Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.56
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.24 / 2.00 Carol Dollard
Energy Engineer
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
2,100 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 1,200 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 700 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 200 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 2,100 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):

Roads, sidewalks, and building footprints account for approximately 400 acres. These acres are excluded from the area of managed grounds.

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:

The University Facilities Management Outdoor Services Group (OSG) manages 1200 acres per the following standards. OSG strives to limit the application of insecticides to control insect populations, and employs both Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Plant Health Care (PHC) practices to that end.

Core principles of CSU’s IPM include:
• Managing to acceptable pest levels (control not eradication of pests)
• Preventative cultural practices, including selection of best varieties for pest resistance
• Monitoring of pest populations
• Mechanical controls
• Biological controls, including the use of beneficial insects, and other programs
• Responsible use of pesticides

Pest population management utilizes the most suitable IPM and PHC techniques including cultural, fertilization, irrigation, release of beneficial insects, insect monitoring, resistant plant varieties, and plant diversity. Insecticide usage is generally limited to campus trees, and only for insects that directly influence tree mortality. These applications are timed to the insect’s life cycle.

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:

700 acres are managed without the use of supplemental irrigation, inorganic fertilizers, chemical pesticides, and fungicides. Mechanical control (mowing), cultural control (grazing) and beneficial insects are released to control noxious weeds.

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

CSU uses native and adapted plants on all of its new buildings and/or remodeling projects on campus. Edible plants incorporated into the annual flower beds are maintained organically and donated to the Food Bank of Larimer County.

CSU is a recognized Tree Campus USA as designated by the Arbor Day Foundation. CSU has a Campus Tree Care plan and standards that call for the protection of trees during construction. Portions of campus including the Oval are held as an open space requirement for LEED. Through LEED, there can be no construction in the zone and they must be preserved. Approximately 100 trees are within this open space designation, some of which were planted on campus in 1881 and are 130+ years old.

Invasive species are prohibited from being planted on campus. Invasive species that occur unintentionally are mechanically removed as part of our maintenance program.

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

As described in the water management credits, CSU has a number of natural buffer systems, and works with storm water runoff and wetlands remediation projects to address concerns for the natural hydrology of the campus. CSU’s stormwater permit and building standards require incorporation of permanent stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater treatment at new buildings and building additions. BMPs such as constructed wetlands, bioswales, raingardens, and other BMPs are required for stormwater filtration, and promote stormwater infiltration, which better mimics predevelopment conditions. We include native plantings and seed mixes in lieu of sod in BMPs wherever possible. In addition, we require stormwater detention to match the 2-year pre-developed condition for all new buildings and additions within a stormwater IGA area, which encompasses our Main and South campuses in Fort Collins. CSU minimizes the use of potable water for irrigation by using untreated raw water for the vast majority of our irrigation needs.

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

Green waste on campus is composted as part of a campus-wide composting program. This green waste is combined with food waste from residence halls. The resulting product is used in all new construction on campus as part of landscape installations. Additionally, the campus grinds our own trees and limbs, using it as mulch—1,600 cubic yards in 2016. All grass clippings typically remain on the ground as compost. Leaves are typically mulched back into the turf.

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

CSU waters their landscape almost exclusively with raw (untreated) water. Using this less processed resource not only saves the university money, but also reduces energy use associated with water use because no energy or chemicals are used to treat the water.

Tree placement related to new construction considers shading of buildings to reduce energy use. Landscape standards call for the full stocking of tree canopy to maximize shading of the landscape, including hardscapes.

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 vast majority of new projects employ native or adaptive plant materials as part of the landscape design. Permeable pavers are the key paving element in the core pedestrian mall of the University. The implementation of this material has both a storm water quality attribute as well as reducing the need for ice melt because of its thermal mass and inherent abilities to melt the ice/snow, dissipating it quicker. Efforts are made to remove snow from impermeable surfaces and is placed on permeable surfaces. Snow removal is prioritized for bike and pedestrian access. The University has instituted a bike priority snow removal policy in accordance with our Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly University designation by the League of American Cyclists.

In 2010, CSU purchased smaller equipment; able to sand the campus instead of relying solely on ice melt. And in 2013 the university built a contained storage facility for ice melt to prevent exposure to the elements.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Note that the acreage listed in this credit does not match the total campus acres listed in the Institutional Characteristics. This is due to the fact that as a land grant university Colorado State has multiple agricultural research facilities. Those farms & ranches are included in the acreage listed under IC2; however since they are not included in this credit concerning "landscape management" the acreage listed here does not include those facilities. The total acreage listed here in OP-10 includes the three main Colorado State campuses in the Fort Collins area (Main, South & Foothills).

The total campus area for CSU is 8,809 acres. However, much of this land is used for agricultural research. Approximately 2,100 acres at the Main, South and Foothills campuses are non-agricultural acreage. Of that acreage only about 700 is irrigated landscape, the remainder is vegetated with native grasses or hardscape/building footprints.


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.