Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Nancy Apple
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Mount Holyoke College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Nancy Apple
Director
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
583.81 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 173.74 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 8 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 181.74 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):

Managed grounds include the developed campus and exclude undeveloped areas that are contiguous but not actively managed.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
95.60

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
A brief description of the IPM program:

The College is committed to using Integrated Pest Management programs and procedures for control of structural and landscape pests across all areas of campus. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) emphasizes prevention and elimination of pest conditions. In the IPM process, monitoring and interpretation of data collected provides estimates of pest populations in a given area. Monitoring allows accurate decisions to be made about what type of intervention measures may be needed and when is the optimum time to apply them.When chemical pesticides are necessary, a preference is given to materials and methods that maximize public safety and reduce environmental risk.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
4.40

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:

Mount Holyoke uses PJC Organic for all natural turf care: http://www.pjcecological.com

Per PJC, the key to a successful All Natural "Organic" Turf Care Program is to apply the right products together with proper cultural practices. One without the other is a setup for failure. The choice of fertilizer, soil amendments, and application rates should be dictated by routine soil testing.

There are four components that need to be addressed correctly to be successful with an All Natural Turf Care Program:

Soil Chemistry - Create and maintain a hospitable environment for growing turf.
Soil Structure - Promote the porosity and nutrient holding capacity of the soil to maintain aerobic life and allow air/water to flow.
Soil Biology - Feed the microbes in the soil so they in turn can feed the plant.
Cultural Practices - Proper mowing, aeration, over-seeding and irrigation practices.

PJC provides product, application guidelines, assists with soil test interpretation, and addresses the cultural practices necessary to implement a successful All Natural "Organic" Turf Care Program.


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

The College uses plants that are adaptable to the regional climate as well as specific site conditions. When selecting plants, native plants are given priority but are not used exclusively. In addition to adaptability to regional and site conditions, other factors in selection include plants that will survive with limited maintenance (e.g., watering, pest control) and plants that have been proven to be non-invasive. The restoration ecology program works to improve the water quality of water entering the upper lake on campus and and includes wetland protection and enhancement and replacement of invasive species with a native community.


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

The College actively uses the campus as a laboratory for academic courses and research. Water flow and quality has been monitored since 1996 providing an extensive database for student and faculty use. The restoration ecology program works to improve the water quality of water entering the upper lake on campus and and includes wetland protection and enhancement and replacement of invasive species with a native community.

Use of water for irrigation is restricted to new plantings and a limited area of historical gardens.


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

The College currently composts leaves and horse manure at a local farm. Around 100 tons of horse manure and 8 ½ tons of leaves are composted annually.

With the completing of a new Community Center in 2018, we hope that in the near future, food waste will be processed on campus and used on-site as a soil amendment.


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

Maintaining green space and our extensive tree canopy is a goal of our landscape program.


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):

After comparing de-icing products that contained sodium chloride (rock salt), calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate, the College chose to use de-icers that contain either calcium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). Calcium chloride is less corrosive to steel than sodium chloride, not corrosive to concrete, not as damaging to vegetation and leaves no build up in the soil. CMA is a corrosion inhibitor, has low toxicity to vegetation and has a residual effect requiring fewer applications.
Products are periodically reviewed.


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