Office of General Services

New York State Office of General Services

Approved EO4 Specifications

Sustainable Landscaping


New York State agencies and authorities own or lease a significant percentage of the 31,106,541 acres in New York State. While management of some of this land is mandated by statute, as in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves; and some is determined by the designated purpose of the property, as in State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas; the management of much of the rest may be in part arbitrary. As the collective environmental impact of these individual management decisions is significant; in accordance with Executive Order No. 4, which directs state agencies “…to implement sustainability initiatives”; this guidance has been developed to establish a vision for a less environmentally destructive human/nature interface, with strategies to achieve it. Increasing impacts from climate change make clear that sustainability requires a sea-change in the entrenched cultural expectations to “control” nature and to associate good character with a “well-kept” property, that result in landscaping valued according to the work, energy, and cost to maintain it. NYS needs to lead by example in reducing our foot-print to maximize places for natural systems to perform critical, life-sustaining functions.


Covered Practices


For NYS to become a leader in more sustainable landscaping practices that:


The “Guidance for Federal Agencies on Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes” with addendum “Supporting the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” is hereby adopted in full, and key points from it are incorporated into the following:

Site Selection & Planning: Soils: Water: Vegetation: Materials Selection Human Health and Well-Being: Existing Historic Facilities and Cultural Landscapes: Construction Operations and Maintenance:



* These must be adhered to.