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K Quad Goes “Green” for Commencement

As the Kalamazoo College 2014 commencement day gets closer, Facilities Management, or “FacMan,” has been working hard to get the campus Quad ready for the celebrations in a most sustainable way.

FacMan Grounds Coordinator Victor Garcia ’97 revealed that all the fertilizer used to maintain the Quad for this commencement is 100-percent certified organic matter. The new change comes through a continued effort by the College to be more environmentally sustainable.

“In order to make the Quad more sustainable, we are using all organic fertilizer instead of chemically derived fertilizers,” said Garcia

Garcia asserts that using all organic fertilizer is also self-sustaining in the long run because it modifies the soil to the extent that less fertilizer will be needed to maintain the Quad.

“When you go 100-percent organic, within two to three years the soil will begin to sustain itself. You are creating a biological system, so over time you have to do less and less.”

The new change in approach is not only beneficial for keeping the quad lush and green but also has a greater implication for the entire environment.

“It’s not only about the plant having sustainable nutrition but the surface water that reaches our water supply also becomes less toxic.”

Garcia maintains that even though sustainable approaches such as this might be initially costly, there are savings made in the long run. By using organic fertilizer, for instance, the Quad requires less irrigation, which helps save water and cuts cost. Besides, Garcia believes that sustainable practices “are always worth the economic cost.”

More information on the College’s sustainability efforts can be found here.

Story and photo by Olivia Nalugya ’16

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