The College engages in grounds maintenance in three distinct areas: trees, beds, and grass. In each setting, our staff follow carefully honed protocols designed to minimize the use of chemicals and instead emphasize natural management techniques. When supplemental care is warranted, we acquire the safest products available, use minimal amounts, and fully disclose all information about our chemical usage. In all aspects of our grounds maintenance, we endeavor to exceed what is required by government agencies, and we do.
Trees and Beds
Our overarching goal is to effectively care for the diverse collection of mature, young and historic trees while protecting the environment in which community members work and live. As we have such a mature and historic collection of trees, care and monitoring helps reduce the risks (due to falling limbs) and cost of maintaining these treasured assets.
Our integrated pest management (IPM) approach enables us to reduce dependency on, and the amount of, chemicals regulated by the EPA. IPM is a comprehensive program for pest control which combines multiple management strategies, including biological, cultural, use of indigenous plants, and chemicals with lower toxicity to humans. Through this approach, we have eliminated our use of chemicals applied to trees with powerful ‘Warning’ or higher level categories, and only use those which carry the lowest-level designation of ‘Caution’. Review the NPIC fact sheet to learn more. Such chemicals are applied in highly targeted methods – such as direct injection – to minimize broad exposure to airborne agents.
Plant bed maintenance (including tree rings) revolves around a zero-tolerance approach to weeds. Pre- and post-emergent weed control is used as little as possible. Weeds that do appear are selectively sprayed, and blanket weed spraying is never conducted under any circumstances.
Our aggressive turf management program only incorporates chemicals as a last resort.