ISU: Conservation Champion


Wildlife Federation recognizes Indiana State with Conservation Champion Certification

Indiana State University continues to be recognized for its commitment to sustainability.

The Indiana Wildlife Federation has awarded Indiana State its Conservation Champion Certification for its sustainable landscaping practices. The certification recognizes the university for sustainable lawn maintenance and landscaping; reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides; eradicating invasive species; selection of native plants for landscaping; and water conservation, retention and recycling.

The federation lists five goals in each category. Indiana State achieved all five goals in one category and four goals in each of the other categories. The “Level 3” certification is valid for three years.

“We are pleased to be recognized by the Wildlife Federation for our commitment to sustainable practices,” said Kevin Runion, associate vice president for facilities management. “Indiana State’s landscape management strategy can impact not only the future quality of the campus experience but also the quality of wildlife that is able to visit, live and thrive in the area.”


Runion noted the transition of the Indiana State during the past 30 years from a dense, urban campus bordering Terre Haute’s historical industrial area to a serene urban forest/garden setting with named and dedicated outdoor spaces. In recent years, the campus has expanded toward the Wabash River and the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area, offering new opportunities for sustainable practices but also presenting new challenges.

“This circumstance creates unique opportunities for students, faculty and staff to research methodologies and maximize the success of the emerging ecology on campus,” he said. “Having access to protected wildlife this close to campus is enviable and should be developed and nurtured in every way possible.”

Following sustainable practices in landscape management “will create a healthy botanical system that will provide the university with an image marker and be more resilient in the face of climatic stress,” said Stephanie Krull, landscape and grounds manager. “This will also draw students, staff and visitors into outdoor spaces, reduce our negative footprint on the surrounding environment and enrich the overall experience of the people and wildlife who spend time here.”

As Indiana State continues to implement best landscape management practices, it will work toward Platinum level certification, meaning that the campus is as friendly and safe to wildlife as possible in an urban setting,” Krull said. 

Indiana State is the second university in the state, after Purdue, to achieve Wildlife Federation certification.

Krull is developing a Sustainable Campus advisory mailing list for input on landscape and wildlife-related issues. Anyone interesting in being included on the list may contact her at

In addition to the Indiana Wildlife Federation certification, Indiana State has also earned Tree Campus USA designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation for the seventh straight year. Sponsored in partnership with Toyota, the Tree Campus USA program recognizes colleges and universities that effectively manage trees and engage students in sustainable campus forestry practices. Indiana State was the first Tree Campus USA in Indiana.


Contact: Stephanie Krull, facilities and grounds manager, Indiana State University,

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or