF would like to acknowledge Butler University as they work to receive Sustainable Campus Landscape certification. The Indianapolis campus is in the final stages of certification for the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program and will be submitting a plan and timeline for implementation in the near future. IWF is eager to see the finalized Sustainable Campus Landscape plan for Butler’s campus.

IWF would also like to commend Butler University for their recent sustainability initiatives. The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan was completed and placed into effect in September of 2014 and will remain in effect until 2050. The plan seeks to eliminate operational green house gas emissions by 2050. 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. 


Landscaping the Sustainable Campus (LSC) is a voluntary program designed to manage surface runoff, reduce excessive nutrient pollution, and add quality habitat space for wildlife on university and college property in Indiana. For participating institutions, the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) will coordinate projects and award certification.

A program guide (download here) provides an introduction to the program and a description of the objectives, benefits, and steps, and functions as a starting point for choosing sustainable landscaping practices.


Schools enrolling in this program partner with IWF to review their current grounds-keeping plan and discuss opportunities for a more sustainable, conservation-minded landscape management plan.

Input from staff, faculty, and students collectively will help identify best management practices to select for a comprehensive campus landscape plan and set goals for implementation. IWF will recommend particular conservation practices and targeted strategies for the goals chosen by the campus.

Emphasis is placed on the following five program categories: sustainable lawn maintenance and landscaping, pesticide/herbicide use reduction, invasive species eradication, native plant species selection, and water conservation.

Efforts to educate and engage students on the importance of sustaining our natural resources are strongly encouraged.

A participating school is requested to implement at least one new project, classified as a practice on the ground. By design, the new project(s) will address surface water runoff and/or add quality habitat space to campus property such as a prairie planting, riparian buffer restoration, or bioretention feature. Technical assistance and recommendations will be offered from IWF.

To be eligible for certification, a school must create a new or amend an existing sustainable landscape plan to describe current practices, goals, and incorporate new practices/projects, and an agenda for how the plan will be executed. Schools will achieve certification upon approval of the plan, progress toward attaining goals, and a final visit.

Highlighting conservation practices designed to protect water resources and support wildlife through quality habitat space demonstrates the perpetual opportunity for campuses to make improvements. Safeguarding Indiana’s natural resources will attract wildlife and boost populations by providing adequate habitat elements. IWF challenges campuses statewide to become the next leaders in landscape sustainability.

If you would like to learn more or have IWF give a presentation, contact us:

Indiana Wildlife Federation
708 E. Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 875-9453