Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 83.20
Liaison Mina Amundsen
Submission Date Nov. 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colby College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.03 / 2.00 Douglas Cosentino
Ground Supervisor and Landscape Manager
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):
714 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 651.17 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 19.83 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 671 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):

Colby includes all buildings and outdoor space in its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan. The figures above include all campus area, minus paved surfaces. The buildings are included in terms of building footprint, and not gross floor area.

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:

The Colby IPM Plan minimizes the use of pesticides through vigilant scouting and record keeping, manual removals, use of native and naturalized species, identification of potential problem areas, and elimination of substances that may encourage invasion. The IPM program includes both indoor and outdoor spaces. The use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids has been eliminated. Colby uses native and naturalized plants on campus in order to reduce maintenance, water use, and the need for chemicals to facilitate growth. Every year, students volunteer to go into the Arboretum to remove invasive plants by hand, and some biology classes do invasive pulls. Instead of using harmful pesticides on crabgrass, the Grounds crew applies more fertilizer to improve the grass in order to flush out invasive grasses. Another example is the Grounds crew will rake out horsetail, another invasive, instead of using chemicals.Colby has implemented a pilot project to explore the possibility of implementing organic landscaping throughout campus. This project has been successful thus far, and is expected to expand.

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:

Four areas of the Colby campus have transitioned to a fully organic landscape management program. These are the Roberts Lawn, Dana Lawn, Johnson Pond, and Osborne House. In these areas, a customized blend of nutrients are applied to increase the grass root depth and restore soil microorganisms. The use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers have been completely eliminated.

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

Colby is exploring the possibility of expanding the use of organic soils throughout campus. The IPM plan mandates chemicals only be used in spot treatments when necessary (i.e. poison ivy), regular soil aeration, dethatching and topdressing.

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

Colby has an irrigation system in place to minimize water use when it rains. By using native/naturalized plants, Colby can reduce water use on landscaping and manage irrigation timing to improve growth during periods of drought.

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

Colby has switched to single stream recycling in order to improve our recycling rates and reduce contamination. The College also recycles metal. Facilities maintains a Surplus Goods Inventory, where they sell extra furniture to staff or donate them to local organizations whenever the storage space gets too full. The Grounds crew composts grass clippings, and the on-campus garden also uses grass clippings to insulate crops.

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

There are some trees placed strategically to provide shade for buildings, however it is not incorporated into all building designs.

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):

Colby plans to integrate landscape design into new construction projects through not installing irrigation, minimizing manicured lawn area by creating more gardens with native/naturalized species, using plants to instruct wayfinding, reusing materials from construction on campus and locally, using local vendors/materials, minimizing heat islands by surrounding black asphalt with trees and using concrete, and researching new chemicals to use for snow/ice melt and methods to reduce maintenance hours. The new athletic center will have the following incorporated into its design:
1. No permanent irrigation on the exterior
2. Noninvasive, native or naturalized plant material
3. Minimal movable lawn areas, other than the main entrance and the new playing field, the areas will be open meadows requiring minimized maintenance
4. The majority of the water from the roof and perimeter drains will be captured in meadow basins. These areas will also be connected to academics for outdoor labs and research opportunities.
5. The interior courtyard will allow filtered natural light to enter the core of the building, bettering the experience of all users as well as promote a healthier environment.
6. We will have three electric charging stations for building users for compatible vehicles.
7. All plant material that is transplantable on site will be reused elsewhere on campus.
8. Soils are being designed to require less water to still remain viable for all plant materials

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

All available land is managed under an IPM plan. The total does not add up to 714 acres because paved surfaces are not included in the IPM plan.

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.