Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.04
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tufts University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.95 / 2.00 Greg Mellett
Ground Supervisor
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
758 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 60 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 61 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 70 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 191 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):

The footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces (Tufts does not currently keep square footage data on this); pasture land (40 acres), undeveloped land (forest, etc).

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:

Tufts' Facilities Department monitors, identifies, and uses spot treatment along with sound horticultural practices with mechanical pruning of plant material. There is regular seeding, overseeding, semi-annual aerification, and fertilization using slow release fertilizers, monitoring of pest thresholds, and only using chemicals when pests reach established thresholds. This is conducted by licensed contractors. On the Medford Campus, invasive plant species such Euonymus Alatus have begun to be removed.

On the Grafton campus, live traps are used for mice.

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:

This acre references the area on top of the hill behind Eliot Pearson and the Gantcher Center. We do not use any materials on this location as we use mechanical means of vegetation management through mowing and pruning.

The hay fields (120 acres on the Grafton campus) are fertilized with compost generated on site. About half of it also receives pig manure from the pigs on site. The other half (~60 acres) gets a combination of compost and commercial fertilizer.

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

Almost all of the new planting specifications include a measure of native and drought tolerant plants. Invasive species are pulled by hand, and, if that is not feasible, simply contained by boundaries and cut down in the winter. The product Round Up has been removed from use on the Medford Campus.

On the Grafton campus, most weeds are hand-pulled, with Roundup only being used along fencelines and in one rocky area and on 10 acres of corn fields. Livestock are rotated among the pastureland, and if there is insufficient grass to support the livestock, they are supplemented with grain to protect the grass root stock.

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

Swales, dry wells, proper aeration, rain gardens, some permeable asphalt, green roofs, and detention ponds are used.

The Grafton campus does not irrigate landscaped areas except to establish newly planted plants.

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

On the Medford/Somerville campus, all yard waste is picked up by a local contractor and composted.

On the Grafton campus, all bedding and waste from the farm barns, research animal facilities, and large animal hospital is composted on site in windrows.

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

Plants are being replaced by native plant materials and species.

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):

On the Medford/Somerville campus, Magnesium Chloride, considered more environmentally beneficial than sodium chloride, is used to melt ice on sidewalks and all brick paver areas on campus including vehicle cartways such as Upper Campus Road on the Academic Quad, thus reducing the application rate of rock salt applied in this sub-watershed. Contractors are instructed to apply efficient levels of ice melt products to remove snow and ice without evidence of residue left behind after the snow storm. The ice melt spreaders are calibrated annually, and the staff are trained on how much to apply so it will not be over-applied. Snow has not been hauled off campus since 2015, and when necessary snow is stockpiled in lawn or soft scape areas away from storm drains.

In Grafton, very little sand is used, and magnesium sulfate is used around the small animal hospital. Overall, about 25% of sidewalks are treated with magnesium sulfate.

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.