Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.48
Liaison Dayna Cook
Submission Date Sept. 28, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northern Arizona University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.21 / 2.00 Ralph Padilla
Facility Srv: Landscaping
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
829 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides 0 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 150 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 550 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 700 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:

We have additional forest land that we do little maintenance to besides thinning for fire prevention.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Campus lawns are maintained at a level that allows the grass to out-compete the weeds. This process includes: aeration/processing of pulled cores, top dressing and over seeding. Manual removal of weeds is also part of the process.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:

A copy of the IPM plan or program:

A brief description of the IPM program:

No chemicals used for pest control.
Pesticide-free: No pesticides used for pest control related to turf and landscape
maintenance. For the purposes of this document the term “pesticide-free”
refers specifically to the use of synthetic pesticides.
EPA Rule 25B: Identifies what materials are considered minimum risk pesticides. These products are a special class of pesticides that are not subject to federal
registration requirements because their ingredients, both active and inert,
are demonstrably safe for the intended use.
Weed: An undesired, uncultivated plant growing in a manner so as to adversely
compete with desirable plants for water, light and nutrients, or destroy
aesthetic qualities of a lawn or landscaped area. Weeds are also identified
as undesired plants growing in areas which are not designed for plant
growth such as parking lots and sidewalks.
Pesticide: Any chemical (or mixture of chemicals) or biological agent used to control
plant or animal pests in order to protect and/or preserve desirable plants.
Herbicide: A pesticide designed to control or kill plants, weeds, or grasses.
Selective: Term usually applied to an herbicide that has the ability to only destroy
one type of plant while not affecting others.
Non-Selective: Term usually applied to an herbicide that will destroy any type of plant to
which it is applied.
Contact Herbicide: A weed killer that kills primarily by contact with plant tissues.
Systemic Herbicide: A weed killer that kills by being translocated throughout the plant.
Pre-emergent: The application of an herbicide before the weed emerges from the soil.
Post-emergent: The application of an herbicide after the weed has emerged from the soil.
Synthetic: Product that is chemically engineered normally using non organic sources.
(There are herbicides, such as the Nicotinal Class, that are engineered
products which are based on naturally occurring compounds, in this case
Natural: Product derived from various organic sources.
Campus Grounds: Outdoor areas that have the potential to be accessed by humans and
animals. This definition includes: turf, shrub and rock beds, parking lots,
and sidewalks. As it related to this document campus grounds excludes
natural areas which may require specific work for noxious weed control
and athletic fields which may require a high level of maintenance as
prescribed by the NCAA sports turf guidelines. Campus grounds also
excludes injections for tree health, however any pesticide spraying for tree
health should be reviewed by the Campus Pesticide Application Advisory
Unmanageable Areas: Turf areas that have conditions such as poor quality soil, improper
grading, irrigation deficiencies, extreme microclimates, and/or
concentrated student and or event usage that are too small or tight to use
existing equipment to perform follow up cultural practices (i.e. aeration,
seeding) necessary to improve soil and turf health.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

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 September 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 approval from grounds administration.

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 that have proven success are being utilized in natural landscape areas.

In 2015, NAU created a Tree Plan in accordance with the Arbor Day's Tree Campus USA requirements. NAU maintains current Tree Campus certification by administering a tree care plan.

A guiding principle in NAU’s Landscape Master Plan is landscape architectural design that fully expresses the inherent beauty, diversity and distinction of the regional landscape by using native and adapted species in appropriate densities. Native species are encouraged and preferred, in both informal naturalized plantings and formal beds, for ecological soundness and creation of an appropriate regional aesthetic. Adapted species with a proven track record in Flagstaff are also replied upon, with additional opportunities to test species to increase plant diversity. The NAU campus is located in the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine-Arizona Fescue forest. The campus’s existing Ponderosa Pines are preserved whenever possible with the goal of a healthy forest, including a mix of old-growth and younger tree stands with ample space, native meadow grasses and understory shrubs.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:

Preference shall be given to designs that center around a xeriscape approach and utilize drip irrigation. NAU uses native plants that require less watering. NAU is implementing a central control system called Calsense. this system will save about 30% of our water and reclaimed water use.

Sustainability is a guiding principle of NAU’s Landscape Master Plan, including being conscious of water use by utilizing native and adapted plants, zoning low-water use species together in irrigation design to facilitate weaning off irrigation, limiting the amount of manicured lawn areas, and incorporating native meadow areas. The University considers stormwater as a resource and encourages designs to collect and infiltrate stormwater. NAU utilizes stormwater management practices that focus on slowing stormwater runoff rather than concentrating it, minimizing and disconnecting impervious surfaces using bio-retention techniques with riparian native grasses, and directing runoff to landscape areas with well-draining soils that are conducive to infiltration.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

NAU Grounds department collects all grass clippings, pine needles, and leaves for use in composting. We also use food waste from our dining halls that is incorporated in our compost program. We use mulching blades on our mowers.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

NAU continues to work on limiting the amount of stark gravel areas to decrease urban heat island effects, including installing planting beds that achieve 80% vegetation coverage on the ground plane within 3-4 years and using organic wood mulch to suppress weedy species growth. Wood mulch contributes to plant health, provides cooling of the soils, lends itself to fuller planting beds resulting from the ability of plants to spread and less maintenance by deterring weeds by filling in the space between plantings, and allows weeds to be pulled by hand negating the need for chemicals.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

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. We are currently working with our forestry dept on forest management for healthy forest which includes thinning and tree inventory.

NAU’s Landscape Master Plan includes materials selection with considerations such as longevity of material/product and local availability in order to minimize impacts associated with extraction, processing, transport and maintenance. The Plan’s exterior furnishings standards use materials that are composed of sustainable materials that require limited maintenance. Our Research Greenhouse and local growers are preferred sources for native grasses, perennials and shrubs.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Information provided by: Ralph.Padilla@nau.edu; Janel.Wilcox; Susan.dietrich.

Total acres from our NAU Data and Reporting office.

Information provided by: Ralph.Padilla@nau.edu; Janel.Wilcox; Susan.dietrich.

Total acres from our NAU Data and Reporting office.

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.