Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 40.74
Liaison Pat Van Duyne
Submission Date June 11, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Joliet Junior College
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.30 / 2.00 Richard Rivera
Assistant Director
Facility Services/Roads & Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 423 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 17.90 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 133.50 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 106.30 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 165.30 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :
The College has an IPM action plan for its natural areas on the campus that combines various management strategies to deal with pest problems. Action thresholds center around protection of lake water quality and preventing the spread of invasive species. To achieve these thresholds, the College emphasizes monitoring, prevention, control and training actions. Areas are routinely monitored for pests and invasive species so that appropriate control decisions can be made. Primary tools for control include biological, cultural, mechanical and chemical. Biological controls focus on establishing/reestablishing healthy prairie plant communities that attract migratory birds and other beneficial fauna and that are resistant to invasion. The College has established an active burn program as a cultural measure to control invasive species and promote healthy ecosystems. Specific control measures are identified and used as needed depending on the pest species identified. Mechanical (mowing) is utilized for some species; chemical (herbicide) application is utilized for other specific species. Other IPM actions include training and licensing activities to ensure safe herbicide/pesticide applications, as well as contractual requirements to ensure seed purchased is certified "weed free" and that contractors are properly licensed. The adoption of multiple pest management methods continues to help the College achieve its goal of creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems on the campus. The College's Groundskeeping staff and contractors are licensed Pesticide Applicators and Operators under the State of Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Environmental Programs. As State of Illinois Licensed Pesticide Applicators and Operators, we are signatory to the State of Illinois IPM plan which is attached above and included in Illinois Pesticide Training Manual SP39.

A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:
JJC's approach to sustainable landscape management focuses on a process that incorporates good planning, design, operations, and maintenance in ways that look to "fit" elements to the landscape rather than "imposing" them on the landscape. This process starts with a thorough understanding of site conditions and assessment of the built landscape's capability to support existing natural ecological functions. Consequently, practical ideas and techniques are identified that support sustainable landscape management on campus. Some examples include recycling debris on site to provide mulch and compost, creating infiltration basins near new buildings and within parking lots to reduce runoff and improve water quality, minimizing mowing and returning clippings to provide additional nutrients and moisture to plants, and emphasizing the use of native and climate-tolerant adapted species relative to campus landscape design. Species are selected that do not rely on permanent irrigation systems to survive, and require less fertilization, two aspects that have beneficial impacts on the environment. Additionally, the College has recently restored much of the campus's undeveloped area to native prairie and savanna ecosystems, an action that promotes good land stewardship and a healthier environment. Ultimately, sustainability is about creating healthy ecosystems that provide benefits to all living organisms.

A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:
JJC's Master Plan identifies areas that are appropriate for various types of landscape treatment. Once established, these areas are monitored frequently and maintained so as to meet sustainable landscape management objectives. For many areas, appropriate native species are selected based on an evaluation of the ecological setting of the site. For example, mesic-wet-mesic native plant species have been selected for low-lying, wetter sites while more drought-tolerant xeric native plant species have been selected for hotter, drier sites. The institution controls and manages invasive plant species through frequent monitoring of sites. Invasive and non-desirable species are physically removed in many areas within the campus landscaped sites. Herbiciding and physical removal are currently utilized for the larger natural areas due to the restoration efforts recently undertaken. Ultimately, JJC will control invasive plant species in these areas through establishment of native plants that, over time, will fill in and preclude invasive species. Invasive species are further controlled through the implementation of a Burn Program established by JJC for its natural areas.

A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:
The College recycles all landscape waste and compost generated at all campuses. All woody landscape waste is chipped into mulch and recycled into existing plant beds at all campuses. All vegetative landscape waste is transported to our compost pile for use in the Ag fields as soil amendments.

A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:
Much of JJC's campus area is characterized by shallow soils over limestone bedrock. Consequently, the institution emphasizes practices that minimize soil disturbance as much as practicable. Organic debris (leaves, fallen limbs) is left undisturbed within undeveloped and natural areas unless it is deemed unsafe. Inorganic fertilizers and chemicals are not applied in these areas, especially near the campus's existing lake where disturbances to shallow soils can readily affect the lake's ecosystem.

A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:
JJC emphasizes the use of recycled and reused materials and sustainable products as part of its landscape management program. Re-used pavers were recently utilized as part of the design and construction of an outside sitting area for the campus's new cafeteria. As part of its sustainability commitment, JJC routinely requires landscape material be obtained from local/regional nurseries. Native seed species are required to be of local genotype within a radius of 250 miles from the project site.

A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:
JJC has a strong commitment to protecting the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus. Many of the campus's stormwater management areas are designed with infiltration basins to help catch sediment and improve water quality leaving the site. Similarly, porous paving materials are frequently used to help infiltrate runoff, as was recently done with part of the campus's new loop access road and several walkways. The institution's emphasis on native and regionally-adaptable plant species helps keep potable water for irrigation to a minimum. One example is the campus' Greenway, which includes drought-tolerant fescue grasses. A significant objective for protecting JJC's natural hydrology is the on-going management and protection of the headwaters to the campus lake. This area consists of a native fen, actively managed and protected by the College.

A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):
Since each snow and ice event is unique, the College applies only the minimal amount of deicing materials necessary per occurrence to maintain the safety of college roadways, parking lots and walkways.

A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:
The College maintains and protects an existing three acre fen located at the headwaters of the campus's lake. The fen is home to a number of high quality wetland and prairie plants, and is an important element in protecting the water quality of the lake.

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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