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Notification of Lawn Management schedule, September/October 2014

In keeping with our commitment to transparency and environmental responsibility for the campus landscape, this is a notification of scheduled lawn treatments for central lawns of campus over the course of the semester. Each product has been selected based on its reduced environmental & human impact and for its ability to help us establish highly functional lawns.

  • On 9/17 and 9/24 two organic products will be applied, KICK and SEA3. Both are produced by Earthworks, a natural organic lawn product company. Sea kelp is the primary ingredient in both and they are being sprayed to germinate newly sown grass seed. There are no concerns regarding reentry with each of these products.
  • On 9/18, Fiesta will be applied in the early morning on central lawns to treat post-emergent weeds. Fiesta is an iron-based product and applied sites are safe for entry within the hour; application will be happening in the early morning so that community impact is minimized.
  • On 9/24, a 5-4-5 organic fertilizer will be spread on central lawns. There are no concerns regarding reentry, though as one of the main ingredients is chicken compost there may be an odor in the area for a short period of time.
  • Lastly on 10/15, corn gluten will be spread. Corn Gluten is a by-product of the corn milling process and works as a natural pre-emergent weed control. There are no concerns regarding reentry, though there might be slight corn odor in the vicinity for a short period of time.

It's important to note that this is all part of a holistic program for the campus landscape. This past spring Vassar was certified by Tree Campus USA, through the Arbor Day Foundation, to solidify and recognize our commitment to Vassar as an Arboretum. We also are coming to the close of our first season of naturalization on campus, through which 4 areas were selected to become no-mow zones this summer. Bird houses have been installed at these sights and wildflowers have sprung up in the place of traditional turf grass.

You are also invited to join us for a tree planting event next Friday, 9/19 on the Farm from 2-5pm. This is the second year we have received a NYDEC grant to plant trees on the farm for watershed & habitat health.

If you have any questions about this information or the schedule please contact Kevin Mercer at kemercer@vassar.edu.

Thank you very much for your time,

Kevin Mercer, Grounds Manager
Alistair Hall, Sustainability Assistant