Grounds 

Wesleyan continually strives to maintain its lawns, fields, trees, and natural areas following sustainable practices.  Wesleyan's Grounds Sustainability Policy, completed in June 2018, has more detailed information on the practices that we have committed to regarding campus grounds maintenance.  

The initiatives below show what we plan to do via our Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we've already done. See pages 41-43 in the SAP for more details.

 

What We're Working On

  • Lawns, Fields, Trees, and Irrigation
    1. Pilot 100% organic lawn care practices on one athletics field test plot
    2. Expand existing no mow landscape areas
    3. Develop a plan to replace gasoline powered equipment with sustainable alternatives
    4. Pilot ice melt variations
    5. Pilot replacement of watered landscapes with native and drought-tolerant plants
    6. Develop rainwater collection standards
    7. Install a water catchment system at Long Lane Farm
    8. Create a campus wide tree map
    9. Identify and install landscaped social spaces and seating
  • Education and Community Spaces
    1. Develop a grounds education program
    2. Promote education for sustainable design and engage students to work on projects on campus
    3. Continue to identify and install landscaped social spaces and seating

What We've Done

  • Lawns, Fields, Trees, and Irrigation
    1. Over the past decade, Wesleyan has drastically reduced its use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and follows an integrated pest management protocol in its grounds practices. Visit the lawn, field, and tree care page to learn more.
    2. Wesleyan maintains 89 acres of areas that are no-mow, mowed only annually, or left wooded.  
    3. Wesleyan prioritizes the use of native plants in in-ground plantings and avoids planting any invasive species.  There are extensive native plantings at Allbritton, on the former McConaughy Hall site, and at Long Lane.
    4. Mowing heights are raised in all non-athletic fields in spring and summer to decrease mowing frequency and fuel expenditure.
    5. Wesleyan composts or mulches most of its landscape waste, either on-campus (80%) or at the Middletown Transfer Station (20%).  We do not use our own woodchips around trees because of insect and disease concerns.  All elms are sent to the landfill to prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.  All stump grindings are used as compost amendments.
    6. Wesleyan operates a plant dump on the Long Lane property for discarded annuals, which are either collected for replanting or composted. 
    7. Grounds crews' mowers leave grass clippings on the fields and lawn areas for moisture retention. 
    8. Any trees removed on campus are chipped and used in compost.
    9. Rain sensors on the irrigation system for Usdan University Center prevent irrigation at inappropriate times.  In Summer 2018, Grounds expanded its weather-sensitive irrigation monitors to most irrigated areas on campus.
    10. For snow and ice removal, Wesleyan has moved away from using sand and instead uses Magic Salt, which is less corrosive than traditional rock salt.  The Grounds Department continues to investigate less corrosive options.
    11. Stone swales on College Row divert stormwater runoff into storm drains.
    12. Wesleyan plants 15-20 trees (3-inch-diameter or greater) annually and plants at least one tree for every tree removed (due to disease, drought, and/or damage).
    13. Piped water access was installed at Long Lane Farm in 2017 to make water more available to farmers in winter, and to reduce overall water usage. 
  • Education and Community Spaces
    1. Green roofs are on Boger Hall and Allbritton Center.
    2. The student group Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan (WILD Wes) has two permaculture garden locations: a terraced garden and stairs at Summerfields, and a larger garden in the West College courtyard. WILD Wes maintains both sites to remove invasive species and adjust plantings as needed.  
    3. Student group Wild Walls constructed temporary vertical gardens in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 next to Weshop.  
    4. To increase social spaces, outdoor seating was installed to the east elevation of West College Courtyard and south side of Weshop, including several solar picnic tables, paid in part by the Wesleyan Green Fund.
    5. Additional outdoor social seating spaces are installed annually across campus.
    6. A pilot stone paver patio, installed in Summer 2015 at the Center for Humanities, reduces stormwater runoff.
    7. Facilities' tree removal blog was expanded to include plantings and other grounds information. Signage was erected to educate about certain irrigation practices.
Grounds Contact
Rob Borman, Grounds Manager
(860) 685-3764