The University’s storied lands comprise over 3,300 acres in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County in central Virginia.
About one third of UVA physical footprint is concentrated in the core area known as Grounds, surrounding the original UNESCO World Heritage-designated Academical Village - the only university in the United States to receive this prestigious designation.
Stewardship of the Grounds takes many forms: land use planning, historic preservation, support of local ecosystems, stormwater management and responsible maintenance and cultivation of trees and plantings.
UVA acknowledges it is on Monacan land. Learn more here.
Sustainable Landscape Management
UVA prioritizes the use of adapted, low-maintenance and non-invasive plant species in landscape design and replacement. Nearly all landscapes are designed using xeriscaping techniques, minimizing irrigation through the specification of drought-tolerant plants.
All pest management (except for Athletics and Intramural Recreation fields) is directed by UVA’s Plant Healthcare Specialist who is responsible for maintaining Grounds in accordance with Integrated Pest Management strategies. In limited cases where pest controls are used, UVA prioritizes biological controls such as the use of nematodes. Read more about the use of predatory helpers on Grounds.
UVA Facilities Management Landscaping Services operates its own composting facilities for weeds and other landscape trimmings. Most debris generated by the University's maintenance tasks remains on Grounds at a stockpile location. The institution's woody waste is ground into wood chips for reuse as rough mulch and non-woody waste is composted along with leaves.
UVA Sawmilling is a joint program of the Architecture School, Facilities Management and the Office for Sustainability to repurpose certain trees removed from Grounds in order to continue the legacy of these storied trees, many of which are upwards of 100 years old. The trees would otherwise be chipped for mulch, but instead are milled into lumber, timbers, slabs for furniture or other forms and made available to students and the UVA community for potential material research, student projects or fabrication of furnishings or elements for campus buildings and outdoor spaces.
We are proud to have received a number of designations and award for the combined efforts of multiple UVA partner entities as we continue to move the University toward achieving the goals in the UVA 2020-2030 Sustainability Plan.
- The University consistently ranks highly on lists of beautiful campuses, including those developed by Architectural Digest.
- Since 2018, UVA has maintained a Tree Campus USA designation recognizing our commitment to the sustainable management of trees and green space.
- The Bee Grounds UVA program was launched and certified in 2022 to conserve and support native pollinators on Grounds.