Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.79
Liaison Courtney Stoner
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

American University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.09 / 2.00 Courtney Stoner
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
84 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides 7.28 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 76.72 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 84 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
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Percentage of grounds managed organically:
8.67

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

In Grounds Zone B of our campus, we exclude all inorganic fertilizers and pesticides from the landscape management of this area. The supervisor of this zone has an Organic Land Care certification from the New England Organic Farming Association.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
91.33

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
A brief description of the IPM program:

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is practiced throughout campus.


A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

American University Arboretum and Gardens has a goal of planting at least 50% of the university grounds with native plant species. New plantings prioritize native and adaptive plants wherever possible. Sustainable landscape features are: green roofs, rain gardens, bio-retention swales, permeable paving, and water reuse and reclamation. Pollinator plants and gardens are a highlight for the university and are included in most gardens on campus. Plants are strategically chosen to bloom during as much of the year as possible, helping sustain pollinators almost year-round. Bees are kept on campus in the apiary on the Mary Graydon Center green roof. Invasive species are actively removed from campus whenever possible and we abstain from using them on campus. Our entire campus is designated as an arboretum, which includes an educational component for certification. In most weeks, multiple tours are given to faculty, staff, students, and community members to engage them in the campus landscape.


A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:

American University has a variety of stormwater management features including green roofs, stormwater retention ponds, and rain gardens. Rainwater is collected on the roof of the School of International Service building and is filtered in the cistern. Irrigation is run on an automated system that is connected to a weather station on campus to reduce potable water use for irrigation. Rainwater is collected in Cassell as well and is used for irrigation.


A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

Our campus is very committed to waste reduction, composting, and recycling. All yard waste and leaf litter from campus is composted in offsite facilities. We do a small amount of composting of food scraps and garden waste in the campus community garden. We also purchase compost from the Prince Georges County composting facility where we take our yard waste.


A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

On campus, we plant trees near buildings to reduce heating and cooling costs. We also have multiple green roofs on campus that provide insulation, extend the life of the roof, reduce heat gain, and for water retention.


A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

Hand shoveling and brush-sweeping equipment is used. Magnesium chloride (MgCl) is used as a deicer alternative to NaCl on walkways and stairs. AU is also looking at other alternatives to find the most environmentally friendly road salt, such as possibly Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA). Campus is also a part of the Tree Campus USA program. AU utilizes permeable paving when possible. Gator bags are used for trees to maximize the efficient use of potable water.

Our campus also has a community garden to engage students in gardening and sustainable food production. The campus Arboretum has a partnership with the Office of Campus Life to run a program called Learning by Leading, which strives to make the campus an edible campus.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The entirety of campus is managed using IPM. One section of campus was specifically managed organically, (7.28 acres).

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.