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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 Silver
Overall Score 58.08
Liaison Kristi Wiedemann
Submission Date March 13, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Princeton University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Daniel Casey
Coordinating Architect
Office of the University Architect
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Area
Total campus area 500 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 65 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 0 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Area
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 0 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 435 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
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The IPM plan :

We have two zones of inspections: the main campus is inspected in-house and the east and west sides by Bartlett Trees Experts. Our objective is to use cultural practices, good plants selection and soil remediation to have healthier plant material and therefore plants that can tolerate pests. Aspects of the plan include using the least toxic chemical pesticides; minimum use of chemicals; and the use of chemicals only in targeted locations and only for targeted species.


A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:

The Princeton Campus Plan embraces the opportunity to integrate the campus more fully into the local natural landscape through restoration efforts and natural plantings. Robust natural landscapes provide pervious surfaces, thereby improving groundwater recharge, preventing soil and stream bank erosion, and protecting nearby surface waters.

The Campus Plan includes a series of design improvements, such as strategic woodland plantings in degraded areas and stream restoration. Historically, Princeton has irrigated minimally on campus, instead relying on robust plantings that require little maintenance, chemical input, and watering. This approach is a historically sustainable one, requiring far less fossil fuel input than extensive annual or sensitive specialty plantings. While limited specialty plantings are an integral part of the campus character, Princeton will maintain its traditional approach to general landscaping. Princeton emphasizes: preserving native soils, increasing pervious surfaces, installing plantings adapted to the local climate and soil types that require minimal maintenance, favoring organic approaches, and irrigating as an exception rather than a rule.


A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:

All University plantings are selected for their appropriateness in Princeton, New Jersey's hardiness zone, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additionally, the University chooses plantings by considering soil and watering requirements, as well as its proven ability to flourish in this campus environment. When possible, Princeton protects and uses existing vegetation on campus and in its natural areas.

When possible, the University uses natural methods to control weeds, insects and fungi. An example of this is the University's integrated pest management program: periodically the University releases a variety of beneficial insects and larvae.


A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:

Nearly 100 percent of the leaves and landscape trimmings collected on campus are composted. Since 2008, an average annual volume of approximately 4,500 cubic yards of "green waste" were composted — enough leaves and trimmings to create a one foot thick cover for nearly three acres.


A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:

Depending on the nutrient needs of the soil, the soil is amended, and with compost when possible. Natural materials such as sand and clay are also being incorporated into fertilizers, reducing the amount of synthetic material per application.


A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:

Whenever possible, Grounds staff uses natural fertilizers on the University's 635 acres of campus, such as tree tea and mulch. However, weather conditions sometimes require the use of synthetic fertilizers.


A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:

Princeton’s Stormwater Management Plan comprises of a two pronged approach. First, campus-wide strategies include enhancing existing systems, constructing new local systems, and implementing landscape-based restoration projects. Major projects include stream restorations along Washington Road, underground stormwater facilities below the Bedford and other new athletic fields, and enhancements to the existing east basin facility.

Additionally, since 2008, Princeton has implemented sustainable design principles to minimize adverse effects in new development projects. Sites selected for new development projects have respected the environment by protecting sensitive natural resources, buffer zones, forests, and other ecologically sensitive areas. Whenever possible, new projects have been built on sites that are already developed and make them “greener” by creating new green space. All projects have demonstrated innovative site design techniques, such as integrating stormwater within the landscape for treatment, and promoting infiltration and rainwater reuse.


A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):

The University completes pre-storm treatment on campus to better prepare the campus before snow. Additionally, the University uses environmentally safer chemicals such as calcium magnesium acetate to remove snow.


A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:
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Is the institution recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program (if applicable)?:
No

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available:

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.