Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.51
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Principia College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.95 / 2.00 Lee Eubank
Assistant Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
2,600 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 77 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 2,500 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 23 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 2,600 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):

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:
Within our Tree Campus USA TREE CARE PLAN (see upload), 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)."

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 majority of the land on Principia's campus is native mature forest and bluff prairie. An office of Lands Stewardship professionally manages all native acreage both for its wilderness value and for selected recreational and research purposes (see also, "Optional Fields").

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
The Principia Forest was FSC-certified (our logging program was halted, so we halted the FSC certification in 2017) and remains compliant with best management practices, including educational purposes, scientific studies, and licensed, sustainable deer hunting. 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 approach to hydrology and water use:
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 the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):
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 approach to energy-efficient landscape design:
The college seeks to maximize the use of native species in its landscaping, minimize chemical application (see OP-10), and minimize the use of irrigation (which is directed only at the Chapel Green and athletic fields). Students have planted native gardens at residence halls, made recommendations for the implementation of rain gardens, refurbished a community garden with an apiary and native plantings, and incorporated permaculture design principles into several campus projects. The campus is tree-dense, and the trees provide wind breaks and temperature moderation.

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):
Plowing is rare on our small, rural campus, which is closed to vehicle traffic during significant snowfall. Small 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).

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.