Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.25
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Furman University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 2.00 Yancey Fouche
Associate Director
Shi Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 835 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 54.32 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 250 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 0 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 0.52 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

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

Although we do not have a specific sustainable landscape management program, we incorporate many sustainable practices within the 350 acres of maintained ground on campus.

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

Native Plants are used around the Furman lake, Shi Center, and state plants around Townes Science Center.

Some areas of campus are maintained with xeriscape landscaping techniques, including drought tolerant and native species as appropriate. The area surrounding Cliffs Cottage, the Susan Shi ornamental garden, is a highlight of the university's xeriscaped landscape. Other areas of campus which employ xeriscape techniques include the landscape at Farmer Hall, our new Child Development Center, Tennis Center, Track Infield, and several recreation fields on campus.

The Lake Resotration Project addresses runoff and erosion by planting native wildflower meadows on the shore. They intercept and absorb more surface runoff than turfgrass, and also add more color, structure, and diversity.

Example: Pickerel Weed is a perennial aquatic plant native to the Americas, ranging from Canada to Argentina. The plant can become invasive, but they are very efficient biological filters of polluted water in artificial wetlands like Furman Lake.

On July 3, 2006, there were 362 waterfowl on the 28 acres of Furman Lake, including 250 Canada geese. By most wildlife estimates, a density of 2 geese/acre is appropriate, 6-times less than our resident population. Through a combination of direct removals by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, publicity campaigns to discourage public feeding of the waterfowl, and habitat change, the Canada geese population is now near appropriate levels (See figure). In order to evaluate the impact of the restoration project on Canada geese behavior, Ecology students monitored the patterns of habitat use in areas with different vegetation types around the lake.

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

Furman conducts waste audits in the Furman Organic Garden.

Leaves, grass, and other non-woody landscape waste are combined with pre-consumer waste from the dining hall, and resulting compost is used in the organic-practice campus garden. The remaining campus waste, consisting mainly of dead or fallen tree limbs, is collected by a team of Facilities Services staff. The limbs are placed in a limb yard on the far north end of campus, where they are ground into mulch twice a year. This mulch meets a large percentage of the campus mulching need.

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

Furman utilizes soil management through crop rotations, companion planting,
and vermiculture (cultivation of earthworms for compost and soil management).

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

In the past decade, Furman has used a number of different LID practices and products on a multitude of projects – both new and renovation. These include: structural grass pavement and gravel pavement, porous concrete pavement, pervious brick pavement (with underdrain filtration), native plants, solar energy, rainwater harvesting and storage for irrigation, salvaging of construction materials and stock piling for future use, low VOC paints and adhesives, bio-retention ponds and surfaces, detention ponds, grass filtration strips, buffers on both sides of Little Creek, and manufactured structures such as catch basin inserts, cyclone separators and offset bay separators. And, of course, the new Synthetic Turf Football Field that catches and slows the runoff rate, cleans the stormwater of sediment, and does not require the use of nutrients that damage the environment.

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

The chemical characteristics of Furman Lake, its feeder streams, and the outlet stream that runs to the Reedy River have been studied for several years as part of the River Basins Research Initiative (RBRI) - the largest and longest-running interdisciplinary research program in the university's history. Spearheaded by the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, the RBRI has sampled water from watersheds throughout the upstate since the late 1990's in an effort to determine the effects of suburban growth on water quality. Studies have examined the effects of wastewater treatment plants on nitrogen levels in streams, the effects of differences in land cover and vegetation type on water quality, and the effects of changes in water quality on the fish and invertebrate communities that inhabit the streams.

In this context, one group of Ecology students decide to study how water chemistry varied between the two feeder creeks to the lake, as one drains a forested area and the other drains the major dorm complex. In addition, they sampled upstream from the dorm complex to determine whether the chemistry of this steam changed as it passed this developed area.

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

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:

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.