Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.60
Liaison Jane Stewart
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Washington and Lee University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Rick Rogers
Facilities Management Assistant Director of Grounds
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
414.50 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 0 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 40 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 40 Acres

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

Forested areas, building footprints, hardscapes

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

When choices are made with regard to fertility, organic components are incorporated. We have reduced, but not eliminated use of inorganic products. Our fertilizer, which our grounds crew uses minimally (once a year), contains 50% minimum organic content. We do not have any landscaped area that is fully 100% organic. Though, use of any fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, are all limited and minimally used.

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:

We work with a third party, Bartlett Tree Experts, to help us with pest management of ornamental plants in our 40 acres of managed landscaping. It is a monitoring program where action is taken only when pests or disease has reached a certain threshold. It focuses on maintaining healthy plants, soil, and overall ecosystem over using a routine spray program as a go-to, first choice for plant care. IPM program components: https://www.bartlett.com/resources/ipm-for-landscape-plants.pdf

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

1. The majority of the landscaped plantings on campus are perennial, meaning they do not need to be replaced every year, they are simply maintained year after year instead of replanting each year.
2. Our grounds crew also uses native and/or ecologically appropriate plants as the first choice for landscaped areas. Drought tolerant plants are also preferred. The crew assesses the locations and incorporates appropriate plants into the landscaping based on findings, for example "nativar" (native cultivar) azaleas and rhododendron (which are native to our local mountains) are planted in shady spots on campus because they thrive with little attention in shade.
3. The grounds crew controls invasive species including the few places where English ivy was planted long ago on campus. They cut this back every year to make sure it doesn't spread outside of the small area it was originally planted.

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

1. Water-wise, drought tolerant, and perennial landscaping plants are first choice for plantings, so the majority of our landscaping plants are established and water is used only in drought conditions. When watering occurs, sprinklers are used (we realize this is not a sustainable form of watering and will continue to try to work on this), though these sprinklers are monitored through timers and manually checked by Assistant Director of Landscaping, Rick Rogers.
2. Rain gardens are utilized in some areas of campus. One is near Hillel House. It is a self-sustaining landscape that reduces storm water runoff, helps water quality, and only requires minimal hand weeding from the grounds crew.

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

1. The majority of the plantings on campus are perennial, meaning they do not need to be replaced every year, cutting down on plant waste. 1% or less of our landscaping plants are annuals.
2. Woody plant material (brush and debris) that has either died or been pruned is collected in a pile on back campus and picked up by Beverly Brothers Logging in Buena Vista, VA. There it is ground up and delivered to WestRock plant in Covington, VA, where it is used as fuel to generate power for their plant.
3. All dropped leaves in the fall are collected by the grounds crew and stored out at our compost system to be used as a bulking agent when mixing food waste into the composting process. We also donate a large amount of these leaves to Boxerwood, educational nature center and garden, which they include in their compost piles and also give away to people in the community.

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

1. The grounds crew plants new trees when necessary to minimize attrition. There are over 300 trees on our 40 acres of managed landscaping and several hundred more on the rest of W&L property.
2. Electric powered landscaping tools are used over gas powered tools.
3. When budget permits on building projects, we take into account creative, energy-efficient landscape into our architecture. For example, we have a partial green roof over a section of Leyburn library. The plants create natural insulation which means that there is less need to rely on heating and cooling systems to moderate interior temperatures. The plants also reduce temperatures of the roof surface and surrounding air, which help moderate the heat island effect. It is also a self-sustaining landscape that only requires minimal hand weeding from the grounds crew.

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

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

While we have a lot of positive, sustainable components in our landscape management, we do not do a great job of communicating it. We do not mention any of this on our facility webpage, but we do have documentation from facilities.

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.