Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.03
Liaison Caroline Bruno
Submission Date May 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Williams College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 David Fitzgerald
Horticulturist and Grounds Supervisor
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
450 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 450 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 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 450 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):

Some area are left as meadows. These areas are cut once per year to prevent trees from growing.

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:

Williams' grounds are divided in to several different types. While all are managed through IPM, the threshold for action on pests is different for each type. For example, the game play fields are expected to meet NCAA standards and therefore require the most maintenance, both in terms of mowing and cultural practices and input of chemicals when pests do appear, or as occasional preventive measures in previously infested areas. In contrast, the "common grounds" (most green space on campus) is managed with a very high tolerance for pests, and very little chemical input.

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:

We use pesticides as infrequently as possible. We just live with dandelions, rather than spraying them. When we do have to use pesticides, we usually use half the amount that is recommended. We don't use any insecticides other than a preventative for white grubs. We use fungicides as a preventative every 3-4 weeks from mid-June to the end of August.

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

When Williams replaces plant material on campus, we replace with native plant materials. All plant designs are reviewed and approved by the college's Horticulturist.

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

The college does very little irrigation. None of the practice fields, common
grounds or meadow areas is irrigated. All of the water that these fields receive comes
from rainwater. The only turf that is irrigated is on the game fields (Priority A). They are
watered by permanent in-ground irrigation systems. The goal is to constantly maintain an
inch of water per vertical foot of soil per week. To save time and money, this is only a
rough estimate, evaluated by feeling soil samples and comparing to a chart to determine
relative moisture. These fields are also visually monitored daily for moisture stress by
looking for brown or wilting spots. The irrigation system is not set on a permanent timer
schedule. It is only turned on if the water level is getting low or if a hot, dry day is
predicted. This practice is important because the water that is used in the irrigation
system comes from Williamstown’s potable water source. A benefit of only watering as
necessary is that the game fields are irrigated to minimize the duration of leaf wetness.
This means watering early enough in the day that the grass is not damp when night falls.
Moisture encourages disease so minimizing leaf wetness discourages disease and reduces
the need for preventative and curative pesticides.

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

All grass clippings are left on the grounds during mowing. Other leafy waste and wood chips from tree maintenance are transported to local farms and a local landscaping company for composting.

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

The college incorporates energy-efficiency into landscape design through intentional deciduous tree planting for new building projects. It also uses native plant material to meet LEED goals.

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):

The Williams Grounds team uses environmentally preferable landscaping materials including Green Scapes Ice Melt which is more environmentally friendly on all pathways managed by the college's grounds (http://scotwoodindustries.com/product/green-scapes/)

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

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.