Skip to All NYU Navigation Skip to Main Content

Built Environment & Landscaping

Built Environment & Landscaping

In accordance with the University's motto, "a private university in the public service," NYU Landscaping serves both the University community and the historic neighborhood of Greenwich Village by designing, installing, and maintaining the urban landscapes that welcome people to the Washington Square campus.

Our objective is to unify our eclectic campus with green spaces that combine the aims of urban restoration ecology with high aesthetic standards in design. We seek a deserving place for NYU within the time-honored horticultural tradition of Greenwich Village while keeping pace with the exciting new trends that make New York City a world model for high performance urban landscapes. NYU Landscaping aims to reflect the values of a global research university engaged in public service.

NYU's graceful green spaces do more than beautify our campus—they also provide countless passersby a brief respite from the grueling pace of city life.

On this contemplative tour of the small plots tucked between NYU buildings, Supervisor of Landscaping George Reis explains how plants bring quiet dignity to an urban existence.

NYU's Secret (and Not-So-Secret) Gardens


About NYU's Landscaping Practices

NYU is comitted to adding an ecological dimension to Washington Square campus garden areas. To achieve this, NYU has implemented the following practices:

  • Introduction of Native Plant Species
  • Eliminating chemical fertilizers
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Water conservation
  • Reduction of lawn areas
  • Sustainable soil management with double digging, composting, and mulching
  • Eliminating gasoline powered maintenance tools

Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping

NYU sustainable landscaping offers positive environmental and health benefits to the University community as well as the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood. Through the efficient use of local resources and sustainable gardening practices, the NYU Landscaping has contributed to the reduction of air, noise, and water pollution in the Washington Square area.


  • Biodiversity in plant habitats fosters a more balanced, disease-resistant ecosystem.
  • Local fauna populations can rebound when supported by plant communities they share an evolutionary history with.
  • Gardens reduce noise, air pollution, and storm water runoff.
  • Organic fertilizers are made from renewable sources and are non-toxic.

Personal Health

  • Studies show that seeing a garden every day reduces stress.
  • Chemical-free gardens reduce people’s exposure to toxins.


  • Research opportunities for NYU’s programs in Environmental Studies and Food Systems.
  • Sustainable gardening at NYU can become an example to home gardeners seeking methods to reduce their water use and eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Native plants evoke the natural history of our area.

Construction at NYU

For details on projects currently under construction visit Construction