Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.61
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

Tufts University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.95 / 2.00 Henry Puza
Grounds Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
758 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides 61 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 60 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 70 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 191 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:

The footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces (83.37 acres); pasture land (40 acres), undeveloped land (forest, etc).


Percentage of grounds managed organically:
31.94

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

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.

On the Medford/Somerville campus, materials include non-dyed mulch; slow-release fertilizers; tough, drought-resistant plants; and three different seed mixes for grounds, sports turf and drought-prone areas are used. 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.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
31.41

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
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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.


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. Existing plants are being replaced by native plant materials and species. 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. Tufts actively investigates and identifies areas on campus that would benefit from rain gardens and swales and will implement where appropriate.

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


A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

Using different seed mixes for campus grounds, sports fields, and drought conditions; attaining good soil profiles by using loam, compost, and biochar to promote long-term soil fertility; proper mowing and mulching; and use of slow release fertilizers. Tufts outfits mowing equipment with mulching blade kits to limit the amount of grass clippings hauled off site and to return organic matter to lawn and soil. 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:

Shade trees are prevalent on all campuses and replanted when they need to be removed because of disease or death. On the Medford campus trees covers much of the property including areas used extensively by the Tufts community such as the academic quad, the Tisch library roof and the "president's lawn" on the Medford/Somerville campus. The Boston campus' small courtyard provides some of the only shade trees in that heavily built up urban area of Chinatown.


A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

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. If snow needed to be hauled, it is either piled away from the watershed or hauled off to an EPA-approved site.

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.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

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