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UMD Sustainability Banner: Land and Water - Being a university on a Great Lake and in the northwoods compels us to reduce impacts on our water resources and enhance our land resources.


Green space preservation, sustainable land management, and water conservation all help to protect the integrity of our local ecosystem and offer a beautiful place to learn, live, and work.

Green Spaces

Life Science Courtyard

Caring for the green spaces at UMD helps to preserve the quality of the landscape and the quality of stormwater runoff. Removing weeds, managing invasive species, and stabilizing trails are all part of preserving the natural beauty of our area.

Green spaces also provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, so get out and enjoy them. The UMD campus greenway furnishes a template for getting around campus outside, through various courtyards and garden spaces. The Bagley Nature Center is also a part of the UMD campus and offers unbeatable trails for outdoor recreation during every season.

UMD also has an extensive Alternative Landscape Program. Sod is a high maintenance and water intensive method for landscaping. Many alternative plantings are native plants that typically require less maintenance and watering. In addition, UMD's Alternative Landscaping includes the Edible Garden project, growing food for various reasons around campus.

Land Management


Students walking across pervious pavers outside Sports and Health Center.

Proper land management helps to sustain our water resources. Stormwater that runs off campus land enters local creeks and eventually Lake Superior, making stormwater protection a priority. UMD works to reduce impervious surfaces that contribute stormwater pollution, treat stormwater before it leaves campus via a system of rain gardens, ponds, underground filters, and even green roofs. Slowing down water before it leaves campus is a big part of protecting water quality in local streams; on campus water is slowed through the use of grassy swales, pervious pavers, and planting alternatives to sod.

The UMD Stormwater management program and policies ensure that we reduce stormwater pollution by protecting wetlands, reducing stormwater runoff volumes, preserving trees and green space, reducing herbicide use, educating our campus about pollution prevention, and reducing pollution from maintenance and construction activities. The UMD Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program outlines policies and best management practices to protect water quality.

All waste landscaping materials from campus are composted on the UMD Field and Research Studies property. This includes brush and limbs, which are chipped and spread onto flower gardens and trails. Any soil that is removed for projects is brought to UMD farm and reused. Grass clippings are also mulched and reused.

Water Conservation

dual flush toilet

As a university that is so close in proximity to Lake Superior, water is an incredibly valuable resource, both in economic and ecological terms.

UMD aims to conserve water and reduce consumption in both our buildings and in our grounds maintenance. On campus, irrigation is reduced by reducing lawn areas and planting alternatives to sod, simultaneously reducing the maintenance costs associated with sod.

Water is conserved in buildings through installing lower-flow fixtures, preventative maintenance, and by responding quickly to reported leaks.


Climbing vines and flowering shrubs outside the entrance to Rec Sports.

Recreational Sports Planting

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Last modified on 02/14/13 07:33 AM
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