Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Campus Landscape

Franklin & Marshall seeks to demonstrate through its campus landscape that it is a leader in sustainability in the Lancaster region and beyond. The Sustainability Master Plan calls for creating a landscape plan that re-establishes connections between fragmented natural habitat where possible and also serves as a model for best practices in environmental management.

The plan sets immediate and long-term goals for campus landscape, including the following:

  • Goal 1: Create and adopt landscape management policies that minimize impact to the environment while maintaining the high level of beauty, program space and landscape vision outlined in the Landscape Master Plan.
    • Strategy 1: Minimize the effort and inputs needed to maintain lawn and landscaped areas.
    • Strategy 2: Reduce the need for and use of chemically manufactured fertilizers. 
    • Strategy 3: Reduce irrigation from potable water sources.
    • Strategy 4: Minimize environmental impacts, including runoff and soil contamination, of snow and ice management procedures while maintaining safety for pedestrians and vehicles. 
    • Strategy 5: Re-establish connections between fragmented natural habitat where possible.
    • Strategy 6: Improve water quality by emulating natural hydrologic conditions and minimizing stormwater runoff into off-site systems. 
  • Goal 2: Use the Arboretum as a tool for education and research while promoting best practices in landscape management.
    • Strategy 1: Maintain a high quality, healthy campus landscape. 
    • Strategy 2: Develop plans to best use our landscape as a natural and academic resource. 
    • Strategy 3: Develop a comprehensive tree management plan for all aspects of the arboretum that includes policies to encourage the use of native tree species, enhance the health of trees, address hazardous trees, avoid damage during construction activities, etc.
    • Strategy 4: Conduct a tree survey for carbon sequestration as a tool for establishing carbon offsets and developing a goal for increasing the canopy percentage of the campus. 
  • Goal 3: Reduce the environmental impact of grounds maintenance.
    • Strategy 1: Reduce the environmental impact, including noise pollution, of the use of machinery in maintaining the grounds. 
    • Strategy 2: Reduce light pollution from on-site fixtures. 
    • Strategy 3: Minimize potential sources of water pollution and decrease water usage for irrigation.
Existing Initiatives Cited in the Plan
The College has a number of practices in place to improve the campus environmental impact. For example, new landscaping plants are selected for their low water and fertilizer requirements, and native plants are used where possible. Increasingly, leaves are ground up and left to naturally fertilize the lawn areas, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. The College also is moving away from irrigating lawns and planted beds in favor of rain gardens where stormwater runoff can be collected from nearby impervious surfaces and diverted to areas populated with native plants.
The Carline Steinman Nunan Arboretum is a significant part of the environmental ethos at Franklin & Marshall. It was designated in 2007 to preserve and enhance the College's natural landscape to benefit and support the academic mission of the College and engage the surrounding community. The Landscape Master Plan seeks to conserve resources and reduce the environmental impact of 
College facilities.