Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.60
Liaison Dayna Cook
Submission Date May 1, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Northern Arizona University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Ralph Padilla
Facility Srv: Landscaping
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 770.85 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 77.56 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 405.68 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 278.71 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 5.40 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

All grounds maintenance is driven by IPM Principles. 2013 was our first year in which we did not use herbicide or pesticide on campus lawns. (excluding athletic fields, 4 acres).

Hardscapes are treated with herbicide, only as needed. Multiple alternatives are being tested. When herbicide is used for hardscapes we have chosen the least toxic chemicals that maintain effective control, and apply at the lowest effective rate.

We incorporate low-emission/chemical-free practices such as manual removal of weeds whenever possible.
We live trap all animal pests & relocate them.

Residence Life takes care of 14.7 acres and they only use corn gluten meal - no other chemicals.

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

All Sustainable Landscape Maintenance (SLM) turf areas are managed by our sustainable maintenance plan which uses only organically-based and/or OMRI-certified treatments, including compost, elemental sulfur, corn gluten meal, and Soil Secrets products (http://soilsecrets.com/).

Maintenance focus is on improving soil health, increasing grass density, and creating a pleasing visual aesthetic using only organically-approved practices and products.

Weed species are removed with the HoundDog WeedHound tool and also by hand-pulling and by digging.

Research areas have been under SLM project care for 2 - 3 years, depending on the site. These sites are used to test new materials and methods, and data is collected regularly throughout the growing season in order to assess the effects of treatments.

North Quad was brought under SLM practices in spring 2013 and was maintained according to project standards. It was not used for experimentation or data collection but is intended to be a model of sustainable practices.

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

All specified planting materials shall be of species that has a proven history of resilience in this Northern Arizona locale. Preference shall be given to designs that center around a xeriscape approach and utilize drip irrigation.

Trees and Shrubs:
All specified tree and shrub plant material must be in place prior to August 1. All plant material used shall be of types proven hardy for the area and situation. New, novel or “different” plants shall be restricted to a bare minimum.

Current turfgrass species being seeded in the SLM project are perennial rye and Kentucky bluegrass (choosing cultivars which are best adapted to our climate). Native grasses have been introduced to research sites using Warner’s Native AZ Turf Mix: Sodar Streambank Wheatgrass, Fairway Crested Wheatgrass, VNS Sheep Fescue, Canbar Canary Bluegrass, Hachita Blue Grama.

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

NAU Grounds department collects all grass clippings, pine needles, and leaves for use in composting.

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

As NAU's organic garden program expands, the NAU Grounds department has worked collaboratively with student groups and the NAU Campus Organic Gardener to share compost and mulch for the organic gardens and to be used back on SLM test sites.

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

All heavy equipment runs on diesel fuel instead of gasoline.

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

Preference shall be given to designs that center around a xeriscape approach and utilize drip irrigation. NAU uses native plants that require less watering.

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

The university uses a commercially available naturally occurring de-icer. This de-icer is magnesium chloride and it has been tested and meets environmental requirements in Arizona and Colorado.

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:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.