Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.95
Liaison Mari Acob-Nash
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

North Seattle College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.97 / 2.00 Tim Albertson
Sustainability Coordinator
Student Development Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
65 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 0 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 64 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 1 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 65 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):

65 Acres includes Zone1: 20 acres of the core campus (buildings), Zone 2: 15 acres of parking lots, and Zone 3: 30 acres of wetlands. The Grounds crew is responsible for the safety and maintenance of the entire property.

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 staff adheres to the following IPM guidelines although as these aren't an official 4-tiered approach, they have been submitted as conventional for this report:
Action Thresholds
Zone 1 Action Threshold: Zone 1 has the lowest action threshold as it is most used by staff, students and faculty. Safety, appearance, type of pest and the potential of that pest to spread are the conditions considered in Zone 1. We do seasonal lookout for known pests of known host plants within this Zone. Regarding appearances, damage to twenty percent of plant triggers a close monitor and assessed response; damage to forty percent of plant triggers a “treat or remove” response. Safety thresholds are proximity driven. A ground bee nest near a classroom door is sprayed to kill to protect the daily passage of potentially allergic students by hive site: paper wasp nests, 25 feet above in tree branches will be left alone since the paper wasps come and go far enough above to avoid being a threat .
Zone 2 Action Threshold: Zone 2 Action Thresholds are higher for appearances since people are less likely to notice damage as they drive along roads and through lots. Safety, type of pest and potential for spread also figure into monitoring and assessment leading to action. Safety is as high an order for action in both Zone 1 and Zone 2 due to the potential for personal and or property damage if an unsafe condition persists.
Zone 3 Action Threshold: Zone 3 has the highest action threshold as it encompasses the most remote parts of campus, is the least populated part of the campus, and has limited, trail based circulation patterns. With the exception of noxious weeds, pest damage has no action threshold since the forest pests and predators are allowed to fluctuate as naturally as possible. Safety thresholds exist according to proximity to the edge of the Greenbelt where cars may park and proximity to trails where people may walk)

Monitor and Identify Pests
The grounds crew maintains a list of Historically Significant
Pests including subsets of insects, weeds, diseases and animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish.)
Zone 1 Monitoring: By referring to the list, seasonal awareness and watch for signs and symptoms takes place. Uncharacteristic damage is noted and researched and additions to the list are made as a result. Often, “treatment” is in the form of education of the affected human population – predicting the expected rise and fall of a pest population, the natural controls that exist and the consequences and effectiveness of a range of physical and chemical control actions.
Zone 2 Monitoring: Similar to Zone 1, Zone 2 monitoring is informed by the campus list of historically significant pests, in association with issues of safety, appearances and virulence or tendency to lead to explosive spread of the pest.
Zone 3 Monitoring: Zone 3 is monitored primarily for noxious weeds and pest based safety conditions proximate to trails through and parking areas abutting the Greenbelt..

The Historically Significant Pest list includes pest specific continua from methods of prevention through cultural, physical and chemical control methods.

Zone 1 Prevention: Heavy reliance on removal of susceptible host plants, planting native and pest resistant species, mulching, manual weeding and education to inform campus community about pest lifecycles and celebrate predator contributions to cut chemical application to a minimum.
Zone 2 Prevention: Mulching beds and planting pest resistant species that respond well to the presence of wind stress, reflected heat and limited water make up the primary strategies. Manual weeding timed to prevent seed dispersal is also on the list of preventative strategies.
Zone 3 Prevention: Planting native and native climate compatible, pest resistant species and removal of noxious weeds prior to seed dispersal are the primary strategies employed in Zone 3. Plant s are also chosen to support a broad spectrum of both resident and seasonal bird species that predate pest insects and act to contain the size of resident urban rodent species. Native hawks, owls and bats are considered desirable assets to our pest management program.

We simply do not rely on broadcast sprays of non-specific insecticides under any conditions.
We apply targeted applications of insecticides to stinging insect nests only if there is a demonstrable proximity issue and a danger of allergic individuals being stung We have fenced off a cluster of planted containers where we could direct foot traffic around a ground bee hive in one container.

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:

The use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are avoided in favor of ecologically preferable materials on this land for the space being counted. Weed removal and pruning are performed through manual labor. Parking lots and wetlands only require basic landscape management (e.g., pruning, mowing) to control overgrowth seasonally.

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

North Seattle College has inventoried its plants and trees. The College is committed to utilizing native and adaptive plants in its landscaping. Native plants are included in new landscaping projects on campus, favored for their hardiness, beauty, and contribution to our wildlife habitat. We plant to wean the campus from the need to do supplemental watering of beds and lawns, except in the case of establishing new plantings of shrubs and ground covers through their first summer and trees and large shrub/trees through their 3rd summer.

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

NSC receives a considerable utility credit for its storm water collection performed on site. NSC has designed bioswales, and directs almost all of its storm water from its impervious surfaces to its surrounding wetlands and a retention pond. All non-recreational sites are no longer watered.

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

North Seattle College composts almost all of its waste from the grounds. NSC employs a sheet composting method, which layers leaves with mulch, to build our soil quality.

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

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):

North Seattle College has a comprehensive snow removal plan that is updated regularly. As NSC is located in Seattle where winters are usually temperate and mild, snow and ice usually melts quickly. Our snow plan is very hands-off for much of the campus, addressing frequently used areas first and leaving much of the snow and ice to melt on its own. Snow is swept or shoveled away from high traffic walkways and an environmentally safer CMA based granular ice melter is sparingly applied. The parking lots are treated with sand to increase traction. The sand is then collected from eco-drains that prevent it from entering the storm water system and reused.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.