College's "No Mow" Zones Promote Sustainability

College's

08/03/2011 

An acre of turf grass surrounding the SUNY Cortland Service Group complex is not being trimmed to save energy, reduce fuel emissions and encourage natural habitats. The knee-high grass near the athletic fields on the southwest end of the main campus, now known as a “no mow” zone, represents the College’s latest sustainability effort.

Don Moody, the grounds supervisor for Physical Plant, said “no mow” zones will eventually cover two or three more acres on campus. A dozen white signs are posted across the SUNY Cortland campus to remind people why some areas are not mowed or manicured.

“No mow” zones include the area behind the Service Group warehouse, the area across from the Service Group compound and parking lot, the wildflower area across from the Park Center loading dock, and the wildflower area across from the Tomik Fitness Facility.

Moody explained that mindful mowing accentuates the look of an ecosystem.

“The wildlife I’ve seen in the ‘no mow’ areas has been amazing,” he said. He rattled off a list of animals he has encountered in the zones, including turkeys, foxes, deer, woodchucks, squirrels, raccoons and a variety of birds.

The turf grass, which includes a mix of purple, white and yellow wildflowers, will grow one to two feet before it turns to seed. Moody’s staff planted the wildflowers and mowed paths surrounding the area. In time, shrubs and trees will fill in to provide plant cover.

Reduced mowing offers economic and environmental benefits in addition to aesthetic, natural beauty. A decline in fuel and equipment usage will reduce carbon dioxide emissions while saving money. And the Physical Plant expects to gain at least ten labor hours each week, which helps the College’s ongoing effort to maximize its resources. Birds, butterflies and other animals will find food and habitats while native wildflowers will claim spots to bloom.

Moody said he has not received any negative feedback from the campus community. Although it often takes time for people to adjust to the appearance of unmowed grass, once they see the way “no mow” zones highlight their surroundings, they appreciate natural beauty more, he said.

Moody first considered the idea of reduced mowing in the late 1970s while taking care of his own property in LaFayette. N.Y. He experimented with the strategy during his previous jobs at Onondaga Community College and Syracuse University before he began to employ it at SUNY Cortland in 2010.


More News

Staffer Named ‘Honorary Alumna’

Staffer Named ‘Honorary Alumna’

Robin Wheeler Baroni will be honored during July at Alumni Reunion 2018.


SUNY Cortland Hosting Summer Art Program for High School Students

SUNY Cortland Hosting Summer Art Program for High School Students

Week-long program offers hands-on, immersive opportunities.


SUNY Cortland Partner OPEN a Finalist for National Award

SUNY Cortland Partner OPEN a Finalist for National Award

The Partnership for a Healthier America has nominated OPEN for its Catalyst for Change Award.


Study Abroad Provides Canvas for Student Art in India

Study Abroad Provides Canvas for Student Art in India

Three aspiring teachers created a 12-piece art exhibition as part of their study abroad program in Mangalore, India.


Assemblywoman Lifton Honored by SUNY Cortland

Assemblywoman Lifton Honored by SUNY Cortland

Barbara Lifton received the College’s Presidential Champion of Excellence Award during SUNY Cortland’s undergraduate Commencement.


C-Club Hall of Fame to Add Eight New Members in October

C-Club Hall of Fame to Add Eight New Members in October

Eight new members will be inducted into the SUNY Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame during its 50th annual ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 6.


Commencement 2018 Photo Gallery

Commencement 2018 Photo Gallery

SUNY Cortland students and their families celebrated academic accomplishments.


Online Master’s in Sport Management Ranked Among Nation’s Best

Online Master’s in Sport Management Ranked Among Nation’s Best

The program was lauded for its flexibility and expert faculty.


Phi Kappa Phi Names 'Scholars of the Year'

Phi Kappa Phi Names 'Scholars of the Year'

The interdisciplinary honor society recognized six members April 21.


SUNY Cortland’s CSTV Hits Channel 20

SUNY Cortland’s CSTV Hits Channel 20

Student-run station CSTV will televise programs on Channel 20 next fall.


Explore

Visit

Contact