Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.91
Liaison Elizabeth Swiman
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Florida State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dave MacManus
Assistant Director
Grounds & Landscape Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
1,529.37 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 0 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 1,085.33 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 1,085.33 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):

The FSU building footprint for Main Campus, SW Campus/Innovation Hub, and the Reservation is 310.83 AC. The parking lot acreage for the same locations is a total of 133.21 AC. This combined total of 444.04 AC for buildings and impervious surfaces was subtracted from the total campus area of 1,529.37 AC. The result is the total land area of managed grounds, 1,085.33 AC.

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:

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:

FSU Grounds utilizes organic practices and has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and methods in favor of ecologically preferable materials. Currently, the only measures utilized in pest prevention are taken are to control cycad scale on sago palms by the use of coffee grounds and horticultural oils to smother scale insects. At the FSU nursery, whiteflies are controlled with insecticidal soap and horticultural oils. In the FSU greenhouses, aphids and mites are controlled with horticultural oils and bio-rational products. Good sanitation, physical removal of infected plants, bio-rational techniques, and little to no chemical spraying on campus are all utilized. Only in rare instances, after organic methods have not been successful, inorganic pesticides may be utilized for specific plants that are endangered by severe infestations, such as the selective use of the systemic insecticide Zylam.

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

Native plant species and drought tolerant plants are considered first in the landscape design planning process. The Grounds department works with landscape architects to protect and incorporate already existing plants as well as utilize as many native plant species as possible and where appropriate (considering their aesthetic qualities, suitability to light exposure, soil conditions, ultimate height, educational merit, etc.). During construction, FSU Grounds will salvage and move trees to other spots on campus for replanting. Additionally, FSU maintains certain outlying properties in their natural state, to be used for educational purposes.

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

Due to the age of the FSU campus and the infrastructure currently in place, all irrigation systems utilize potable water with one exception- a small cistern that operates a three zone courtyard irrigation system. However, in an attempt to reduce the amount of potable water used, Grounds is systematically converting irrigation control systems to utilize smart controllers which are better at managing water usage than previous campus irrigation systems.

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

Grounds collects yard debris, limbs, and cut trees from campus to the FSU nursery to be ground into mulch, which is used again on campus. Cut grass clippings are reused on site during mowing.

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

As with any good landscape design, FSU Grounds always considers the existing conditions created by the built environment and attempt to improve the space. This is accomplished through the use of appropriate tree placement to increase available shade during the hottest months of the year, shrub placements to soften the built environment, and arrangement for visual interest. Together, these elements create a micro climate which, improves upon heat island affects. Ultimately, each location lends itself to specific treatments and plant selection due to specific environmental conditions such as: exposure, amount of shade, availability of or opportunity to provide irrigation, existing plant material, and utility locations above and below grade.

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):

FSU properties at Alligator Point and the surrounding forest at the FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory are kept in their natural state.

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

The Grounds department utilizes numerous environmentally preferable materials, including beneficial microbes as a natural soil amendment to help in the decomposition process. Removal of weed barrier fabric allows for natural decomposition and contributes to the organic components of the surrounding soil. Where feasible, natural leaf litter is left on site to decompose. The grounds of FSU are spot fertilized rarely (a few times a year), with a 15-0-15 fertilizer to reduce phosphorus runoff.

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.