Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.05
Liaison Yumiko Jakobcic
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Grand Valley State University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Yumiko Jakobcic
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 1,389 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 330 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 616 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 443 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 :

Start with a healthy plant as the best defense against disease or pests. Choose correct varieties for the location. Don’t overplant areas to improve air circulation that reduces disease. Water wisely, caution used not to over or under water locations. Clean up debris to reduce insect populations. Determine thresholds and monitor locations regularly. Understand life-cycles of insects and weeds for proper control. Limit synthetic chemical control use and avoid ‘blanket’ applications.

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

(1) Design Phase – Design sensitive to surroundings and site-appropriate ecosystems. Layout and plants determined by designer and maintenance personnel. Plants include native and site-adapted species. (2) Construction Phase – retains and protects on-site soils. Imports as little soil as possible. Reuses hardscape materials if possible. Minimizes removal of on-site debris and material. (3) Maintenance – Has final say in plant choice and placement. Maintenance activities vary by location on site. Clippings returned when possible. Debris recycled on-site when possible. Minimal fertilizer applications. Pests managed via IPM. Pruning uses a variety of styles.

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

We follow the IPM plan, and also review design plans prior to landscaping to make sure that they accommodate native plants and use plants that are hearty for this region.

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

On-campus composting kicked off with a sorting party involving a group of students sorting the yard waste. Facilities services transported the sorted material to the Sustainable Agriculture Project where is was wind-rowed. In addition, dining facilities and housing all offer compost options. Some compost is then used at the Sustainable Agriculture Project.

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

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

Slow release and organic fertilizers are used as part of the turf management program on campus.  Liquid de-icing materials are used on sidewalk areas in place of bagged or rock salt, to reduce damage to trees, plants, and turfgrass areas around campus.  A natural/bacteria based material is added to the ponds to control weed and algae growth.

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

The Stormwater Advisory Group (SWAG), consisting of faculty, staff, and consulting engineers, collaborate on water management solutions on campus. With the input of SWAG, GVSU has constructed water retention ponds, bioswales and rain gardens, used porous pavement, and designed vegetated roofs to maintain an acceptable flow of water into the adjacent ravine system.

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

Snow piles from parking lots are placed in locations, where melting/runoff of the snow piles, are less apt to cause erosion to adjacent ravine areas. Excessive amounts of piled snow (that could cause erosion problems) are mechanically removed and relocated by front-end loaders and or odump trucks, when necessary. Road salt usage is reduced by 50%, by mixing the road salt with sand. Salt usage on sidewalk areas has been reduced or eliminated in most areas of campus, by using liquid de-icing materials that are lss corrosive, and environmentally damaging.

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

The Stormwater Wetland Complex located on Pierce Road, between parking lot J and 48th Ave., is a protected wetland area that provides treatment for stormwater generated from 123 campus acres and diverts significant amounts of runoff away from the Grand River ravines. The wetland complex serves as a demonstration project on how to manage stormwater onsite, while providing a valuable "outdoor learning laboratory" for students and faculty.

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:

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