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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.35
Liaison Laurie Husted
Submission Date June 9, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bard College
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.51 / 2.00 Amy Parrella
Horticulture Supervisor
Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
930 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 300 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 550 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 80 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 930 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):

All property was included in calculations, including the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces and heavily wooded forests in calculations.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
32.26

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
A brief description of the IPM program:

See page 45 of attached document.
Goal: Use Plant Health Care (PHC) whenever possible. The objective of PHC is to maintain or improve the landscape’s appearance, vitality and—in the case of trees—safety, using the most cost-effective and environmental sensitive practices and treatments available use monitoring and preventive treatments.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
59.14

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:

All lands that are managed organically are either meadow, woodlands, lawn areas or ravines. These are typically undeveloped areas or wide-open areas that receive minimal maintenance or cultivation. They help promote wildlife. Finished food compost is mixed into topsoil to create a richer product for planting. Also, once screened, it is used as a topdressing for lawn areas. All turf areas that are dug up are piled and allowed to break down, creating an organic soil that is reused in the plant nursery area and in campus plantings. Organic compost from a local source is used for container plantings and local manure is used on select plantings. Inorganic fertilizers and chemicals are not used on the percentage of grounds covered under this program.


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

Three general categories of plants: Preferred, Acceptable, and Prohibited
a. Preferred/Recommended plants are essentially the most suited to the actual site conditions. However, there are innumerable combination of factors affecting the selection of appropriate plants. Water conservation, low maintenance, and regionally native plants are preferable.Plants that are salt tolerant, deer resistant, and ice damage-resistant are also preferred where deemed necessary. US Arboretum Gold Metal trees, Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plants of the Year and Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s Gold Metal Winners that are suited for Bard’s hardiness zone are also highly recommended. Good deer resistance and multiple season’s of interest is also preferred. Preferred plants are also dictated by the predetermined Bard Arboretum collection’s policy and campus mapped layout for collections. See Addendum.

b. Acceptable plants are those that satisfy minimum performance standards for the site area and are easily maintained.

c. Prohibited plants are those, which do not satisfy the minimum performance standards for the site area. In addition there are a number of invasive species that are not allowed in any landscaped or natural area. Where existing these plants shall be eradicated using the IPM best management practices strategy.


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

All trees and new plantings 1-3 years old) are irrigated using water pumped directly out of our Sawkill Creek (untreated water). Anything older than 3 years old is reliant on Mother Nature.


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 strategy for food composting is to create a usable product from food waste which would otherwise be thrown away and increase our solid waste removal fees. Compost is picked up at the food service loading dock every week day. It is then transported to our recycling facilities where it is spread out in thin layers on a concrete slab, bulking agent (wood chips) is added. This process is duplicated till all food waste is used up. The entire pile is then mixed and pushed in a pile where it is left to begin the composting process. This process is repeated each time the food waste is picked up. Each time the pile is pushed in the larger pile the entire pile is mixed and re stacked. This process is referred to as mixing and helps to increase the amount of oxygen is in the pile, the more oxygen the hotter you can get the compost which helps in the breaking down of the food waste.

The College also composts leaves that are collected from lawn and garden bed areas. These leaves are piled and turned and spread out back onto garden bed areas as leaf mold after 1 year of decomposing.

The College also turns felled trees, branches and debris into wood chips which are spread on wood chip paths. Additionally, it is made into double ground shredded mulch for garden beds and tree mulch rings.

College cardboard boxes are utilized as weed barrier by breaking them down and laying them as a buffer between the soil and mulch layer.


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

Landscape design includes whenever possible planting shade trees on the south and west sides of buildings, or herbaceous material to slow down stormwater run off, or to create wind breaks. All parking lots are typically heavily planted to reduce the heat island effect.


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):

Depending on the severity and the type of the winter precipitation plays a huge role in how we attack it. As a rule we do not pretreat before a storm, we do however treat shortly after the storm starts to get a brine going to lessen the possibility of the snow and or ice from sticking to the surface. If the weather event is primarily snow we do continue to remove snow as it accumulates and re apply sand and salt mixture as needed. If the precipitation is mostly freezing rain we continually apply sand and salt mixture. The sand and salt mixture we use is mixed at a ratio of 3 buckets of sand to one bucket of salt. The amount of salt added can be adjusted according to the type of weather. The salt product used is a basic deicing salt sold on state contract by New York State. We generally use in the neighborhood of 150 tons per season but this amount can fluctuate depending on the severity or the lack of.
Three are several ways to attack a storm and one would be stay on as needed to keep the walkways and roads as open as possible. The other possibility would be to start at 4 am and have the campus roads and walkways open by 9 am. Again it depends on what type of storm we are having in order to come up with a working strategy.

Walkways are treated with environmentally friendly products such as Magnesium to limit the negative impact to vegetation and also concrete surfaces. In some areas the a salt and magnesium mixture is used, mostly on paved areas.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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See Bard's Landscape and Tree Care Manual (2017)

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.