Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Raritan Valley Community College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.98 / 2.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
240 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 233 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 1 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 6 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 240 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:

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.

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:

We maintain an organic garden. The only fertilizer used is animal waste and compost. No chemicals are used.

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

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. We also focus on planting a lot of pollinator plants, consistent with our Bee Campus USA certification and listing as a Colossal Monarch Waystation with Monarch Watch.

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

The college has established no-mow areas along the pond and the stream that feeds into it. A riparian restoration project, planting hundreds of native trees and shrubs, was completed in 2019. Three rain barrels on campus collect water used to irrigate plants. Two buildings have rainwater cisterns that are used for toilet water and to water a green wall.

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

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 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):

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.

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:

Athletic fields are estimated at 6 acres.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.