The College earned a “B+” overall grade on the Sustainability Report Card issued in early October by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. That grade continues the steady improvement Haverford has seen since it earned a “C” grade three years ago. Last year the College got a “B” on the Report Card, which evaluates the environmental efforts of more than 300 participating colleges.
Archive for the ‘marquee’ Category
Tucked away on Featherbed Lane, a little stone house built circa 1935 by Mathematics Professor Cletus Oakley, houses one of Haverford’s many hidden garden treasures. Five years ago Richard Ball took over the reins when Professor Lyle Roelof moved on to Colgate University and he has waged war on invasive plant species ever since. Gout weed, Lesser celandine and Norway maple don’t stand a chance when faced with Richard’s boundless energy. He won’t admit how many hours he spends in the garden but looking at what he’s accomplished over the last several years, it’s quite a lot.
While Richard loves most plants he considers himself a tree man. Scattered around his wooded garden are, at last count, 25 small trees that he has planted. Whether he bought them from the Forest Farm nursery catalog, a local native plant sale, or plucked them out of cracks in the sidewalk in Avalon, each plant is lovingly labeled the year it was planted and fenced off. Not just for protecting it from deer, but his own feet as he moves through the garden.
Chemical free, Richard has some unique ways of dealing with invasive species. Lesser celandine over the last decade has taken over our local woodlands, choking out the native flora. Richard has hand dug the bulbs, wheelbarrowed them over to a remote part of the property, and has covered the bulbs with a tarp. He’s hoping, one day, to be able to use the soil again. Another technique is picking up discarded boxes from the Dining Center and laying them over the plants he wants to eradicate and covering them with compost or wood chips. Previously, he had been using old carpet to smother the plants, but felt the cardboard boxes were a more sustainable approach as they can be tilled in once they break down.
Moving through the Dahlias, Crocosmia and Daylilies you come upon a grove with stone picnic benches built by Oakley, the home’s original owner. Shaded by evergreens, the tables and benches are covered with rocks. When asked about them Richard replied, “They just grow by themselves.” What to do with them? “My plan is to make a plan,” he replied.
His love for the garden is unmistakable. As horticulturists, the Arboretum crews have often walked through his garden and appreciated his work. Richard commented that this is the first year he feels that he’s seeing results that even the lay person can appreciate. So next time you bump into Richard on campus, ask him about his garden, he’ll be happy to fill you in.
The College’s picturesque Duck Pond has an environmentally friendly new look this summer. What was once a swath of clipped lawn bordering the Pond is now a three-acre meadow where tall grasses and wildflowers dance in the wind.
According to Haverford ‘s campus sustainability officer Claudia Kent, who is also the College’s grounds manager, cutting back on the use of fume-spewing gasoline-powered mowers reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Shifting from mowed lawn to wild meadow also provides wildlife habitat and a reliable food source for animals, and can help reduce, or even eliminate storm water runoff and erosion.
Haverford began the move away from mowing five years ago starting in the Pinetum, which is now entirely meadow except for some paths mowed through for the College’s cross-country runners. The Pinetum was also planted with wildflowers on the north end.
Well-mowed lawns are still a major feature of the campus landscape, though, and those are getting the eco-conscious treatment as well. One change is the College’s use of fertilizer, which is a key ingredient in keeping grass (which would grow to be 18-24 inches tall if left alone) alive and lush despite the stresses of shearing. Instead of synthetic fertilizers, which can end up washing down a storm drain and polluting rivers and streams, Haverford’s grounds crew uses an organic fertilizer in the form of composted chicken manure, which feeds the soil as well as the grass. Also helping to keep the lawn healthy is a regular program of aeration, which allows water, oxygen and nutrients to get to the roots more easily.
“Feeding the soil, coupled with aeration to reduce soil compaction, is a more sustainable approach,” says Kent.
Finally there is some action in the garden. We’ve been picking pounds of green beans and the tomatoes are just starting to ripen. Potatoes have been ready for awhile now and we’ve been enjoying lots of potato salad and french fries. We’re still harvesting beets and the green peppers are almost ready.
We’ve been working the soil continually adding compost collected from the dining center, it’s really making a difference.
Many thanks to my summer volunteers who have been watering and weeding.
Have a great summer!
We’ve updated the Going Green @ Haverford site to include a new Initiatives section, an updated Resources page, and new photo galleries relating to a number of on-going projects. Check out all of the new photos!
Also, visitors might be interested the following slideshow. This sustainability presentation was presented to staff last winter by Claudia Kent, John Francone and Ron Tola.
Over a 10-week period in March and April Haverford competed in Recyclemania. This friendly contest and benchmarking tool for college and universities measures and ranks the recycling efforts of the schools that participate. Haverford achieved an impressive showing for a first-time entrant.
“I am very pleased and impressed with Haverford’s results for our first year in the competition,” says Meg Dickey-Griffith ’09 a Committee on Environmental Responsibility member and one of the coordinators of the event. ” As a small school focused on community and personal responsibility, it is fitting that we placed so high in the per-capita competition. Now that the student body knows what RecycleMania is and how well Haverford can do, I am optimistic for even greater participation and more recycling next year.”
Here are the results:
- Per Capita Classic Division, which pits colleges against each other to see who can collect the most acceptable recyclables per person:
Haverford ranked #17 nationally (out of 293 schools entered) and was #1 in the state (out of 30 schools entered).
-Gorilla Prize – Competition Division, in which schools compete to see which can collect the highest gross tonnage of recyclables, regardless of campus population:
Haverford ranked #171 nationally and #15 in the state, with 61,307 pounds of recyclables collected.
-Food Service Organics, in which schools compete to see which can recycle the largest amount of food service organics per person:
Haverford ranked #28 nationally and #5 in the state.
Used cellphones and laptops can’t go in the recycling with the empty soda cans and cereal boxes. So where do they go to be recycled once consumers find new ones? The National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) is working on that very problem.
Visitors who go to www.electronicsrecycling.org can click on the “Ecycling Basics” tab on the left side of the page to be taken to links to three websites that allow you to search by zip code or an interactive map of the U.S.
Once visitors have found some recyclers in their area, the next task is to
make sure the recycler is reputable. NCER offers the tools to do that as
well, in the “Ecycling Basics” section titled “How To Choose an
In the “Resources” tab on the left side of the page, there are many links to resources that include Advocacy Group Reports, Electronics Disposal Studies, Environmentally Sound Management Guidelines, and International documents. Visitors interested in keeping up with the news from NCER, can sign up for their newsletter in the Google groups box, which is located below the menu on the left side of the page.
From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009.
On Wednesday April 15, 2009, the Committee for Environmental Responsibility(CER) will be giving out Compact Florescent Light Bulbs to staff. A 13 watt Compact Florescent Light Bulb or CFL will save $38.00 in energy costs over the life of the bulb, based on $0.10 per kWh. Uses 75% less energy, saving on energy bills. One bulb is rated for 8,000 hours, 8 times longer than a conventional bulb. So, head up to Founders for Staff Appreciation Day, enjoy the festivities and get your free bulb.
Think it’s no big deal if you leave your computer on when you leave the office? Think again. Haverford’s Director of Facilities Managetment Ron Tola, with the help of Mary Ellen Luongo, Director of Administrative Computing, recently calculated the energy costs of running the College’s computers. Here’s what they determined:
Every Haverford employee who remembers to turn off their computer at the end of the work day, saves the College .56 cents per day in energy costs. If an employee works 200 days per year that amounts to a savings of $112 in energy costs per year.
If all 186 administrative computers were turned off at the end of the work day, the total savings in energy costs each year would come to $20, 832.
Add in the weekend and the savings are even bigger. Turning off all 186 administrative computers for the weekend would save the College $50,294 in energy costs each year.