Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.82
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date Jan. 7, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dalhousie University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 86.20 Hectares
Footprint of the institution's buildings 15.38 Hectares
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 20.23 Hectares

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan Hectares
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 50.59 Hectares
+ Date Revised: Jan. 29, 2015
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected Hectares
+ Date Revised: Jan. 29, 2015

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

Policies and Procedures
Division: Environmental Services
Unit: Grounds and Transport (Contracted Services)
Policy / Procedure Topic: Pest Management


Structural and landscape pests can pose hazards to people, property, and the environment. Pesticides which may be required to treat the problem are, by design, often toxic and pose a potential risk of their own.


To incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM)procedures in order to control structural and landscape pests in a safe, efficient and effective manner within the buildings and on the grounds of Dalhousie University.

a) Dalhousie University contracts the services of a professional pest management company (herein referred to as "the contractor"), in order to fulfill its pest management obligations.

b) All pesticides used by the contractor on Dalhousie University property are registered under the federal Pest Control Products Act and are identified by a Pest Control Product (PCP) number.

c) All pesticide technicians employed by the contractor to perform work at Dalhousie University are certified applicators as specified and regulated under Section 84 of the Nova Scotia Environment Act.

d) The Department of Facilities Management's commitment is to not use pesticides or herbicides in lawn and garden applications, other than in exceptional circumstances.


1) When a pest problem is encountered, the reporting departmental or faculty designate is to contact the Department of Facilities Management (Loc. #3302 or #3720) with the specifics (i.e., type of pest, if known; department name and location; contact person's name and local telephone number). The reporting department/faculty designate is not to contact the pest control contract company directly.

2) The Facilities Management designate will immediately contact the pest control contractor to report the specific problem and the details that have been provided in procedure #1. The contractor has been instructed to respond only when initially notified of a problem by the Facilities Management designate.

3) The contractor representative will call the department/faculty contact person to verify the problem and to arrange for a suitable time to service the affected area.

4) The contractor will visit the site at the earliest pre-arranged opportunity (but guarantees a site response within 24 hours). Every effort will be made to arrange for the site visit and any necessary treatment during business off-hours.

5) The contractor will notify the Facilities Management designate advising of any need for pesticide use, indicating the precise location and timing of the treatment.

6) A Facilities Management Environmental Services supervisor or designate will, in turn, notify Custodial Services personnel who may be assigned to the treatment area during business off-hours. Custodial Services personnel will abide by the re-entry information specified on the notice sign posted by the contractor (see procedure #7).

7) When ready to apply a pesticide treatment, the contractor will post a notice sign, in a prominent location at the application site. The notice sign will advise of the pesticide application and all relevant details (a sample of the posted notice sign is attached to this policy statement).

8) Once the pesticide application is complete, the contractor will note the details of the visit in the pest management log book, which is to be kept in the reception area (or other area designated by the departmental administrator) of each department/faculty. The details will include the date, reported problem, site observations, treatment (pesticide or otherwise), time of completion and recommended follow-up. The contractors applicator will include her/his signature indicating that the treatment visit is complete. A copy of the notice will be left with the Security Office for collection by an Environmental Services supervisor the following morning.

9) As appropriate, the contractor will notify the Facilities Management designate of any measures recommended to be taken by University staff in order to decrease the likelihood of a pest problem (for e.g.: the need to shampoo carpets in a given area in order to discourage a problem with fleas). Facilities Management will in turn inform the building manager or designate at the earliest opportunity.

10) Copies of all application notice signs will be filed in the Department of Facilities Management, the Security Office and the Safety Office. The contractor will supply an Annual Report of Pesticide Utilization at Dalhousie University. The report will include the number of applications and the name and amount of each pesticide used. The report will be filed with both the Department of Facilities Management and the Safety Office.


Pests are populations of living organisms (i.e., insects, rodents, bacteria and weeds) that interfere with the human purposes for an area. Strategies for managing pest populations will be guided by the species of pest and the threat they pose to people, property and the environment.

Pests will be managed to:

reduce any potential human health hazard or to protect against a significant threat to public safety
prevent loss or damage to university structures or property
prevent pests from spreading in the community or to plant and animal populations beyond the campus
enhance the quality of life for university building occupants
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
IPM procedures will determine when to control pests and whether to use mechanical, physical, chemical, cultural, or biological means. IPM practitioners depend on current, comprehensive information on the pest and its environment and the best pest control methods. Applying IPM principles discourages unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

The choice of whether or not to use a pesticide and, if so, which pesticide to use, will be based on a review of all other available options and a determination that these options alone are either not acceptable or feasible. Selected non-chemical pest management methods will be implemented appropriately. The full range of alternative pest control measures, including no action, will be considered. When it is determined that a pesticide must be used to meet important management goals, the least hazardous material will be chosen. The application of such pesticides is subject to regulation by federal and provincial legislation in the form of the Pest Control Products Act and the Nova Scotia Environment Act, respectively.


A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:

Dalhousie University’s 2014 Natural Environment Plan outlines the University’s efforts to manage campus landscapes in a sustainable way. This plan looks at a full view of sustainability including social (collection of community values via surveys and interviews; promotion of education, promotion of personal well-being, and socialization), economic (practical and feasible approaches to sustainability), in addition to an ecological lens of sustainability (campus plants, soil, air, water, animals, etc).

A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:

Dalhousie’s landscape design guidelines document outlines methods for tree protection during construction by requiring a tree barrier outside the tree dripline. This barrier prevents root damage and compaction during construction activity. When landscapes are disturbed, Dalhousie makes an effort to reuse all plant material before purchasing new plant material. As per the 2014 Natural Environment Plan, Dalhousie no longer plants species that are known to be invasive. Norway maple is the largest and most well known of these species and there is a program in place to phase this species out as they naturally decline. Native and adapted species will replace invasive and unsuitable plant species. These plants will be selected from a list of approved species that pose no risk to native ecosystems . The list of approved species is categorized according to their optimal planting conditions. This ensures that the best species are selected for the any given site.

A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:

On the Agricultural campus, Dalhousie grounds staff compost garden and grass clippings as well as farm waste on site and re-use the compost as part of landscape management regimes. On the Halifax campuses, organic waste collected from landscape management activities is sent off-campus to a nearby composting facility. Plans are underway for an anaerobic digester at the Agricultural Campus.

A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:

Two very different soil profiles exist under the Halifax campuses and Agricultural Campus (AC). In Halifax, a rocky and very much disturbed soil environment dominated. On the AC campus, the soil is a deep layer of sandy loam. These differences influence the amount of soil inputs and additives. On the AC campus, few inputs are required on those lands managed under the Natural Environment Plan. Composted manure and yard waste compost are added to the soil from on campus sources.  Mulch is used on ornamental garden beds and is sourced from local suppliers. On the Halifax campus, the depth and quality of soil varies. Soil additives (e.g. compost, manure, mulch) come from local and reputable suppliers with know processing and quality standards. On both campuses, improving soil quality to retain soil moisture is the goal when managing for plant material. Soil and compost additives on the Dalhousie University campuses must meet Landscape Nova Scotia Standards, which highlight the sustainable use of natural resources in Nova Scotia. For example, manufactured soil blends (e.g. compost, manure) are promoted given the widespread availability of compost and the decreasing supply and damaging process of harvesting topsoil. Much of the fertilization of plant material comes from organic sources (e.g. manure, compost).

A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:

Locally produced and sourced landscape materials such as soil, mulch, stone, and plants are preferred on campus. If items such as plants cannot be sourced locally they must be accompanied by permits and adhere to provincial regulations to ensure plants are not invasive or carrying insect pests. To compliment the local landscape vernacular, stone and plant material from Halifax or Nova Scotia is preferred for the native to Nova Scotia aesthetic and for the sustainable messaging that is portrayed by buying locally

A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:

As a policy, new development at Dalhousie cannot increase the flow of storm water from project sites. Alternative methods (e.g., rain gardens, water cisterns, green roofs, permeable paving) must be explored to handle storm water. Retrofit projects shall use vegetated or the flow of storm water. The Mona Campbell Building on the Studley campus uses rainwater that would otherwise flow into catch basins to flush toilets. On going landscape upgrades on campus are increasingly incorporating rain gardens and permeable paving to get storm water into the ground quickly before it becomes a flooding issue.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 29, 2015

A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):

Dalhousie Facilties Management staff stockpile sufficient salt for approaching storms on each of the three Halifax campuses to reduce the amount travel time by skid-steer loaders during each snow event. It is stored on impermeable surfaces as far as possible to limit contamination of soils and groundwater. Contractors are required to conform to Dalhousie’s anti idling policies and we attempt where possible to limit snow removal activities until the storm has passed so that clean-up is done once rather than repeatedly during a snow event. Salt application equipment is required to be calibrated for maximum efficiency and one of the Staff will be undertaking Smart about Salt training in October of 2014. This information will be shared with all Dalhousie snow removal staff and when the RFP for snow removal Services is released to the market place we will be including this as a requirement for the bidders to be Smart About Salt Certified. We also try where possible to use alternatives to salt which are less corrosive but quite often the cost of these methods is prohibitive

A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:

Dalhousie has identified a number of protected areas with the objective of landscape naturalization. The Shirreff Hall Oak stand on the Studley campus is a remnant of a native oak/maple/white pine forest that originally stood on campus. This site features a protected 250-year-old red oak. Management of this area has changed to see the planting of new understory native species, the elimination of mowing to encourage natural regeneration, and is used by professors to highlight sustainable landscapes as part of course curriculum. Other naturalized areas include Ocean pond on the Studley Campus and along the Cobequid Trail on the Agricultural campus

Is the institution recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program (if applicable)?:

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

In terms of grounds that is managed organically, Dalhousie sustainable landscape management program meets the organic land care standard by SOUL.

In terms of grounds that is managed organically, Dalhousie sustainable landscape management program meets the organic land care standard by SOUL.

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