Community Garden

Sustainable Sullivan

“Sustainable Sullivan"

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do at SUNY Sullivan. Our commitment to environmental and social responsibility informs everything from our campus operations to our curriculum.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling System
Geothermal heating and cooling system

We have been incorporating sustainable practices into our campus operations for many years, including a geothermal system to heat and cool our buildings and, more recently, installation of a 3 kW photovoltaic array and 2.5 kW wind turbine for hands-on renewable energy training. In 2015, SUNY Sullivan entered into a power purchase agreement with Sullivan Solar Garden, LLC which included the installation of a nine acre, 2.15 MW (7056 PV module) solar farm on campus.

SUNY Sullivan students helped install an on- campus green roof which helped lower heating and cooling costs,  and our students collect and compost over 3000 pounds of food scraps each year using an on-campus forced air compost area. We have added water bottle fill stations, low-flow plumbing and retrofitted our lighting and building automation systems to improve our energy efficiency, and installed exterior solar lighting to brighten a walking path leading to our baseball field. We have an organic community garden and built a straw bale garden shed— an initiative undertaken by our Honors Program and Green Building Maintenance and Management student. Some of the food grown in our garden is used by campus dining services, further advancing Chartwells’ many sustainability initiatives. We continually update our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and implement strategies for waste reduction, and are updating our purchasing policies to better reflect our commitment to sustainability.

These and other efforts help reduce our energy costs, make our facilities more efficient, and minimize our impact on the environment. However, our commitment to sustainability doesn’t end there.

Community Garden, 3kW PV array, 2.5 kW wind turbine and straw bale shed
Community Garden, 3kW PV array, 2.5 kW wind
turbine and straw bale shed

SUNY Sullivan is quickly becoming a leader in sustainability education. Our Green Building Maintenance and Management associate degree and Sustainability Studies courses are laying the foundation for a new “green collar” workforce. Our Environmental Studies program offers a science-based approach to tackling today’s complex ecological issues. We are also committed to infusing sustainability throughout our curricula starting with a freshman Metamorphosis class. The Metamorphosis course promotes a culture of excellence through individual performance and by completing a sustainability-oriented class service project. We even have non-credit workshops and courses to expand your personal or professional sustainability-related skills.

You, too, can be part of a more sustainable future at SUNY Sullivan. For more information, contact Larry Reeger, our Interim Director of Sustainability Projects and Initiatives at, or check out some of the environmentally forward organizations that we’re involved with.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Department of Energy Solar Instructor Training Network
New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
Sullivan Renaissance
US Green Building Council