Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.38
Liaison Olivia Shehan
Submission Date Nov. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wellesley College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
1.49 / 2.00 Dorothea Von Herder
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
500 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 240 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 230 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 470 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):

30 acres

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:

The plan includes threshold levels, chemicals that we can and cannot use, and drinking water regulations. We are in a zone 2 watershed so everything written adheres to this specific zone policy which is part of DEP regulations; some parts of the campus, including the entire arboretum, which are considered zone 1 are are even more highly protected.

We are dedicated to finding new and innovative ways of dealing with pests; Galerucella Beetles were introduced both naturally and as part of a student research project in 2007 and are providing biological control for one of the College’s most invasive species, Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Additionally, where possible the College is using “green” products such as Neem Oil and citric acid mixtures to control some insects and as an herbicide, respectively.

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:

The 230 acres reported as organic care are the parts of campus that our grounds team manages around Lake Waban and East Campus. The land is essentially left "alone" i.e. our crew takes care of like fallen trees and branches but do not use any pesticides or other chemicals whatsoever on it.

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

The Wellesley College landscape is transitioning into a more naturalistic landscape which is more sustainable. Many high maintenance lawn areas are being returned to a more naturalistic state, which includes native plantings. This prioritizes native plants while increasing wildlife habitat; this also decreases the use of pesticides, irrigation, and fossil fueled equipment.

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

Wellesley College is located in the Charles River Watershed which is highly protected and has restored 8 acres of protected natural wetlands on campus, including around the previously heavily polluted paint shop pond. The College is committed and required to protect its aquifers by the Department of Environment Protection by reducing potable water consumption in its buildings through efficiency measures, as well as implementing creative building and landscape designs that facilitate the reuse and management of storm water using our storm water pollution program. Wherever feasible the storm water is "daylighted" and passes through vegetated swales before entering Lake Waban

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

The college composts 100% of yard waste generated on campus. The compost is mixed with other amendments, primarily sand, and is then re-used on campus for landscape projects. The college also grinds all woody debris including brush, trees, and stumps to produce mulch. The landscape is an extremely high priority for the institution, we are very fortunate that our college is dedicated to preserving a natural and beautiful landscape for the community to enjoy.

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

Green roofs are used throughout campus, including on Pendleton West (a new building), campus center, Alumnae Hall, Water Treatment Vault, as a means of passively reflecting heat away from the building. Many buildings, including our science center, have also planted trees which shade and protect the building.

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):

We use a couple of different weather services to try to pay close attention to the weather. We have one person on grounds who controls all application of road salt and use, which makes the operation extremely precise and cautious. We also use treated salts which increases the efficiency of the salt itself, helping melt ice and snow to a lower temperature. We have reduced at least 25% of the salt use over all. We are very careful with salt applications since our own wells on campus are the source of our potable water.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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