Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 1,074 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 107 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 367 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 600 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 0 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :

All Duke University Grounds staff in supervisory roles have their North Carolina Pest Management Association licenses. Furthermore, there is a certified Arborist on staff. These numbers suggest that Duke University Grounds staff is dedicated to using the most sustainable practices. All of the grounds are monitored and tended to in a way to support the health of the plants. Planting techniques, compost, and native species are all used to deter pests. In general, the plants on campus have a high threshold for insects, and sprays are only used as a last resort in a highly targeted and controlled manner. The acreage that requires more rigorous pest management are the 20 acres of athletic fields.

The entire 55 acre Duke Gardens and horticultural facilities are managed with IPM strategies (https://gardens.duke.edu/). The threshold for pest and disease is relatively high depending on the location in the garden and type of pest. The goal is to eventually manage the garden organically. The hybrid tea rose collection (which requires weekly spraying of fungicide) is being replaced with roses that require no spraying or other chemical treatment to keep them healthy, all the garden’s green/woody waste will soon be composted and or mulched and reused in the garden. The new Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden within Duke Gardens has been awarded 2 stars under the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES), a new sustainable landscaping certification program. The Discovery Garden is only 1 of 15 projects that has received SITES certification nationwide. In order to achieve SITES certification, Duke Gardens staff, who maintain the Discovery Garden, have to follow a set of stringent and comprehensive integrated pest management guidelines. The Discovery Garden, therefore, is an exemplary garden that showcases both comprehensive integrated pest management practices and sustainable landscaping.

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

Duke focuses on establishing low maintenance, healthy landscapes through appropriate plant species selection, targeted use of chemicals, and reliance on cultural practices to create the aesthetic desired.

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

Duke has a vigorous tree protection program, which helps protect both trees and soil during construction. Natural landscapes on campus are being studied for their ecological and social benefit and decisions will be made as to the best was to manage these large tracts of land. We do not plant any federally or state listed noxious or invasive plants, and avoid planting species which have a high likelihood of becoming invasive in the future. We focus on native plants whenever possible, and put a premium on biodiversity in our landscape renovation. In addition to avoiding the introduction of invasive species, we are also establishing an invasive species removal protocol.

A special emphasis is placed on the use of native plant species in landscaping at Duke University. New landscaping projects always involve the installation of native plants. Native plants and their associated ecosystems are featured in the 7 acre Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. Over 1,000 species of flora native to the southeastern US are on display and are conserved by two full-time gardeners. The Duke Gardens Facility is a member of the NC Native Plant Society and the staff frequently participates in plant rescue events across the state. Native plants are also frequently used in other sections of the gardens and receive strong emphasis in new garden projects. The Duke Forest hosts 900 species of plants and supports a wide cross-section of the woodlands found in the upper coastal plain and lower piedmont of the Southeast.

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

Duke University Grounds has a commitment to reuse landscape waste. We strive to minimize the use of chemicals and other products on campus. Most trees and woody vegetation that are cut down are reused as woodchip mulch. Sometimes wood is reused for lumber projects. Leaves that fall on campus are mowed and reapplied on mulch beds to improve soil quality. When feasible, some landscape waste is composted off site in a location in Duke Forest.

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

We use slow release fertilizers on an as-needed basis, and mulch leaves into our beds for nutrient cycling. We use wood chips from our tree management to enhance soils on campus.

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

We strive to use the mildest chemical possible for the specific application. We utilize undyed- natural materials, recycling wood chips. Our specified soil includes compost made by a local company who partners with the campus to compost foods.

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

Duke is working on a Stormwater retention pond which allows for the cleaning of Stormwater runoff while reducing our dependency on potable water for air conditioning. As part of this project we restored thousands of feet of streams on campus. We also have a large, constructed wetland study site which helps filter the runoff from our athletic fields and serves as both a recreation and educational destination.

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

The Facilities Management Department prioritizes chemical-free snow and ice removal tactics. We try to target applications of salt and sand. As possible, we use CMA, which is an expensive but very environmentally friendly product for controlling ice. Salt diluted with sand is used as a last resort on walkways that are especially dangerous like stairs and near the hospital facility. All efforts need to be compatible with the surrounding landscape. Sweeper machines are used to remove ice.

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

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:

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.