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Bicentennial Landscape Project Update

By Contributing Writer on April 13, 2018

A GIF of alternating images: the current Academic Quad, a rendering of the future quad with trees growing on it

It has been eight months since we shared with the campus community and alumni the concept of a Bicentennial Landscape Project. The two main goals of the project would be 1) to replant regions of the campus left bare for decades after Dutch elm disease decimated the American elms that had comprised the tree canopy and 2) to restore and improve the ecological integrity of the areas of upper campus most affected by the construction work associated with Benton Hall and the two new residence halls. The response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive.

Landscape architects at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates have finalized plans for this initial phase, incorporating feedback they received directly from community members who attended the open forum in the fall and from the faculty, staff, and student members of the University Property Committee. The resulting plans seek to simultaneously create a tree canopy that will provide a beautiful aesthetic and an appropriate amount of shade while preserving open spaces for informal leisure activities. The UPC is happy to report that the initial phase of the bicentennial planting is slated to begin in the coming days.

The rotating image above shows the Academic Quad as it currently appears followed by a rendering as it will appear five to six years from this spring in the 2023–24 academic year.

Working in collaboration with the communications and institutional advancement offices, we have created the Bicentennial Landscape Project web page that community members may visit for an overview of the project and to keep up to date with its progress.

With the planting of the Bicentennial Trees, we can look forward to a transformation of how the community experiences and enjoys the upper campus; this is an exciting, tangible aspect of Colgate’s 200-year celebration.


Jeffrey Bary, Chair, University Property Committee; Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Andrew DeFrank ’18

Tamala Flack, Executive Director for Equity and Inclusion, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

Ann-Marie Guglieri, Senior Associate Athletics Director

Ian Helfant, Associate Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies and Environmental Studies

Ellen Holm, Director of Operations, Dean of the College Division

J.S. Hope, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

Stephen Hughes, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Capital Projects (ex-officio)

Alexandra Millett ’20

William Peck, Professor of Geology

John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability

Peter Scull, Professor of Geography

Trish St. Leger, Associate Provost

Ed Witherspoon, Associate Professor of Philosophy



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