Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.20
Liaison Denice Koljonen
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2022

STARS v2.2

Boston College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.01 / 2.00 Gina Bellavia
Director Landscape Planning
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
376 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides 2 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 136 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 138 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:

The total area of managed grounds is less than the total campus area because we excluded 61 acres of impervious parking and sidewalks, 48 acres of unmanaged woodland, and 47 acres of building footprint. This information was calculated using GIS mapping, Eagle Space campus space management data, and the Boston College Fact Book 2020-21.

Chestnut Hill Campus 120
Brighton Campus 67
Newton Campus 40
Total Acres: 227

Areas excluded are Dover (79 acres) about 20 miles from the main campus; separate and outlying area in Chestnut Hill (300 Hammond Pond Parkway) (14 acres); and Weston (20 acres) about 13 miles from the main campus. These areas are managed separately. When added all together, it equals 340 acres as reported in IC-2.


Percentage of grounds managed organically:
1.45

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

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.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
98.55

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.


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 landscape materials management and waste minimization:

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:

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.

In partnership with the MA Water Resource Authority, Boston College turned a previously inaccessible and under-utilized 4-acre parcel of land into a Pine Tree Preserve. It provides additional open space and features pedestrian walkways, park benches, viewing areas, and lighting that can be enjoyed by the BC community and the general public. Boston College manages and maintains this parcel as a woodland by: (1) only removing hazardous trees, (2) mechanically removing invasive plant species and prohibiting the use of chemical control, (3) promoting a "hands-off" approach as much as possible to support and maintain the natural fauna & flora of area.
https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/bcnews/campus-community/announcements/pine-tree-preserve.html
https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/bcnews/campus-community/announcements/pine-tree-preserve-dedicated.html


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Boston College Facilities Services Sustainable Operations Guidelines 1.0; Boston College Fact Book 2020; 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.