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Natural Environment

Natural Environment

Campus Activity

Swarthmore has a long tradition of protecting and preserving the natural environment. The founding of the Scott Arboretum in 1929 and the preservation of the Crum Woods are examples of this legacy.

The Crum Woods encompasses 220 acres of native forest adjacent to the developed portion of the Swarthmore College campus. The woods contain walking trails and provide recreational opportunities for the Swarthmore College community as well as visitors to the campus. In addition to recreation, the woods are often used as a classroom or as a site for research, 35 courses in 12 departments make use of the Woods as a resource.  

The campus of Swarthmore College also serves as the grounds of the Scott Arboretum, a public garden of ideas and suggestions, displaying some of the best trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals for growing in the Delaware Valley. The Arboretum is open to the public year-round, free of charge, from dawn to dusk. 

Swarthmore takes care to minimize pesticides and herbicide use. Integrated pest management is the preferred means of treating the campus grounds. Issues in the landscape are managed through a combination of techniques including, careful sanitation techniques, treatment of diseased plants, use of natural predators, and selection of pest resistant varieties of plants.

Organic Lawn Maintenance

In 2010, Swarthmore College began an extensive project to create an organically maintained lawn at the heart of campus. College gardener Nicole Selby '02 received a grant from the Swarthmore Foundation for her work, along with support from Professor of Engineering Carr Everbach and Associate Professor of Biology José-Luis Machado. The are working to maintain the five-acre field between Mertz Hall and Magill Walk with nutrient-rich compost instead of standard synthetic herbicides and fertilizers.