In 2009, EDR developed a Sustainable Landscape Master Plan and maintenance manual to complement Onondaga Community College’s Facilities Master Plan. The Sustainable Landscape Master Plan addresses OCC’s short and long term sustainability goals, while also advancing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, to which OCC is a signatory. This plan, which integrates both ASLA Sites Initiative and USGBC LEED™ performance rating standards, recommends a number of strategies to improve the sustainability of open space, landscape structures, and landscape infrastructure. These include, but are not limited to: water efficient and native species plantings, low maintenance species selection and practices, natural (rain water) irrigation, best practices for chemical and fertilizer use, pest management, erosion and stormwater management, landscape waste management, accessibility to and protection of natural areas and habitats, and the facilitation of active transportation. OCC’s implementation of the recommendations across all capital projects continues to provide a learning opportunity for the campus and community, and the benefits achieved through designated no-mow zones, reduced fuel consumption, reduced pollution, and reduced labor associated with turf grass maintenance extend well beyond the campus borders.
In 2012, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education considered this plan “innovative” in meeting the criteria for Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) credits. In 2010, OCC and EDR were honored to present this plan at the NYAPPA/SUNYAPPA conference.