• 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

"Purdue University, West Lafayette Campus, is pleased to partner with the Indiana Wildlife Federation in developing a Sustainable Landscape Plan in support of the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program. The plan is the culmination of a collaborative process undertaken by many professionals across several departments. Purdue documented 20 goals across all five program categories and achieved Gold Level: Conservation Champion certification.

The Purdue University Sustainable Landscape Plan is a comprehensive look at the university’s forward-thinking approach to landscape design, maintenance, and operations. In many cases, this document captures efforts that Purdue has been implementing for years based on innovative partnerships between operational units and world-class academic resources. In other cases, this document points to a path forward where Purdue can provide a more sustainable campus landscape while continuing to meet the needs and the expectations of the campus community.

Purdue University is delighted to be a part of the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program to showcase Indiana institutions of higher education as exemplars of sustainable campus landscape stewardship. We look forward to a continued partnership with the Indiana Wildlife Federation in taking Purdue University to higher and higher levels of sustainability." 


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, offer technical assistance, 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