Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.85
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Principia College
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.37 / 2.00 Shelby Tisinai
Land Stewardship Assistant
Biology and Natural Resources
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 2,600 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 23 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 2,455 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 77 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 0 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 45 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

Within our Tree Campus USA TREE CARE PLAN, Campus Standard 2 references "Campus Tree General Care Guidelines" which read, in part, "The four-tiered approach to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is emphasized, as follows: Set Action Thresholds (be aware of pest populations or environmental conditions that indicate that pest control action must be taken); Monitor and Identify Pests (recognize that not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms require control); Prevention (manage the grounds to prevent pests from becoming a threat; e.g., prioritize native plantings); and Control (once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk)." source: adopted from http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/ipm.htm

A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:

Undeveloped lands are managed under a strict, third-party audited Forest Stewardship Council certification Forest Management Plan. Remnant native hill prairies are under active, supervised restoration including managed burn regimes. Native wetland habitat is monitored and restoration targets approved/implemented as needed. Managed grounds are cared for in the context of Integrated Pest Management guidelines, as articulated in our Tree Campus USA TREE CARE PLAN. In the 100-acre "managed grounds", both desirable and undesirable plant and tree species have been GIS-mapped and identified. These maps provide the foundation for monitored care that includes pruning, removal, new plantings, and how to properly work with construction contractors in regards to maintaining the integrity of our botanical assets.

A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:

The Principia Forest is an FSC-certified forest that is regularly used for educational purposes, sustainable timber harvests, scientific studies, and licensed, sustainable deer hunting. As part of a triannual third-party FSC certification, a detailed monitoring plan for the overall forest health, endangered species, invasive species, threatened species, and ecologically important areas is required. Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is our main invasive species and this species is the target of an active control/removal program. Our Lands Stewardship Management office contracts removal, including approved spraying in areas of high density. In areas with lower honeysuckle density, the college's Lands Stewardship Student Work Crew cuts/removes honeysuckle by hand. All plans relating to planting on managed acreage require that new plants and trees are native, ecologically important species.

A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:

All (organic) landscape waste is mulched on site or provided to St Louis Composting. Larger materials (e.g., lumber) is chopped and made available to the campus community as fire wood, re-purposed into campus bench seating, or made available through a network of local rural buyers.

A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:

The 100 acres of core, managed land surrounding the built environment is cared for in-house emphasizing "practices that restore and/or maintain a natural nutrient cycle and limit the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemicals". In addition, the 45 acres noted above ("Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected") refers to the Three Rivers Community Farm which is managed in accordance with organic practices (http://www.threeriverscommunityfarm.com/)

A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:

With regard to "utilizing reused, recycled and local and sustainably produced landscape materials", the college purchases locally sourced mulch from St Louis Composting, builds benches from reclaimed (campus) scrap and concrete, emphasizes native landscaping plants (and trees), and uses minimal chemical treatments (in accordance with IPM, see above).

A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:

The century-old campus is built on a network of river bluff ravines, and Facilities is perennially concerned with the integrity of these ravines. Some paved surfaces utilize semi-permeable materials, and erosion risks are identified for mitigation. Historic farm ponds, native wetlands, and smaller order tributaries (to the Mississippi) are identified and protected from pollution. It would be inappropriate to suggest that there are no issues with ravine erosion, but mitigation plans are always under active development and implementation by a professional Facilities Department.

A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):

Plowing is rare on our small, rural campus, which is closed to vehicle traffic during significant snowfall. Plows are operated in-house. The Facilities Department uses one ice melt product on our roads and parking areas, and another for pedestrian walkways. The roads/parking product is a combination of 50% “Eco-Sand” and 50% Sodium Chloride (purchased in bulk). The walkway product is called “Lighting” (purchased in 50 lb bags). The Director of Facilities, in partnership with the Chemistry Department, did extensive research before purchasing the “Eco-Sand”, which is an inexpensive coal slag or cinder material and a by-product of electrical generation activities at power plants and found that it met foundational criteria (e.g., less corrosive on our equipment, concrete walkways, asphalt paving, and adjacent landscaping and environment; effective at low temperatures; locally available).

A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:

The 2500-acre Principia Forest is FSC-certified, including forest land managed for timber harvest and forest land reserved for wildlife habitat (where no trees are removed). Bluff prairies are registered National Heritage Landmarks as rare and important ecosystems. Several large campus parcels are managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Is the institution recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program (if applicable)?:

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available:

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.