Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Linsey Edmunds
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.99 / 2.00 John Lorette
Digital Learning Consultant
Digital Learning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
76.08 Hectares

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 75.88 Hectares
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed ---
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0.20 Hectares
Total area of managed grounds 76.08 Hectares

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

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

The campus has proactive planning for grounds maintenance. The fundamental concept is that healthy plants are resilient plants. They use 3" mowing heights wherever possible, creating healthier grass. They use compost tea and mulch produced on campus to feed trees and plantings. Local experts are called in (such as the local county extension agent) to help identify issues and determine treatment plans, if necessary. Chemicals are used only on the cracks in the sidewalks to help with weed control as needed. NO chemicals are used on the actual grounds. Our in-house gardener has developed his own recipes for “compost tea” made of the yard clippings from campus grounds which are used in all garden beds and tree beds to maximize nutrient retention and help trees stay healthy and strong through the winter months.

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:

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

Whenever possible, Grounds uses plants that are indigenous to the region or have shown desirable characteristics for this area. "The right plant for the right place".

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

Keene State College leaves a 75' Buffer Zone along the Ashuelot River where permissible. We also have created a Buffer Zone around the Brickyard Pond and we do not fertilize in those areas. Top coat applications of our own compost and compost tea significantly reduce water use for irrigation.

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

In addition to using 3" mowing heights everywhere on campus (except the athletic fields) which produces healthier grass, the mowing machines are all mulching mowers.

Leaf, garden and tree debris is composted and screened on campus and used as soil amendment or mulch on the campus grounds. This has helped eliminate the need for purchased mulch.

Mulch is blended with aged wood chips to mimic forest duff, aiding tree health and growth and lessens our reliance on synthetic fertilizers.

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

As described previously, the KSC Grounds Crew uses practices that (1) reduce the amount and time of mowing; (2) reduce the amount of water used; and (3) reduce the need to purchase materials (e.g., mulch) from distant vendors thus cutting down on transportation. The College also leaves areas wild for habitat.

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

The KSC Grounds department uses a variety of techniques to reduce the environmental impacts of snow and ice. They use a professional weather service to get up to date and local condition information, ground temperature readings to determine the proper "product" to use and thoughtful and careful management of equipment.
Ice Ban is a trademarked product, derived from brewer's wastes. It is significantly less toxic and less corrosive to plantings than salt. Where we do need to use salt, it is pretreated with the Ice Ban, making it much more effective and requiring significantly smaller amounts. The crew has developed techniques for pre-spraying roads and walkways before storms, since the Ice Ban works well as a pre-treatment, preventing the buildup of ice.

We have eliminated the use of sand, which causes its own problems. Where possible, snow brooms are used to help clear snow, lessening damage to edge plantings.

Each person in the Grounds department has assigned areas of responsibility in each season, including snow storm and storm clean up. This makes the vehicle use as efficient as possible, reducing redundancy and fuel use.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Green Grounds Maintenance
Keene State College practices organic landscaping and grounds maintenance. In many ways, the grounds crew model “full circle” sustainability:
• Lead gardener Jo Britton starts seeds in his home nursery that provide the beautiful floral annuals that adorn the campus.
• The flowers Joe grows from seeds are planted in rich compost created right here on campus. Our nutrient-rich compost is created from organic kitchen waste from campus dining facilities joined with our yard and leaf waste from mowing and other grounds maintenance. Even the flowers Joe grows end up creating more compost when they die and are added to the compost bin.
• Vision for the Grounds (https://vimeo.com/152574967)
• Natural Materials and Biodiesel to Keep the Campus Going in Winter (https://vimeo.com/154315979)
• Composting (https://vimeo.com/152748930)

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.