Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.14
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date July 10, 2023

STARS v2.2

California Polytechnic State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Kylee Singh
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Utilities and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,321 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 0 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 240 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 240 Acres

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

Cal Poly Landscape Management staff maintains 240 acres of campus land. Excluded from this acreage is parking lots, roads, open spaces, and most agricultural land. The organic farm is an additional 9 acres on campus.

All 240 acres managed by Landscape services is managed with a 4 tier approach:
- Identify pests and monitor progress.
- Set action threshholds.
- Prevent.
- Control.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

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:

Cal Poly IPM follows the industry standard 4 tier approach including:

Setting action thresholds
- Regular treatment includes the use of first non-chemical controls (sanitation, exclusion, traps using non-chemical baits), followed by the use of least-toxic control methods if the situation is not resolved, and then non-least toxic control methods if the situation is still not resolved.
Emergency treatment includes the use of the most effective control method as a first step, which may be non-least toxic.

Monitoring and identifying pests
- The building interior and exterior will be periodically inspected for the presence of pests and preventive measures will be taken to avoid pests. If any pests are detected, integrated (nonchemical) methods will be implemented as the first control step, including sanitation measures, exclusion measures, and the use of traps.

- Sanitation: Potential food and water sources available to pests will be evaluated and minimized or eliminated. This can be done by thoroughly cleaning and maintaining food service areas and break rooms, fixing leaking pipes and faucets, and altering landscape features to eliminate standing water.
Exclusion: Cracks, crevices, and holes in the building envelope will be sealed. A barrier will be placed in between the building and the adjacent landscape such that the landscape is at least 18 inches from the building.

- All pest control activity, including inspections, will be recorded in the IPM tracking tool. The following items will be tracked:
- Pest type and name
- Pest population density and monitoring frequency
- Pest action threshold observed
- Prevention measures implemented
- Product applied (name)
- Toxicity of the product (the tier level as determined by San Francisco’s Pesticide Hazard Screening List”
- Date and time of product application (if applicable)
- Date and time of occupant notification (if applicable)
- Emergency application? (Y/N). If yes, an explanation of the emergency will be included.

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

The use of climate appropriate plants are the preferred and sought after choice for all new landscapes. Landscape Management standards identify invasive species and forbid them from being used in plantings. There is a tree and plant protection plan for every new landscape area and staff work to save and replant native plant species when appropriate.

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

To make the best use of limited regional water resources, Cal Poly is years into planning to build a Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) and in spring 2023 selected a contractor to begin construction. The WRF will treat ~90% of Cal Poly's sewer and generate more than 380 AF/year of recycled water which will meet all of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences water needs on the campus farm and the sports complex (baseball, softball and recreational fields). Scheduled to come online in 2026, the of recycled water for these purposes will free up 380 acre-feet of potable water supply to serve some of the new buildings, largely housing, and other facilities envisioned by the new Master Plan.

Cal Poly owns two water rights. The first is to Old Creek, which fills Whale Rock reservoir in Cayucos, CA. Cal Poly owns 33% of this reservoir and jointly manages it with the City of San Luis Obispo and the Men's Colony Prison. Cal Poly sits on the Whale Rock Commission, where decisions are made about the 38,967 acre-foot reservoir. When full, Cal Poly has ~8 years of water supply in this reservoir. Whale Rock reservoir is regularly used and managed to protect and enhance water quality with numerous partnerships and studies with Fish and Game and other agencies. There are also trails and recreation areas surrounding the reservoir.


Cal Poly's other Water Right is to Brizzolara Creek, one of the main creeks that runs through campus. While many years ago Cal Poly used this water, since ~1996 all water (~45 AF/ year) has remained in the creek as part of a riparian habitat enhancement program incooperation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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

Landscape management staff complete the cycle of plant nutrition by sharing green waste with the Cal Poly compost facility. Once composted, landscape staff reapply the material to new plantings and use mulch for mature beds. In areas void of actively growing plants landscape management staff recycle wood waste from tree trimmings and apply a thick layer of mulch to reduce weed pressure, reduce the use of herbicides, and conserve soil moisture.

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

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

The landscape management staff works closely with the sheep and goat unit of the Cal Poly agriculture department to allow for grazing on un-managed open spaces. This grazing provides fodder for agriculture animals and provides a mechanism for wildfire prevention by keeping dry weeds at bay near university housing structures.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.