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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jack Byrne
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Middlebury College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Jack Byrne
Director of Sustainability Integration
Environmental Affair
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

Middlebury College is working with State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry to test the feasibility of growing willow shrubs on Middlebury College land for use in the College's biomass gasification plant. The 10-acre test plot was started in 2007 and will be cut for a test burn in January 2011. Five varieties of willows were field planted by machine to represent a mass planting. Thirty other varieties were hand planted in a grid to allow for more controlled study. Researchers are doing soil and water tests in the hand-planted plots and are applying measured amounts of compost, cow manure, and fertilizers to test the results against a control plot. Middlebury faculty and students conducted a summer long study of bird and small mammal diversity in the willows compared to other surrounding habitat types. All of this research will help Middlebury decide which varieties of willow could be planted in the future. This project is aimed at reducing overall carbon emissions by the College, growing a renewable fuel source close to the campus, and finding ways to do so ecologically and that cause more carbon sequestration in the soil.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
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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.