Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.28
Liaison Michelle Seppala Gibbs
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Hope College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.10 / 2.00 Michelle Gibbs
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
150 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 15 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 135 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 150 Acres

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

Building footprints and impervious walks and roadways.
The natural watershed area along the creek.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Use organic fertilizers and weed control on landscape beds and turf and hardscapes as much as possible and will use other IPM practices if needed. Only in the case of issues like an invasive species outbreak do we use more traditional methods and this is very rare and has not been a problem on most areas fo campus.

We mulch the leaves on campus into the turf and beds.

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:

See upload

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

--We try to use native plant species as they will fit site conditions that replicate the native habitat. We do not plant native species to this region if the site has been altered to the point it is no longer a native habitat.

--Buy bedding plants from local growers using site-specific plants and shrubs

--Use perennials and grasses that need reduced care and water

--Mulch with native hardwood bark

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

--We allow for buffer strips between higher maintenance turf and lower maintenance turf areas along drainage ditches and waterways like ponds and retention areas.

--Stormwater drainage for all new buildings is handled by filtration systems including underground retention and rain gardens.

--All new parking lots are constructed with porous pavements to minimize runoff.
–The creek at the east end of campus is maintained in a natural state with woodlands surrounding it. Property in the area of the creek does not drain directly into the creek.

--Uses water management software and monitoring systems for irrigation and Hope employs a full time irrigation technician.

--Worked with the Holland Board of Public Works (HPBW) to install a gray water line for use in our core campus to reduce the filtration level for irrigation.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

--The Hope grounds department composts landscape waste, using the end result to create a compost tea for fertilizer. We use the soil for tree planting and turf renovation operations. We allow our grass clippings to decompose in the turf. Any landscape waste we do not compost onsite is removed by a compost company and taken to their compost facility.

--Do not bag clippings from mowing.

--Mulch 100% of leaves into the turf and only remove leaves when necessary.

--There is a reduced mowing frequency on lower priority sites.

--Collect cultural care waste from pruning and bed clean up for composting.

--Compost grass clippings from the athletic fields on site.

--For the past few academic years we have also allowed for our students living in our cottages/apartments to opt-in for a food waste compost program. This food waste does not go with our industrially composted dining services material, but rather is collected by the physical plant team and added to the campus landscape compost pile which is then used on the campus. https://hope.edu/offices/physical-plant/sustainability/composting.html

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

--In 2016 Hope installed a green roof on DeWitt Cultural and Student Center, in 2019 a 2nd green roof was installed on the LEED Certified Campus Ministries Building, and in 2021 a 3rd green roof was installed on the entrance to the renovated Haworth Hotel.

–Our grounds team has been switching landscape equipment over to electric options as they are able. To date we have: GreenWorks 48" stand on mower, Greenworks 21" push mower, and several different leaf blowers, snow blowers, saw, and weed whips. The team has stayed with this brand so they can become familiar with the technology as well as switch out parts/batteries.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

The grounds department at Hope uses brooms and shovels, and plows walkways more often during snowfall to reduce salt usage.
Plow vehicles use effective snow plow blades and snow brushes to reduce salt use on sidewalks.
We also use a calibrated drop salt spreader that has reduced our salt usage by about 20%.
Multiple buildings also have a snowmelt system near their entrances to help reduce the amount of snow/ice and thus reduce the need for things like salt. In 2022 we also installed a snow melt system on two outdoor stairways in the middle of campus to reduce slips/falls as well as salt.
Hope’s grounds management team operates with an environmental action plan that includes considerations ranging from how the college stores pesticides and fuel, to how equipment is washed, to the presence of buffer strips along drains. The college, which has more than 2,000 documented trees in its central campus, also has a campus tree-care plan, and among its efforts focused on the college’s trees has made a tradition of planting trees during each Campus Sustainability Month, Earth Week, and Arbor Day.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Trees at Hope College: https://hope.edu/offices/sustainability/holland-hope-college-sustainability-institute/trees/

Hope is a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and in 2019 we became a member of Tree Campus USA and have received the certification every year since.

In 2019 Hope received funding from the "Michigan Arbor Day Alliance Tree Planting Grant."

Two staff from the Hope College grounds team and the Director for the Office of Sustainability serve on the award winning Holland in Bloom committee. https://www.cityofholland.com/837/Holland-in-Bloom


Other notable stories:
Spring 2019: The Wonder of Creation
They are among more than 2,000 trees, representing approximately 100 different species from around the world, that populate Hope. The diversity is spread across some 200 acres, but it’s also well represented by the very walkable central campus betwixt College and Columbia avenues, and 10th and 13th streets, which while not quite an arboretum provides perhaps the next best thing.

October 2019: Hope College Receives national Honor Award for exceptional grounds maintenance in the 2019 Green Star Awards competition of the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)

Hope received statewide recognition for its environmental stewardship through its grounds management practices with certification from the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program in 2014. For more information visit: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1599-216431--,00.html and https://www.mtesp.org/

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