Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.02
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date July 21, 2021

STARS v2.2

Dalhousie University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.24 / 2.00 Mike Wilkinson
Environmental Services Manager
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
232 Hectares

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 8.14 Hectares
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 26.12 Hectares
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Hectares
Total area of managed grounds 34.26 Hectares

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

We excluded non-permeable surfaces, semi-permeable pavement, synthetic lawns, and experimental agricultural land. See page 13 of the Natural Environment Plan for a breakdown of permeable and non-permeable surfaces by area on each of our campuses: https://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/campus-initiatives/Natural_Environment.html

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Ecological preferable materials are used included: Horticultural vinegar is used as a weed killer when necessary or weeds are cut back regularly with a whipper snipper or pulled.
Food gardens are grown organically with only organic fertilizers or natural soil additives such as manure or compost.
Naturalized areas are minimally maintained. Plant selection is intended to mimic native ecosystems.

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:

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 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. A service request can be submitted in FAMIS Self serve.
2) The Facilities Management designate will immediately contact the pest control contractor by email 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. This info is reported in the weekly summary of all work orders attended to and any remedial actions required are entered as a service request to Trades Services to attend to mechanical means needed to exclude pests (door sweeps, holes needing to be plugged in walls/ceilings etc.
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 description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

As a policy, new development at Dalhousie cannot increase the flow of storm water from project sites. Halifax as a municipality does not allow new connections into the sewer/storm water system. Alternative methods (e.g., rain gardens, water cisterns, green roofs, permeable paving) must be explored to handle storm water. Green roofs and rainwater cisterns are being deployed in new construction. 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.

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

As a policy, new development at Dalhousie cannot increase the flow of storm water from project sites. Halifax as a municipality does not allow new connections into the sewer/storm water system. 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. Green roofs and rainwater cisterns are being deployed in new construction. 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

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

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. Tree limbs which have been pruned are shredded and used as mulch on informal walkways in suitable areas where possible (Shirreff naturalized area).

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

Stormwater management actions are being taken with new projects such as adding water cisterns and green roofs in new buildings and permeable pavement. Five rain garden stormwater swale projects have been implemented to slow down water flow on university property.

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

Dalhousie Facilities 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. The Environmental Manager has Smart About Salt training. This information is shared with all Dalhousie snow removal staff. Contractors with Smart About Salt training are given preference in the RFP for snow removal services. We also try where possible to use alternatives to salt which are less corrosive but quite often the cost of these methods is prohibitive. Contracted snow removal equipment is fitted with both a plow/ bucket and a drop spreader so where possible a single pass will clear snow and apply salt in one operation which reduces machine hours and fuel consumption.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.