Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.98
Liaison Michael Amadori
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Thomas Legg
Former Grounds Manager
Building & Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
325 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 78 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) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 78 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):

All building footprints, parking areas, sidewalks (and other impervious surfaces), forested areas, meadows and other vegetated areas at the edges of development are excluded from the managed grounds land.

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:

At HWS, we strive to be good stewards of our campus environment. We employ integrated pest management (IPM) and best management practices in our turf and landscape installations and maintenance. IPM practices include the treatment of pests (weeds, insects, diseases) only when the damage threshold reaches an unacceptable level. The threshold is set by factors that include: what plant health can tolerate, the aesthetics of the plant and campus, the function and use of the plant or surface (i.e. athletic field, shade from tree), environmental factors, and safety of people and structures. We employ many cultural control measures as well as pesticide and fertilization applications. Whenever possible, we will opt for the cultural practice over the pesticide application, such as core aeration and over seeding a thin turf area instead of grub control and fertilizer where grubs are present, or accepting some leaf damage on a tree infested with Japanese beetles.
Athletic fields are managed more intensely because of the heavy use they receive. Player safety is also an important consideration in management of athletic fields. Weed growth and grass rooting affects an athlete’s ability to perform as well as foot, ankle and knee safety. Slipping on a weed or shallow rooting of turf grass can injure an athlete or end a career. Proper fertilization and weed control are continually monitored to keep the turf performing at the highest level possible. An IPM approach is employed on athletic fields as well. Because of the intense management, the potential for insect and disease is greater. An important element of IPM is monitoring weather and irrigation. Some pest problems are managed by increasing or decreasing the amount of water the field receives or waiting for the weather to change. Weeds and other pests are generally treated on a “spot treatment” basis as opposed to a broadcast application. Fertilization is performed on a “prescription” type program after a soil test is analyzed annually.

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:

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

The grounds team prioritizes native, low maintenance plants and planting strategies to reduce environmental impact. Within the past few years, the HWS grounds manager has led an initiative to install more edible plants on campus, including:
- 12 trees and 7 shrubs (all edible varieties: chestnut, persimmon, hazelnut, blueberry, and paw paw)
- 3 blueberry bushes in pots placed on the Scandling Campus Center patio for the season
- 3 self-watering pots of herbs placed on the Scandling Campus Center patio
- kale was planted in select locations with other plants in various beds around campus
- 15 apple, pear, and plum trees were planted behind the campus garden
- apple, cherry, and pear trees (15 total) were planted on Blackwell Green in spring 2013

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

The institution practices responsible water management including limited irrigation and active storm water management with rain garden/bio-retention installations and use of porous pavement. Additionally, our buildings and grounds department works with the Geoscientists on campus to drill wells with each major project, in order to track and understand the campus hydrology over time.

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

The Colleges chip tree debris, mulch grass clippings, compost leaves, and landfill shrub clippings. We estimate that approximately 80% of these materials are mulched or composted. Finished product/soil amendment is reapplied to campus grounds.

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

The Colleges utilize well-designed landscapes to reduce building heating and cooling costs. Carefully positioned trees can save energy a typical building uses. We have two green roofs, which helps to reduce heat island effect and cooling demands.

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):

The Colleges use plowing, sand and salting strategies that minimize the amount of salt use, while maintaining safe conditions.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Information about our Grounds department can be found at http://www.hws.edu/offices/facilities/grounds.aspx

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.