Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.82
Liaison Sandy DeJohn
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Binghamton University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.34 / 2.00 Michael Kukawa
Director of Operations
Physical Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
1,766 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach 0 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an organic land care standard or sustainable landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials 337.20 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 164.36 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 501.56 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds (e.g. the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, areas that are not regularly managed or maintained):

Managed grounds as indicated above includes areas outside building space. Of the total campus area, 1061 acres are presently undeveloped and in its natural state. Parts of the main campus include officially designated Nature Preserve which encompasses 190 acres of forest land 20 acres of wetland. Additionally Binghamton Foundation owns 879.36 acres of forest land off of the main campus.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:

A copy of the IPM plan or program:

A brief description of the IPM program:

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

A brief description of the organic land standard or landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials:

Over the past decade, we have reduced the amount of herbicide treated areas significantly. We have eliminated the use of “total kill” herbicides, eliminated granular herbicides, and are trialing lower dose and organic herbicides. All products used by Grounds are EPA listed; applied by trained, licensed applicators under the regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In addition, our pesticide plan is reviewed annually by the Committee for the University Environment (CUE).
The university's landscape management program:
Level 1: No Mow/Natural
All natural and no-mow areas should have a 3-4’ perimeter of low-mow grass. This communicates that the area is
maintained and that the aesthetic of the natural area is intentional. Any new areas converted to meadow in
pedestrian trafficked areas should be a low –grow mix that is 36” or lower. Plant varieties prioritized should be
pollinator and native plant species.
Level 2: Low Mow
Low mow areas will be converted to this type of maintenance schedule in phases in order to experiment with various
methods of maintenance. During the initial trial phase of no-mow lawns, existing grass will simply be allowed to
feather out to its full length. However, as funding becomes available these areas should be replaced with no-mow seed
mixes, which are better suited to this kind of maintenance regime.
Level 3: Standard Mow
The standard mow maintenance regime is applied to areas where it makes sense aesthetically and functionally to have
turf, but where the site context does not justify an extremely manicured look. Examples are residential quads and
perimeters of most academic buildings. These areas areas should have clean edges and an even mow. with no ruts or
Level 4: Manicured Mow
Manicured mow areas are only located in high visibility/high priority locations, such as the campus’ main entrance,
the Peace Quad and around the Admissions building. They should be striped and edges should be clean and string
trimmed with care taken that grass clippings are not left behind on adjacent pavement.
Level 5: Ornamental bed – shrub/woody
The number of plants and the plant spacing should be sufficient enough to cover 90% of the ground when mature
sized. Plants should not be pruned in an overly manicured way.
Level 6: Ornamental bed – mixed
Mixed ornamental beds are comprised of some combination of trees, woody shrubs and herbaceous perennials, including
ornamental grasses and spring ephemeral bulbs. These beds should have clean edges and bare should be minimized by
planting groundcovering plants or mulch. The goal for living groundcover should be 90% at maturity
Level 7: Ornamental bed – perennial
Perennial beds are comprised solely of herbaceous perennial plants that can be cut back to the ground at the end of each
growing season and reemerge the following spring. These beds should have as close to 100% groundcover as possible.
Perimeters of the beds should be edged with a string trimmer several times per season. Once these beds are mature they
may also act as nursery beds, where plants can be divided and transplanted to other locations on campus that would
benefit from added groundcover.
Level 8: Ornamental bed – with annuals
Beds with annuals are only utilized in very high visibility areas on campus, like the main entrance signs, flag circle and in
front of the Couper Administration Building. The number of colors selected for annuals should be minimal and plants
arranged in color blocks. Annuals should be planted in the spring and at the beginning of fall.
Level 9: Tree with groundcover
Beds with only trees surrounded by bare ground require a lot of labor for weeding and spreading mulch. Instead, trees
should be underplanted with deer-tolerant groundcovers

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

Landscaping and grounds keeping projects are reviewed and approved by the University's Committee for University Environment (CUE). Native and indigenous species are used for these project whenever possible.
We also follows New York State Codes Rules & Regulations (NYCRR) 6 NYCRR Part 575 Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species for all plant procurement.

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

Operation Green Space: an initiative to replace hard surfaces (concrete/asphalt) with plantings. Program reclaimed approx. 6500 sq ft in 2015; program averages approx. 3000 sq ft per year

A brief description of the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):

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

Nearly all the black-top surface for pedestrian walkways have been replaced by concrete pavements. Trees are retained / planted around all buildings. Sun shades are also provided around campus during spring, summer and fall seasons to reduce heat island effect.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.