About Native Plants: Native plants are essential to biodiverse ecosystems and provide the proper nectar and nutrition for local wildlife.  Non-native plants can cause environmental harm and invasively compete with native species and strip areas of the necessary plants that animals and bugs need to thrive. In 2020, the University of Delaware is currently behind the native planting efforts of comparator institutions.  At present, UD only plants non-invasive plants, but does not strive for exclusively native plants.  In the “Grounds” category of AASHE STARS, the average institution earns at least 66.7% of the available credits earned via landscaping and biodiversity efforts.  UD earned 0%, partially due to their lack of native planting practices.

About Tree Planting: Trees are important to people as access to nature plays a significant role in life satisfaction, and they also improve the physical environment by trapping dust particles and replenishing oxygen. Trees can also reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save to 20-50% on fuel costs for heating, improve water quality by reducing the impact of raindrops, provide habitat for animals and birds, and add beauty to the environment. Newark’s Sustainability Plan (2019) recommends increasing the tree canopy to 34% by 2025 and 36% by 2030. Thus, UD and Newark City Council can join forces to enhance their efforts to green the city and campus.

About Synthetic Herbicides and Insecticides: Chemical pesticides are known to cause harmful health and environmental effects.  The toxins in pesticides can be absorbed through inhalation and skin contact, pollute water supplies, kill pollinators, and can contaminate food. In 2020, UD earned 0 AASHE credits for sustainable landscaping practices, partially because of their continued use of synthetic pesticides and insecticides.


  • Remove non-native, invasive plants and aspire to have 75% of landscaping as native by 2030.
  • Create an updated landscape management plan that prioritizes native plants and organic lawn care.
  • Create a GIS database of trees on campus and plant trees to increase carbon capture.
  • Replace gas-powered maintenance equipment with electric and increase electricity charging infrastructure.
  • Encourage rainwater reuse for landscaping.
  • Increase signage to advertise stormwater successes.

Check out some of our many green roofs, bio-swales and bio-rention basins with the map.

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