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NYU Landscaping Projects

Native Woodland Garden

The NYU Native Woodland Garden in Schwartz Plaza

A stylized recreation of a woodland you would have found on Manhattan Island before European settlement started in 1609. This garden was the Legacy Gift of the Class of 2008 and coincided with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson in New York Harbor. The plant list was provided by the Mannahatta Project, now renamed the Weilikia Project.


Coles Sport Center

Coles Sport Center Garden

Every year since 2007, Coles has been the site of a dazzling display of several thousand tulips which flower in conjunction the Kwanzan cherry trees on Bleecker Street. This area is also home to a collection of Japanese camellias and a native meadow planting which replaced lawn in 2007.


238 Thompson Rooftop

238 Thompson Rooftop Garden

This 3,700 square foot un-irrigated green roof features a wide variety of plants not typically seen on green roofs: Wild Columbine, Goldenrod, Moss Phlox, Corsican Violet, and even chives are just a few of the plants that grace this roof bordering Washington Square Park.


American Cranberry Bush

Bleecker Street Plantbeds

Since 2007, NYU Landscaping has planted 13,000 square feet of mixed garden beds on Bleecker Street featuring more than 50 species of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and bulbs. Many of these plants were organically grown in the gardens of Battery Park and transplanted at Bleecker Street.


Aster in Mercer Plaza

Mercer Plaza (Cogen Park)

This 13,000 square foot plaza was built in 2010 atop NYU’s state of the art Cogeneration Plant. Plantings include a collection of native trees like Tulip trees, Sweetgum, and Willow Oaks, along with a variety of native shrubs, perennials, and grasses such as Witch Hazel, Rose Mallow, and Switchgrass.


Willie's garden

Willy's Memorial Garden at One-Half Fifth Avenue

This 8,000 square foot courtyard garden serves as the entrance to the Graduate School of Arts and Science and the faculty residences of 7-13 Washington Square North. This garden is currently undergoing a renovation to introduce new shrubs, perennials, and bulbs for year round interest.


Tree Guards

Tree Guards for NYC Street Trees

To protect street trees that face NYU buildings and beautify the sidewalks, NYU has begun a project to install iron tree guards in treepits around campus.



If you have any service requests relating to the Garden Shop, please contact the NYU Client Services Center.

NYU Client Services Center
285 Mercer Street, 6th Floor
New York, New York 10003
Tel: +1 212-998-1001
Fax: +1 212-995-4671
Website: NYU Client Services Center

NYU Landscaping Bios

George P. Reis, M.S.L.D. , Supervisor of Sustainable Landscaping, holds a B.A. in Portuguese from NYU’s College of Arts and Science (’10) and a Master of Science in Landscape Design from Columbia University (’13). George came to NYU as a gardener in 1995, studied horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and is NOFA-certified in Organic Landcare. Each year, George lectures on sustainable landscaping methods to the Environmental Systems Science class in NYU’s Department of Environmental Studies.

Michael Begasse has been a Groundskeeper at NYU for 25 years, making him a familiar face to the University community.

NYU Landscaping Crew


NYU Plant of the Week

A periodic feature of NYU’s news website which highlights a particular plant or group of plants that can be seen here at NYU. NYU Plant of the Week aims to show that the University community’s diverse student population is matched by the biodiversity of its green spaces.

Organic Landscaping

Since 2008, NYU Landscaping has adhered to NOFA Standards for Organic Landcare, our region premier set of standards and guidelines assuring ecologically sound practices in the design, installation, and maintenance of sustainable outdoor sites. For example, instead of using imidichloprid, one of the class of pesticides implicated in bee colony collapse, on a scale infestation of a shingle oak tree, we took some extra time and effort to simply powerwash the insects off the tree with water.

Organic Land Care



NYU is home to:

  • 3 memorial gardens, including a formal garden on Fifth Avenue
  • over 700 trees of over 60 species
  • over 200 plant containers on sidewalks, terraces, and in courtyards
  • over 180 species of shrubs, perennials, and bulbs
  • a 12,000 sq. ft. courtyard that features a trompe l’oeil, an optical illusion painted onto the surface of a building
  • a 3-story vertical garden
  • a native landscape that was featured in the garden column of the New York Times 
  • a 9/11 memorial tree of the same species found in the National 9/11 Memorial Park at Ground Zero
  • all 4 of our region’s primary spring-flowering trees here at NYU: dogwood, magnolia, apple, and cherry
  • a grove of native oak trees
  • a green roof that features lots of native plants
  • a garden statue donated by the people of Spain
  • a formal Japanese garden
  • over 70 distinct outdoor green spaces
  • ten acres of open space in the middle of Manhattan

Other Landscaping Projects

The NYU Urban Forest Project

In response to superstorm Sandy, NYU commissioned a campus wide tree inventory and risk assessment of over 700 trees on and adjacent to NYU properties. We now have a wealth of data which will be used to manage the NYU’s Urban Forest.

9/11 Memorial Tree

This tree, provided by NYU’s Center for Student Activites, Leadership, & Service, was planted in the Silver Towers Oak Grove on September 7, 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11. The tree species, Quercus bicolor (Swamp White Oak), is the same species employed in the park of the National 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero.

Oak Sedge Trials at NYU

Sedges are grass-like plants that are native to our region, and also native to Manhattan island. One species in particular, Oak Sedge, has caught the attention of designers as a possible lawn substitute for certain types of areas. We’re currently evaluating Oak Sedge at various NYU sites and the results so far are promising.

Silver Towers Oak Grove

The Oak Grove is a half-acre site on the north side of the Silver Towers complex. It features 22 native species of oak trees including Willow oak, Red oak, and Swamp White oak This site is unique in Greenwich Village for the large number of mature, native trees.

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