College's "No Mow" Zones Promote Sustainability - SUNY Cortland

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

Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Timothy Delaune again shows an accurate reading on U.S. Supreme Court actions.


Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

The new project blends the study of biomechanics and speech pathology.


Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

This annual tradition launches the academic journey for first-year students.


SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

Keeping nearly 175 tons of plastic, paper and cardboard out of the solid waste stream.


Water Sustainability Project has African Reach

Water Sustainability Project has African Reach

Campus water conservation now is linked to alumna Karen Collier Flewelling '64.


Education Leader Stays Loyal to Alma Mater

Education Leader Stays Loyal to Alma Mater

Orphaned at 9, Peter Kachris '56 said Cortland set him on the right path.


Five Physical Education Student Teachers Commended

Five Physical Education Student Teachers Commended

The five were honored with Lenore K. Alway and Anthony P. Tesori Awards.


College Joins Select Company in ‘Healthier’ Campus Initiative

College Joins Select Company in ‘Healthier’ Campus Initiative

SUNY Cortland is one of the earliest campus participants in a growing national movement.


Employee Team Finishes Second at Corporate Challenge

Employee Team Finishes Second at Corporate Challenge

A four-person team from the College took second place in the mixed team division.


Alumni Reunion 2016 Kicks Off July 7

Alumni Reunion 2016 Kicks Off July 7

Several hundred alumni and friends will visit campus from Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10.


Explore

Visit

Contact