Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.88
Liaison Laura Young
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Michigan State University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.20 / 2.00 Sean O'Connor
Grounds Maintenance Manager
IPF Landscape Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 5,200 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 206.30 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 221 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 2,376.27 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 1,985.71 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 185.87 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

MSU is developing an Integrated Pest Management program that will specifically meet the needs of the campus landscape. Staff is being trained to identify pest problems and will be able to evaluate the threshold when corrective action will need to be taken. In addition, MSU works with Landscape Architects to select disease and insect resistant plant materials to be used in the campus landscape. Research is being conducted to determine alternative treatments or remedies to solve pest problems.

In addition, it is hoped that developing healthy soil beds and selecting healthy, hardy plant materials will alleviate the need for extensive pesticide usage. Also, the staff is determining proper cultural methods to help keep the plant materials healthy.

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

MSU adheres to the Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Storm Water Polution Prevention Initiative.

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

Landscape Architects work with the Landscape Services department in developing solutions that include the use of native plant materials. In addition, the entire Michigan State University campus is considered an Arboretum and all plants growing on the MSU campus are protected under Michigan State University Ordinance 24.01 which simply states; “No person shall break or cut branches or flowers or fruit, or otherwise damage or mutilate any tree, shrub, herbaceous plant, or flower upon property governed by the Board of Trustees, or remove from the same any identification tag or sign.”

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

Our mowing fleet is outfitted with mulching decks which reduces the amount of lawn trimmings and leaves that are collected on an annual basis. We also utilize blowers to blow leaves and organic material that fall on hard surfaces back into lawn areas to mulch. Topsoil is recycled and reused for all campus construction renovations averaging 20,000 cubic yards annually. We receive approximately 1000 cubic yards annually from the campus greenhouse organic waste and other miscellaneous organic waste from south farms. In an effort to reduce expenses of purchasing cured compost to blend with our topsoil, we have partnered to recieve leaves and lawn clippings from East Lansing Public Works in the fall season. Concrete sidewalks, roadways, and parking areas are also recycled and repurposed as subbase which is reinstalled under sidewalks and parking lots on campus in volumes of 7000 tons annually.

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:

We have many environmentally friendly materials in landscapes throughout campus such as rooftop gardens, pervious recycled rubber sidewalks, pervious concrete sidewalks, pervious asphalt parking areas, and recycled tire asphalt roadways. We have also installed environmentally friendly brick pavers at Wells Hall.

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

The campus landscape master plan identifies a no-net loss of green space. If a construction project is unable to offset green space, then storm water management devices are installed to maintain the integrity of the natural hydrology on campus.

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

MSU uses an organic liquid called BEETHEAT, a sugar beet byproduct used in snow and ice removal. BEETHEAT, combined with salt brine reduces the volume of salt used to melt the same amount of snow and improves the melting temperature down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Another benefit of using less salt is reduced corrosion to the environment and reduced operation of equipment to remove the snow and ice as less collects on hard surfaces.

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

Woodlots are considered protected areas on campus as well as other areas identified in the campus landscape masterplan such as historically sensitive areas i.e. Beal Garden, Beal woodlot, etc.

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:

Acreage managed in accordance with an IPM includes 2135 acres from our research farms on south campus.
Acreage managed in accordance with a Sustainable Landscape management plan includes 120 acres of wetlands on south campus.
Acreage managed organically includes the 10-acres Student Organic Farm on south campus.

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.