Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.16 / 2.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 323 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 50.38 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 143 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 0 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 100 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

Facilities Management monitors all turf areas and landscape materials for pests, weeds, fungus, etc. and reacts to what it finds. Certain areas have greater monitoring than others, such as the athletic fields, the main quad, and areas around academic buildings. These areas have a lower threshold of tolerance for pests, etc. and get treated accordingly. Bowdoin's Facilities Management horticultural practices are designed to maintain healthy plants or dense turf in an effort to prevent weeds or pests from becoming established. Some examples of this plan are: trimming trees, fertilizing turf with compost tea, aerating lawns, and maintaining proper moisture levels in the soil to help maintain healthy plants.

A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:

Fertilization, irrigation, and mowing practices (significant components of an effective IPM program) are cultural practices, which can have negative environmental implications if done improperly. The Bowdoin College IPM plan addresses issues relating to the use of these and other cultural practices with the goal of maintaining the entire property in a manner that minimizes adverse environmental impacts. Bowdoin College is committed to enhancing the ecological and environmental benefits of this campus while providing quality turfgrass conditions on the campus and athletic fields.

A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:

Native White Pines account for over 50% of the approximately 1600 trees on campus, with Red Oak and Sugar Maples dominating the remaining species. The Pine remains the predominant and signature tree on campus, although throughout the College's history, large deciduous trees have been planted on the campus. The health of the trees is improved by increasing diversity of non-invasive species. Bowdoin's tree inventory requires planting of under represented and unrepresented native trees in order to avoid the introduction of monocultures. In site design, native shrub species are planted to minimize the impacts of the development process, reduce water use, and to reduce alteration as well as ecological disturbance.
Site design strives to reconnect fragmented landscapes and establish contiguous networks with other natural systems both within the site and adjacent systems beyond its boundaries. Campus design standards attempt to avoid major alterations to sensitive topography, vegetation, and wildlife habitat.

A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:

Organic material is collected and a contractor removes it and incorporates the material in their compost. Some compost is used on campus along with mulch which is purchased from another vendor.

A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:

The Bowdoin Organic Garden has achieved organic status per the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardener's Association organic designation. http://www.mofgacertification.org/?page_id=2733

A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:

The Town of Brunswick’s aquifer protection zone includes Bowdoin’s Whittier Field, home of Bowdoin’s football team. Because of this designation, the college began treating the field organically in 2002. Utilizing an organic program of aeration, compost tea, and hand weeding, over time the college has developed a superb playing field that is completely organic. Bowdoin has expanded the organic treatment across 60 percent of the central campus, including the Cleaveland Quad, Main Quad, Coe Quad and the President’s residence and guest house. The treatments utilize ingredients such as corn gluten, seaweed, bone meal and manure, and pest deterrents such as red pepper and garlic oils.

A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:

The campus landscapes with native species that do not require irrigation. High visibility grassed areas of campus do receive water during dry weather. In recent years, as a means of conserving water, the college installed a below ground irrigation system on athletic fields at Pickard Field and the Main and Cleaveland Quads. These systems monitor the moisture in the soil and only water accordingly. The systems are automated to operate in the early morning hours before the sun rises to reduce evaporation during the watering cycle. The campus maintains a mowing height of 2.5 to 3 inches, which encourages deeper root growth, thus reducing the need for watering.

A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):

To reduce the environmental impact of salting during Maine winters, Bowdoin uses a product called Magic Salt. Magic Salt is ordinary rock salt that has been treated with an agricultural by-product of the distilling process blended with magnesium chloride. It is a non-toxic, biodegradable product and has a corrosion index lower than distilled water. The Grounds staff also attempts to balance the needs of pedestrian access versus snow and ice removal. Several campus paths are not maintained during the winter, in large part to reduce salt usage that can cause damage to nearby tree roots.

A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:

Is the institution recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program (if applicable)?:

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available:

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.