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Sustainable Grounds & Gardens

Protecting Ecosystems & Restoring Natural Spaces

Protecting our landscape means protecting our health.

Air, water and soil quality are all essential to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of wildlife, ecosystems, and watersheds. Located just outside the nation’s capital, the University of Maryland’s 1,250 acres of arboretum and botanical gardens contribute to the well being of our region.

of campus grounds are internationally recognized arboretum
acres of Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
of campus is covered by tree canopy
Volunteers in the community garden


Programs to help you support Sustainable Landscapes on campus

UMD’s Department of Facilities Management manages the 1,340 acre campus including the Landscape Maintenance, Arboretum & Horticultural Services units, cultivating pollinator-friendly gardens, edible landscaping, native plants, rain gardens, and more! 

Students volunteering at a planting event on campus


The UMD College Park campus is an internationally acclaimed Arboretum and Botanical Garden consisting of diverse trees and plants for scientific and educational study and public enjoyment. UMD’s Arboretum Outreach Center offers garden-related events, tours, and volunteer opportunities.

Group of Students posed together in front of a mountain/river landscape overlook

UMD Adventure

RecWell’s Adventure Program helps people get outdoors and connect with nature by offering adventure trips off campus, rock climbing and bouldering at the campus Climbing Wall, team building on the campus Challenge Course, equipment rental for personal adventures, and bike maintenance and parts. The Adventure Program rental desk and resource center are located in the lower level of the Eppley Recreation Center.

Volunteers working in the Community Learning Garden (Courtesy of Meredith Epstein)

Community Learning Garden

Located next to the School of Public Health, this community garden grows produce to donate to the campus food pantry and is run by volunteer students, staff, and faculty – join weekly volunteer hours or schedule a group volunteering event.

Students posing while working in a campus garden

Campus Gardens

Explore the numerous gardens in our 1,340 acre campus, including pollinator gardens, rain gardens, and food gardens.

Aerial image of campus walkway and flowering trees


UMD Initiatives supporting Sustainable Landscapes on campus

UMD integrates environmental stewardship into campus development, design and restoration projects. UMD’s campus is an award-winning arboretum and collection of botanical gardens where horticulture staff and volunteers care for trees and gardens, conserve biodiversity, and provide opportunities for education, public enjoyment, scientific study, and food production.

Agro-Ecology Corridor: The Agro-Ecology Corridor explores how to increase the footprint of the campus farm to areas beyond, and connect these green spaces to meet the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Initiatives. The campus farm and adjacent greenspaces are untapped resources, which have the potential to become a living learning laboratory to address sustainability of food production and natural resource preservation.

NatureRXNatureRx@UMD is a new and burgeoning movement, represented by numerous individuals and units within the University of Maryland College Park community, who have come together with a shared passion for the many ways in which the landscape of our campus arboretum and other recreation spaces can heal and preserve the health and well-being of every person. 

Stormwater Management: Any rainwater that lands on campus flows downstream into in the Anacostia River watershed and then into the Chesapeake Bay. University landscape management practices including rain gardens, wetlands, and riparian buffers all serve to protect and restore local waterways. 

University of Maryland, Home and Garden Information Center: Develops and delivers science-based, sustainable gardening and integrated pest management education for better human and environmental health. 

UMD Golf Course: In 2003, the UMD Golf Course was named a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International. The certification includes categories focusing on Environmental Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, Water Quality Management, and Outreach and Education. 

Arboretum Explorer: In addition to cultivating green spaces on campus, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is committed to monitoring campus biodiversity and plant health. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens has created an interactive campus Arboretum Explorer with over 14,250 tagged species.

Building a Sustainable Future

Restoring the Campus Creek and other stories

Read the SustainableUMD Progress Hub Story

Walk UMD Guide

Green Spaces & Trails on and around UMD

Explore UMD's Campus

Architecture School’s Three New Dual Degree Programs

Architecture School’s New Degrees to Prepare Students for a Changing, Challenging World

Read the Maryland Today article

FM Lands Grant to Complete Campus Creek Environmental Restoration

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has awarded funds to complete the restoration of Campus Creek and renewal of the Animal Sciences Pond. 

Read the Facilities Management article

Code Red: Baltimore’s Climate Divide

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism explores Baltimore's climate divide

Explore the article collection
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