Sustainable Grounds

farming vegetables and flowers

We’re shifting perspectives on how a college campus should look. From landscaping to habitat protection, we lead by example, starting with our physical location.

This includes stewardship of The Farm at Butler and its programming, formerly offered by the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES).


Butler is a Tree Campus USA University, Bee Campus USA University, and a Gold Level Conservation Champion—the highest level of landscape conservation management identified by the Indiana Wildlife Federation. 

The Friesner Herbarium is also closely aligned in its efforts, with projects such as the Butler Prairie, Butler Tree Walk, and Apothecary Garden.

Other landscaping initiatives include replacing turf and decorative plant beds with local plants, implementing “no mow” zones to increase biodiversity and preserve local species, and implementing efficient watering techniques. 

The Farm

The Farm at Butler is a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on campus managed by the Office of Sustainability. The Farm’s three-pronged mission is:

  • To promote excellence in education and research across the University curriculum
  • To educate Butler University and the Indianapolis community about sustainable agriculture and the local food system
  • To serve as an example of sustainable urban agriculture through the exploration of local food production.

Since breaking ground in 2010, the farm has grown approximately 96,300 pounds of fresh produce, in addition to its farm-based learning programs.