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Environmental Science and Policy
The Smith College Campus currently uses an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) system to care for the lawns. While this method of management does address some key environmental issues, the use of synthetic chemicals is still widely spread and harmful to the local ecosystem. Based upon the precautionary principle, Smith College would benefit from transitioning to organic lawn care management on campus. Not only would the health of everyone exposed to the chemicals benefit, but the health of the soil and the vegetation would also improve.
A historical analysis shows that Smith College maintained healthy lawns without the use of synthetic chemicals for an extended period of time. The possibility for organic lawn treatment is therefore a realistic possibility, especially with improvements in machinery technology to care for the lawns.
Smith has the opportunity to become a leader in women’s health issues and to practice environmentally efficient sustainability by switching to an organic lawn management plan. This would be a very large project for the college to undertake, so a pilot program is a highly recommended first step. The Chapin lawn would be ideal for the program, due to the amount of people who spend time on this lawn on a regular basis. If this program were to be successful, Smith would have the practice and the ability to consider converting the entire campus.
© 2006; Rossi
Rossi, "Organic Lawn" (2006). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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