St. Mark’s adopts green practices

A not-so-recent (but pretty) photo of St. Mark's
A not-so-recent (but pretty) photo of St. Mark's

St. Mark’s is adopting some changes to make their operations a bit greener. They eliminated the use of trays in their dining center to conserve water and cut down on wasted food. This fall they’ll use an organic approach to maintain their athletic fields. And the Board of Trustees recently adopted a nine point Sustainability Policy.

Here’s a quote from Head of School John Warren on the school’s blog:

I am very pleased that the Board saw the need to adopt such a policy. St. Mark’s wishes to be on the forefront of designing ways to best protect our environment – both on campus and in the outside world as well. The objectives of the Sustainability Policy will be challenging but have the full support of our faculty and staff. We will make a difference.

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Francis J Mattioli III
13 years ago

Nice to see the word is”out”,this year the emphasis is on sustainabilty in turf management at St Marks,Im using Nature safe organic fertilizer,trying to double up on cultural practices,Frequency in Mowing,soil amendments with an organic element,spray program utilizing natural and organic elements,we have seen great results,waiting for the rain to let up so i can aerate ,topdress with an 80-20 {loam-Peat} combination,then before dragging the plugs and topdressing ,incorporate nature safe fertilizer into the aeration holes,then overseeding at the proper 30Lbs per 1000 sq ft of atheletic blend ,these cultural practices ensure a healthy stand of turf,push out weeds without using pesticide control,and maintains a safe sustainable and aesthetically sound field . Frank Mattioli St Marks turf Manager

Mimi22
13 years ago

Hey Frank,

You should hold a seminar on sustainable turf management. Many homeowners in town would be interested. I would love to hear about the system to implement it at our house. Our current “system” involves mowing and then watching the weeds take over each year.

Francis J Mattioli IIi
13 years ago

Mimi,Susan, Id love to help with any input you would need,not sure how to set up a seminar, but im open to any ideas… thanks Frank

Matthew Brownell
13 years ago

I wish that our DPW grind up all the branches, leaves, and grass that town residents drop off at the recycling center, and turn this into compost for Southborough residents take away.

Many towns do this, and it is “Black Gold” for any gardener or landscaper. Some towns will even do bulk delivery of the compost for nominal charge ($20 – $30 per yd)

Matthew Brownell
13 years ago

Hi, Frank –

Where do you get the 80/20 loam-peat mix? Do you mix this up in bulk yourself, or procure from an outside supplier?

Also, when do do the over-seeding? Early September?

Francis J Mattioli III
13 years ago

Im using sport soil specialities .inc because i need about 40 tons of topdressing,{ i have a new millcreek topdresser holds 3750 lbs}they will custom blend what ever i need , i give them results from soil profiles and soil tests of our atheletic fields, i may include a sand component to help move water through the turf on the baseball field, like a 70- 20 -10, loam , peat, sand,as far as over seeding we are zone 6 cool season turfgrass,primarily overseeding in spring and fall, fall is huge for establishing turf in in new england,but on atheletic turf its not uncommon to pound them with seed as often as budget will allow, maybe 4 times a year,this year the first thing i did was call sports turf specialties and had them vertcut,dethatch all our fields , after removing excess thatch, i hit them hard with seed and these cultural practices will push out weeds,healthy stand of turf is best defence against weed encroachment,but yes early sept great time to overseed, sharp blades on mower , dethatching,aeration , these cultural practices insure minimal use of pesticide/control products,emphasis on amending soil for a sustainable turf environment, Lots of local companys where you can buy topdressing , hopkinton,shrewsbury,weston nursery etc…

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