Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 88.14
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.66 / 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):
8,618 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 700 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 1,350 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 2,050 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. In addition, agricultural land used by campus researchers has been subtracted from the total.

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 Facilities Management Grounds Department follows an Integrated Pest Management strategy. According to the EPA, "In technical terms, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information with available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment." The IPM strategy employs five common sense approaches to manage pests effectively.
• Thresholds for action
• ID and monitor the pests
• Prevention
• Control
• Assessment
In CSU’s landscape programs, the term “pest” includes animals, insects, and weeds. The Grounds Department manages damaging insects and a variety of weeds. The State of Colorado Department of Agriculture requires the control of noxious weeds. You may access the noxious weed list at Colorado.gov.
CSU practices safe application according to EPA standards. The Grounds Department considers reasonable non-pesticide alternatives over chemical controls by following IPM procedure. CSU takes measures to alleviate weeds in turf grass areas by maintaining a healthy stand of turf grass throughout the university. They evaluate alternatives to chemical treatment including the cost-effectiveness of the treatments.
Additionally, the Grounds Department maintains the condition of natural and undeveloped landscapes on CSU properties, meeting requirements for items such as weed control, stormwater management, and protection of environmentally sensitive areas.
The Grounds Department manages pest control through the following IPM procedures.
• Prevention – This is the most effective pest management strategy. By reducing the landscape’s capacity to support the target weed or pest populations through design and appropriate management, the opportunities for pest establishment can be reduced or eliminated.
• Cultural – Cultural control is the use of management activities that prevent weeds and pests from developing due to enhancement of desired conditions.
• Mechanical – Mechanical control is accomplished by using physical methods or mechanical equipment to control weeds and pests. The most common practice of weed management for undeveloped landscapes is accomplished through mowing.
• Biological – Biological controls include maintaining healthy turf landscapes, proper plant material selection and diversity, and the introduction or enhancements of naturally occurring populations to target pests.
• Chemical – Reasonable non-pesticide alternatives are considered in our management practices. Pesticides are used only in combination with other approaches for more effective long-term control. Pesticides are selected and applied in ways that minimize their possible harm to people, non-target organisms, and the environment. Restricted-use pesticides are not used on main campus landscapes.

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:

1350 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.

CSU is also a recognized Bee Campus. With a Bee Campus committee, pollinator gardens at four locations on campus, active hives and an Apiculture Club, CSU has committed to supporting healthy habitat for pollinators, creating engagement opportunities, and posting educational stories about the benefits of pollinators.

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:

CSU has a number of natural buffer systems, and works with stormwater 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. 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 stormwater 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 total campus acreage listed in this credit does not match the total landscaped acres. 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 total acreage listed; however since they are not included in this credit concerning "landscape management" the landscaped acreage listed here does not include those facilities. The total landscaped acreage listed here in OP-9 includes the three main Colorado State campuses in the Fort Collins area (Main, South & Foothills).

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.