Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.78
Liaison Elissa Brown
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

Whitman College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Elissa Brown
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability, Physical Plant Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
117 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 52 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 52 Acres

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

Campus farm properties have been excluded from this section. These properties are leased to outside entities and are not operated by Whitman College. Additionally building footprints have not been extracted from this calculation. This represents the general land mass of the academic main campus and athletic campus.

Additional land owned by Whitman used for biological research and conservation projects have also been excluded.


Percentage of grounds managed organically:
0

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Soil health and vigor are essential to growing healthy plants. Our Grounds Department utilizes organic fertilizer produced by Griffin Industries handled locally by Wilbur Ellis. This fertilizer focuses on lower nitrogen levels than materials previously utilized by our grounds department. In addition to these efforts our campus continually works to improve soils in yards, shrub and flower beds. We process landscaping waste in a closed loop composting regiment. The campus applies around 200 cubic yards of compost to our shrub and flower beds. We utilize a mulching deck on our mowers so grass clippings are incorporated back into the turf. We also utilize pelletized chicken manure. We additionally utilize organic fertilizer on all our flower and shrub beds that have a broad range of micro-nutrients such as manganese and zinc. Fish fertilizer is our primary product which provides macro-nutrients.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
100

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
---

A brief description of the IPM program:

The Grounds department in conjunction with our campus tree committee governs the utilization of pesticides and other pest management. Currently the campus employs a four tiered IPM. High threshold for broad leaf weeds in grass lawns and low threshold pest management for weeds in flower and shrub beds. Currently the grounds department utilizes fiesta concentrated FeHEDTA as an organic broadleaf herbicide in control of plantain, dandelion and medic in areas that are mostly devoid of grass. This is done inconjunction with aeration and fertilization. In addition to these methods the campus monitors weeds and pest identification prior to treatment. In order to control weeds in grass the campus employees regular mowing and removal by mechanical means in shrub beds. Most controls are mechanical and pesticides are rarely utilized. Ground crew use pesticide on less than 2 percent of the more than 1,500 trees on campus – the elms, birches and larches. Elms are susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease, birches are susceptible to birch borer infestations and larches are susceptible to case borer infestations.


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

The campus currently has an active Tree committee. This entity works in collaboration with our Grounds Manager and his grounds crew and certified professional arborist. As specified by the landscape mission they work to improve health and vigor of our large, midsize, and small tree canopy. Through proper pruning, thinning, and removal of dead and decaying plant material. The tree committees is dedicated to planting and maintenance of a wide range of trees which should thrive in our climatic region. We have reduced our herbicide use by heavily mulching with compost and in the process have increased the health and vitality of our soils which has led to stronger, healthier plants. In addition to these projects there is an active partnership between our Grounds Department and Environmental Studies department identifying, mapping and marking trees throughout our campus.


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

The campus has worked to shift irrigation from treated city water to campus well water. This minimizes the impacts of the energy/water nexus. Currently the campus utilizes smart watering techniques with the utilization of centralized water clocks. This takes into consideration the different soil types present throughout the campus. Additionally we are better able to control the utilization of water in order to harness precipitation and soil water content. We continue to work to maintain our irrigation system through active monitoring of leaks and repairs to mitigate water use.


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

The campus employees a closed loop composting system. We currently process all yard waste through a municipal composting facility. This compost is then utilized throughout our grounds. We additionally provide some yard-waste to local farms for them to utilize for composting. We also recently implemented a vermicomposter run by students to take waste from the dining hall. Our organic garden also takes waste from off-campus houses.


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

The campus tree committee works with our grounds crew to enhance the energy benefits of our campus grounds where acceptable. The campus currently utilizes a central plan developed by John Charles Olmstead.


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

The campus does utilize environmentally preferable landscaping materials.


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