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Buildings & Grounds

Organic Greenspace Management

As of spring 2024, Drexel has become the first university in Pennsylvania to move to an organic model for all campus greenspaces, in a move to help improve health and safety for students, staff, faculty and the wider Philadelphia community, as well as protect biodiversity and increase climate resilience. This program includes the elimination of synthetic herbicides and fertilizers as a standard practice (some organic-based herbicides may still be used to suppress heavy weed pressure). Drexel’s Grounds Department is instead looking to naturally outcompete weeds by promoting turf growth with organic soil health amendments, bi-annual aeration and overseeding and more frequent organic fertilization along with well-timed irrigation programs. This transition is in voluntary compliance with the Healthy Outdoor Public Spaces Law, which bans the use of synthetic herbicides on city grounds in Philadelphia.

Toxic Free Philly Drexel, a student group situated under Drexel EcoReps who advocated for this change and helped to implement the 2023 organic pilot at Drexel Park, is currently leading research and community engagement efforts for this organic greenspace management program. Conclusions from the research will be used to inform decisions to improve the efficacy of the organic program and have implications for the wide campus organic greenspace movement. To learn more or join Toxic Free Philly Drexel, visit @toxicfreephillydrexel or Climate and Sustainability EcoReps.

Additional Buildings and Grounds Projects and Initiatives

  • Drexel buildings and grounds coordinate several sustainability projects and initiatives, including rainwater reuse, brownfield redevelopment, public realm improvements, and more.
  • Drexel is a property partner of Philadelphia 2030 District, a voluntary effort to achieve deep reductions in energy use, water use, transportation emissions, and to improve stormwater management.
  • Drexel has a tree inventory! This map in ArborPro shows you what our urban forest canopy looks like.