Colgate University’s trees and forests are managed using principles of sustainability that emphasize teaching and research, outdoor recreation and aesthetic value, conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, light timber production, and forest carbon storage and sequestration.
Colgate makes a great effort to care for the nearly 3,500 trees that are an integral part of campus life. Each tree is identified, measured, and monitored over time. Campus trees provide cool shade in the summer, nesting habitat for breeding songbirds, contribute to a beautiful campus, and help to filtrate the air and groundwater for an overall healthier environment. Cumulatively, Colgate's campus arboretum contains over 130 species of trees worth an estimated $15.1 million in benefits.
Bicentennial Landscape Project
In recognition of its Bicentennial in 2019, Colgate launched the Bicentennial Landscape Project. The project is responsible for the new plantings of 200 trees on the iconic Academic Quad, Residential Quad, and surrounding areas, restoring tree cover to deforested locations on the campus.
This is the first phase in a broader landscape planning and renewal initiative to sustain and strengthen our natural and built environments. Sustainable practices are at the heart of this renewal.
In addition to the campus trees that line our streets, buildings, and walkways, Colgate also owns and manages over 1,000 acres of forested land. Colgate’s forests are managed using principles of sustainability that emphasize:
- teaching and research,
- outdoor recreation and aesthetic value,
- conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity,
- light timber production, and
- forest carbon storage and sequestration.
A key contribution of Colgate’s forests to the overall carbon neutrality effort is its carbon storage and annual sequestration of atmospheric carbon in organic matter.
Colgate’s 1,059 acres of forests contain 193,755 tons of stored carbon, and sequester an additional 3,776 tons of carbon annually. This inventory informed projections for future carbon sequestration on campus as well.