Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.43
Liaison Ken Foster
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Vassar College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.87 / 2.00 Cora Kenfield
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,000 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 832 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 75 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 25 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 932 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Within the main campus where grounds are managed there are 68 acres of buildings and other impervious surfaces.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
Much of the campus has been shifted to a "mow and grow" approach that just focuses on mowing the grass once a week during the growing season. These lawns do not have any chemical or inorganic products applied to them. This fits with our certification as a Tree Campus USA and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary campus program.

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:
In buildings, habitat and food are eliminated, traps are used to monitor pest populations, before spraying, minimum amounts of pesticide are used. In lawns and athletics fields, turf health is promoted with organic fertilizer, compost topdressing, and overseeding. Weed load is monitored. Spraying is only used when necessary

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
Major landscape plantings are recommended by the landscape architecture consultant Michael Van Valkenberg Associates (MVVA), which also developed our current landscape master plan. As part of the master plan, MVVA stressed the use of native plants in our landscape, and has made specific recommendations that follow these guidelines.

Plans have been developed and adopted for implementation of invasive vine removal and the establishment of naturalized areas on campus.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
Soil probes and close monitoring of the weather allow the Grounds team to keep track evapotranspiration and therefore allows irrigation to be adapted as the situation calls for it. On the athletic fields, watering is done early in the morning so as to limit water loss to evaporation.
Rain gardens across campus help limit stormwater and nutrient runoff.

A multiyear research study monitors the 2 streams that run through campus for water quality and have been aided through the ongoing restoration of an native wetland garden that had first been established in the 1920s.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
Vassar mulches all waste from groundskeeping at a site on the Vassar Farm & Ecological Preserve (on campus), after which it is utilized in the community gardens and running trails as topdressing.

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:
For stairs and entranceways Vassar uses Magic Minus Zero, a product of Sears Ecological Applications in Rome, NY (local business). The Magic Minus Zero product has earned the EPA Design for the Environment award because it is less corrosive, will not harm curbside grasses and plants, leaves no residue, is safe for people to handle, and releases far less chloride than either plain salt or calcium chloride.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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