Bard College Receives Grant from New York State

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON – Bard College has received a $80,379 grant as part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYS DEC) Invasive Species Grant Program that provides funding for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, lake management planning, research, and education and outreach. Bard’s grant will support the removal and prevent the spread of invasive species from the College’s Annandale campus in the field between the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and Robbins House on North Campus. Invasive species including the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), a rapidly growing deciduous tree native to China, and oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), an aggressive climbing perennial vine, are destroying the meadow by outcompeting and displacing native plant species. The NYS DEC grant will fund a project to remove the invasive woody plant material, which will be cut, chemically treated, and dug out. Then, the meadow will be replanted with a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. This meadow restoration project will begin in the summer of 2024 and is expected to take one to two years to fully complete.

“Bard is incredibly grateful to restore our beautiful meadow back to its prior glory. Its overall appearance and the quantity of ecosystem services it can offer will be immediately enhanced with this unique opportunity to reclaim a central landscape on the Bard campus,” said Bard’s Director of Horticulture and Arboretum Amy Parrella. “Meadows serve as important habitat and provide food for a number of pollinators and mammals; serve as natural reservoirs for water, capture and store carbon from the atmosphere, and help maintain biodiversity in our environment. Unfortunately, invasive plants tend to be aggressive and would eventually take over our meadow in a matter of a few years. This grant will allow Bard to proactively halt this invasion and reverse the damage that has already occurred.”

“We are committed to protecting New York’s waterways, forest lands, and agricultural crops from dangerous invasive species,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “This funding supports projects across the state that will help prevent the spread of invasive species in New York, protecting our natural resources, economy and public health from the negative impacts of this threat.”

This grant is supported by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a critical resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreation access, water quality improvement, and environmental justice projects. Governor Hochul’s proposed 2024-25 Executive Budget maintains the EPF funding at $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program’s history.

About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit

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