Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.41
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Raritan Valley Community College
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.48 / 2.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 240 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 25 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 74 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 6 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 134 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 1 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

As part of the River-Friendly certification process, in 2010 RVCC developed and adopted a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan covering outdoor pest and weed management, including exterior pesticide and herbicide applications. This plan includes goals to decrease pesticide use and identifying less toxic alternatives. Other components of the plan include: a map of high, medium, and low maintenance areas and associated action thresholds; identification of local pest problems and problem areas; a list of control mechanisms; pest-specific control processes and decision trees; and record keeping sheets.

The goals of RVCC’s IPM program are similar to those of the mandated New Jersey Schools IPM program for public schools, in that the health and safety of the people on our campus are our primary concern. A strong secondary concern is the health of our local eco-system, including the campus and surrounding grounds and waterways. RVCC is acutely aware of the potential negative impact that the use of pesticides and herbicides on campus grounds may have on the local streams and the Raritan River. RVCC is highly motivated to reduce the usage of these chemicals on campus.

This IPM program is intended to reduce the health and environmental risk of our pest management activities by reducing our reliance on potentially-harmful chemicals for outdoor pest control. By moving from a reactionary pest-control process to a holistic process that includes prevention, structural and sanitary improvements, and non-chemical and low-impact treatments, we will reduce the health and environmental risk to both the people and the environment on and around our campus.

Implementation of IPM procedures will determine when to control pests and whether to use physical, mechanical, biological or chemical methods. Applying IPM principles prevents unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

RVCC shall consider the full range of management options, including no action at all. Non-pesticide pest management methods are to be used whenever possible. The choice of using a pesticide shall be based on a review of all other available options and a determination that these options are not effective or not reasonable. When it is determined that a pesticide must be used, low impact pesticides and methods are preferred and shall be considered for use first.

This plan provides details of outdoor pest identification, prevention and control processes to be used in RVCC’s implementation of IPM. It includes:
a. a definition of the IPM Coordinator role
b. an initial inventory of pest problems, problem areas, and current monitoring and control activities;
c. threshold action levels for all anticipated outdoor pests;
d. an outline of nonchemical controls that will be routinely practiced on campus grounds;
e. links to resources that provide details about the use of low-impact controls (rather than non-low-impact pesticides) for identified pests;
f. and sample record sheets for maintaining records of all IPM activity.

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

RVCC mulches, maintains 28 acres of no-mow areas, uses herbicide only against invasive species, uses fertilizer only on athletic fields as specified in soil sample analysis reports, uses only organic herbicide for weeds, and plants only native species.

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

Under RVCCs Memorandum of Understanding with the EPA, RVCC adopted a GreenScapes policy in March 2011. This formalized RVCC's policy of planting native plant species, adopted as part of the River Friendly program in 2010. The GreenScapes policy states RVCC's goal to choose native species for at least 75% of all non-turf plants, and preferably 100%, and will not plant invasive species. So far we have managed 100% native except in some planters.

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

Grass trimmings are left on the grass, not collected. We have little waste from grounds keeping, but non-woody waste is put in a compost pile. The organic garden has compost piles where garden weeds and other non-woody yard waste can be composted. The resulting compost is used in the organic garden.

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

Grass is mulched. 28 acres are no-mow areas, which helps retain nutrients. Inorganic nutrients and chemicals are not used except fertilizer as soil test analysis (from Rutgers) suggests for the athletic fields. The organic garden is maintained organically, and compost and composted manure are used there.

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

Local rock and plants grown from local NJ native seed were used in the rain garden. For the green roof, plants were collected locally or purchased from a greenhouse in Staten Island. plants were used for the green roof. Most plants are purchased from a local nursery that works with regional greenhouses. (Tropical plants grown in Florida were used in the green wall, since they need to survive year-round indoors.)

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

The college has established no-mow areas along the pond and the stream that feeds into it. Birch stakes were planted along the streams in 2011. Three rain barrels on campus collect water used to irrigate plants. We have a sprinkler system that draws from a well, for watering the athletic fields, but it was not used in 2014.

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

As part of the River Friendly process, in 2010 RVCC reviewed its snow and ice removal practices.

Somerset County salts the campus roads using spreaders. The grounds crew salts the parking lots using spreaders which are calibrated prior to each use. The custodial staff applies non-toxic ice melt to the sidewalks and stairs by hand or using properly-calibrated spreaders. Custodial staff have been directed to shoveled prior to applying ice melt, rather than applying it on top of compacted snow.

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

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:

Land areas taken from original River Friendly program certification requirements, modified by new 23 acre no-mow area. Undeveloped land is 12 acres wetland, 60 acres forested area, and 2 acres waterbody. Athletic fields are estimated at 6 acres.

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.