Colby College Athletic Fields


Waterville, ME
United States

Project Size
30 acres
Project type
Institutional / Educational
Site Context
Project overview

Colby College, home to a community of 2,000 students, is a selective liberal arts college in Waterville, Maine. Located on 714 acres in the Kennebec Valley, connecting students to the outdoors and nature is an important component of the Colby experience. As the fourth college in the nation to achieve carbon neutrality, sustainability and resource conservation continue to be core values and strategic priorities of the College. Colby takes a holistic approach to sustainability and has committed to implementing the SITES rating system in landscape projects whenever possible.

The Colby College Athletic Fields is the first SITES-certified project in Maine and New England. The fields are the first completed phase of a new athletic complex and a commitment to excellence in all endeavors. The nearby Colby College Athletics Center, which is scheduled to complete construction in 2020, is pursuing SITES Silver certification.

With more than 80 percent of Colby students participating in organized athletics, the Athletic Fields project exemplifies the College’s dedication to active, healthy lifestyles for all of its students, while maintaining its commitment to sound environmental practices. The project consists of three new, tiered fields which offer state-of-the-art facilities for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and many other recreational uses to students, staff, and the public. These fields will also serve as a resource for local, regional, and national camps, competitions, and training— one element of Colby’s partnership with the city of Waterville to attract more visitors to the city.

Plans for the Colby College Athletic Fields focused on these key areas:

  • Water: Design for storm water to filter through basins beneath the fields to slow and clean runoff and an irrigation system which conserves water by automatically adjusting to precipitation and evaporation rates with the use of rain and soil sensors.

  • Vegetation: The college engages biology students to identify and remove invasive plant species from these zones, an ongoing initiative to protect native plant communities and support wildlife habitat.

  • Soil: More than 15 acres containing woodland and wetland ecosystems were conserved as Vegetation and Soil Protection Zones, ensuring their protection for years to come.

Project Team

  • Owner: Colby College

  • Landscape Architect / Civil Engineer: Activitas

  • Stormwater Consultant: Mohr & Seredin

  • Sustainability Consultant: Thornton Tomasetti

  • Contractor: Grondin Construction


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