Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Denice Koljonen
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Boston College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Gina Bellavia
Director Landscape Planning
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
227 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach 101 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an organic land care standard or sustainable landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 6 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 107 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds (e.g. the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, areas that are not regularly managed or maintained):

The total area of managed grounds is less than the total campus area because we excluded 54 acres of impervious parking and sidewalks, 23 acres of unmanaged woodland, and 43 acres of building footprint. This information was calculated using GIS mapping, Eagle Space campus space management data, and the Boston College Fact Book 2017-18.

Chestnut Hill Campus 120
Brighton Campus 67
Newton Campus 40

Total Acres: 227

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:

A copy of the IPM plan or program:

A brief description of the IPM program:

Landscape Services recognizes that a healthy landscape ecology is the best method to avoid the need for chemical inputs from fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, as well as accompanying resource usage in terms of staff time and fossil fuel emissions. Facilities Services works to ensure a healthy ecology to minimize the need for these resource impacts over time. Landscape Services monitors pest levels in areas throughout campus. When pest thresholds are surpassed, Landscape Services responds with intervention to re-establish ecological balance. This intervention may include judicious use of pesticides.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

A brief description of the organic land standard or landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials:

All grounds maintenance practices are customized as much as possible according to specific needs in specific parts of campus, and Boston College will continue to customize management efforts as much as possible in the future. Soils are tested regularly to establish nutrient needs. Fertilizer is only applied as needed to support and enhance plant health. When fertilizer is needed, least-impact and organic options are given preference to optimize support for natural nutrient cycles.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

Boston College Landscape Services values and takes seriously its role as a steward of the land, air, and water on Boston College’s campus and takes a long-term, holistic systems approach to grounds maintenance. This includes:
1. Supporting present campus activities while keeping an eye toward the longer term future.
2. Building and maintaining soil health over time.
3. Maintaining a healthy plantscape to minimize erosion, support local biodiversity, provide aesthetic value and reduce heat island effects over time.
4. Landscape Services seeks to integrate more native species and other species that support local biodiversity over time and considers the impact on local ecology when creating and maintaining plantings.
5. Landscape Services works to control and eradicate invasive species as they are found on campus.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:

Facilities Services irrigates only as necessary to maintain a healthy ecology. Although athletic fields, new plant establishment periods, and other special circumstances require additional irrigation, Facilities Services works continuously to reduce irrigation needs in both the short term and long term. Most water usage for grounds purposes is metered and tracked on a consistent basis. Landscape Services will continue to work toward enhanced metering of water used for grounds purposes. Water meters are calibrated per manufacturer’s specifications. Moisture audits are conducted regularly and irrigation is adjusted accordingly.

A brief description of the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):

All compostable landscape waste is composted; yard waste is collected and composted off-site.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

Whenever feasible, Landscape Services integrates landscape design principles that support energy efficiency, such as planting shade trees, windbreaks, and use of vegetation to reduce the heat island effect.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

Landscape Services considers fuel usage in all grounds activities and works continuously to reduce fuel needs by purchasing the most fuel-efficient equipment with the least harmful emissions feasible, using equipment that best fits the task, and reducing equipment usage or employing less fuel-intensive options whenever possible. Landscape Services seeks to move toward lower-emission equipment over time and is constantly evaluating options as they become available.
Facilities Services considers ecological impacts in snow and ice removal and is constantly striving for continual improvement in materials and practices. This includes improvement in the selection and usage of chemicals and equipment as well investigating and designating areas that may be suitable for reduced treatment.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Boston College Facilities Services Sustainable Operations Guidelines 1.0; Boston College Fact Book 2017; 2010 Campus Care 2010 Landscape Inventory; Eagle Space; FMIS GIS Data

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.