Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.19
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date April 30, 2024

STARS v2.2

California State University, Sacramento
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.89 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
300 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 1 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 151 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 19 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 171 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Roads, sidewalks, and building footprints account for approximately 135 acres. These acres are excluded from the area of managed grounds.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
The goal of the organic landscaping program at Sac State is to mimic a natural ecosystem. This means selecting plants that are native or best suited for the environment and conditions of the area. These plants require less care and supplemental irrigation in order to thrive and be healthy. Wood chips are used throughout the campus landscaping in non grassy/rocky areas to reduce the amount of water evaporation when it rains. The wood chips also help prevent the amount of disturbance to the soil in the form of physical weeding that is often necessary. Companion planting is implemented wherever possible in order to attract beneficial insects that prey on the pests that do appear as part of a balanced ecosystem.

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:
Sacramento State Grounds and Landscaping crews first monitor for pest and/or undesired grasses and weeds. If the threshold for either is breached, the following methods/steps/plans are observed as appropriate: 1. When the option is available, non-toxic agents are utilized first to capture or eliminate intended targets. These non-toxic agents include but are not limited to the following: Cultural (environmental) control, the introduction of natural predators and/or flora (such as citronella plants for mosquitos) to act as deterring agents against undesired pests. Mechanical spring-loaded traps are also utilized when applicable as non-toxic capturing agents. 2. Only licensed and trained personnel handle sprayers containing toxins and do so as minimally as possible. 3. Targeted or spot treatments of specific pests are employed to once again eliminate waste and to avoid unintended fallout or harm against non-specified targets. 4. Selectively non-toxic pre-emergents are used to deter weed growth. 5. Use of selective amounts of herbicides for weed-control to minimize exposure to campus community. 6. All equipment, e.g. spray nozzles, are strictly maintained, repaired and stored to disallow for accidental overuse of toxins from faulty equipment. 7. Training is required on all said equipment. 8. Personnel work with vendors to research for new less/non-toxic alternatives. 9. Full transparency is adhered to via required monthly reports of chemicals use and methodologies.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
The campus utilizes MP rotor or drip irrigation exclusively for irrigation purposes. Water usage from the five irrigation wells has been reduced up to 40% by these practices. Two additional landscaped areas of campus (Benicia Hall and the Well) have been xeriscape in nature and have required far less irrigation than the turf that was there previously. Wood chips are utilized throughout the campus, primarily under trees to retain moisture.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
All campus irrigation is provided by five wells which gather water from the American River aquifer. Rain water after filtration is returned to the same source via area drains. There are 25 LID storm water capture and treatment devices on campus. The Low Impact Development Sites (LID) include bio retention planters, bioswales, rain gardens, rooftop disconnects, porous pavement, and a green street. The devices are designed to capture and treat over 13 acre-feet of storm water runoff every year and increase ground water used for campus irrigation. There are currently 7 types of bio retention devices that treat storm water runoff throughout campus.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
The campus turf care operations utilize mulching mowers that leave the grass clippings in place after cutting them. All leaf debris from seasonal sweeping activities are composted in a collection area on the south end of campus. This leaf debris is turned into compost that gets reused on campus for future planting.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:
Sac State converted the existing sprinkler heads to low-flow sprinkler heads, integrated all irrigation controllers to the Rainbird Maxicom irrigation control system. The Maxicom system is now connected to the campus weather station to automate weather related shut-downs and start-up to conserve water for irrigation.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:
Following permaculture principles all the limbs and branches that come from any tree trimming or pruning done on campus are chipped up on site and re-used in the landscaping. The wood chips help conserve water, prevent weeds, and improve the soil profile overtime. The annual application of wood chips each fall create an almost self-sustaining system throughout the rest of the year that reduces the amount of labor.

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.