SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- SUNY ESF plans to build a unique garden roof, and they'll be using a native plant species to do it.
The roof garden will be on top of the school's new Gateway Center, which is scheduled to reopen this fall. It will feature species from two plant communities on Lake Ontario.
The plants will cover a 5,000 square foot area located on top of the main level of the building. It will also include a deck and benches to encourage visitors.
But as much as it will be an attraction, it is also designed to be a learning tool for students.
"There's going to be a collection of plants up here that only occur in may be one or two places in all of New York State, so they're going to be in abundance up here. So the educational and conservation opportunities are highly significant on this project," said Donald Leopold, SUNY ESF Department of Environmental and Forest Biology Chair.
Former Syracuse mayor and current Environmental Facilities Corporation President Matt Driscoll presented ESF with a check for more than $400,000 for the project. The money comes from the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.