Sustainable Campus Operations: Grounds/Arboretum
Grounds' turf program emphasizes organic and sustainable practices whenever possible.
Campus is sectioned into four separate zones.
- Fine Turf
- Fine turf is categorized as high profile areas that receive intense maintenance. This includes but is not limited to "Center Campus" which includes the commencement area and the campus center that houses the admissions office.
- All fine turf is aerified at least once per year, and all receives organic fertilizer 4 times per year. All fine turf is overseeded annually.
- Broad leaf weeds are monitored and sprayed only when needed.
- The commencement area has in ground irrigation and is monitored closely for fungal diseases.
- Athletic Turf
- Athletic turf is broken down into two separate entities, game fields and practice fields. Of the ten athletic fields, three game fields are intensely maintained.
- All 10 fields are aerified at least once annually and all receive organic fertilizer 4 times per year. All fields are overseeded annually.
- Intensely maintained fields may receive a second aerification application.
- Intensely maintained fields are monitored closely and fungicides are applied only when necessary. Practice fields and secondary fields do not receive fungicides.
- Intensely maintained fields are monitored for broad leaf weeds and pesticides are applied only when needed. Practice fields and secondary fields rarely receive broadleaf herbicides. Broadleaf weeds are only spot sprayed not boom sprayed.
- Secondary Turf areas
- Secondary turf is all mown areas that are not part of center campus. Secondary turf comprises 60% of all mown turf.
- Secondary turf receives organic fertilizer 3-4 times per year. Usually is aerified only in cases of extreme compaction.
- Fungicides are never used in secondary turf areas. Broadleaf herbicides are only used in large breakouts.
- Meadows are brush hogged once per year.
The arboretum uses a color coded zone system splits the campus into high and low maintenance areas.
- Red Zone - Includes but is not limited to center campus and high profile areas. Weeds are kept to a minimum in these areas.
- Blue Zone - Secondary areas outside the red zone. Not as highly maintained.
- Yellow Zone - Outside areas that may only be weeded several times per year.
Arboretum employs student workers that hand weed many of the campus beds. Glysophate is only used when absolutely necessary. Trees are monitored by a contracted arborist who inspects and treats for pest specific problems. The arboretum follows ANSI A300 Best Management Practices.
The arboretum's native plant program policy incorporates natives on three levels. Native to: 1) SE Pennsylvania, 2) East Coast and 3) North America. Exotic plants are used to maintain plant diversity for history and study.
Composting of Grounds and Arboretum waste is as follows:
- Grass clippings are not collected, used as a source of nitrogen.
- All leaves are collected and composted and used in the campus community gardens.
- All woody tree and brush clippings are chipped and recycled into mulch.
- Tree removals are chipped and recycled as mulch except larger logs. These are shipped to plywood plants or split for firewood.
For more information check the Arboretum Website >