Regeneration in a healthy landscape: Princeton's Washington Road stream corridor thrives anew.

Princeton’s arboreal landscape has always enhanced the campus identity and experience. Guided by the Campus Plan, the University strives to expand woodland plantings and renew natural flows and cycles in the landscape. This is being achieved through an integrated, campus-wide ecosystem approach that focuses on conserving water, reducing chemical use, protecting soils, and restoring ecological function.

Princeton has also embarked upon an ambitious program of stormwater management to reduce demand for purchased fresh water by capturing and using rainwater. This will help revitalize the regional watershed by reducing erosion and minimizing runoff.


Create a vibrant, sustainable landscape and manage stormwater events with a campus-wide ecosystem approach.


  • butler college green roof

    Following the installation of the Butler College green roof in 2009, stormwater data indicates that the roofs demonstrate delayed runoff and an approximate 60 percent reduction in peak runoff for moderate rain events.

  • fertilizer

    In the past year, non-athletic pesticide use decreased to about 1,960 gallons, representing a 54 percent decrease from 2007 levels.


  • STARS Silver Award

    The AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) allows metric-driven progress assessment across operations and academics for North American higher education and has recognized Princeton at the Silver leadership level

  • freshly planted trees

    Since 2007, the campus had a net increase of approximately 3,174 trees. In total, nearly 12 acres of woodlands and five acres of open green space have been established over that same time period.

  • washington road stream

    The University restored a meandering and steeped form to the formerly degraded Washington Road stream in 2012. Preliminary results of nutrient composition, dissolved oxygen, and water clarity indicate a healthier stream environment than its prior condition.

Pesticide Usage Yearly Total

Pesticide graph
Pesticide graph

Pesticide usage has declined 54 percent since 2007.

What’s Next

  • Explore the development of a monitoring program in partnership with academic programs to test aspects of a variety of campus stormwater strategies.

  • Study woodland planning and maintenance practices on campus and carry out an ecological assessment to inform future goal setting.

  • Employ the Sustainable Sites initiative (SITES™) certification program, beginning with the Arts and Transit Project.

  • Evaluate alternatives to synthetic fertilizers and track the use of fertilizers and pesticides on athletic fields.

  • Assess the amount of pervious surfaces on a campus-wide scale to establish a baseline for future goal-setting.

Related Video

play video
As a part of Princeton's Office of Sustainability Green Tour, this video takes a close look at the revitalization of the Washington Road stream and the reforestation of the surrounding area.