Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.92
Liaison Ilda Hershey
Submission Date May 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oklahoma State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.80 / 2.00 Ilda Hershey
Sustainability Coordinator
OSU Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
680 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach 350 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an organic land care standard or sustainable landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials 1 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 90 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 441 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds (e.g. the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, areas that are not regularly managed or maintained):

Areas that are not regularly managed or maintained include the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
79.37

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
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A brief description of the IPM program:

IPM is practiced in various components and interdisciplinary campus programs. Physical Plant Services primarily practices IPM in its greenhouse production through 1) pest identification and routine scouting, 2) mechanical monitoring and trapping, 3) natural/organic treatment, and 4) chemical treatment as a last resort with the lowest toxicity available pending pest outbreak. IPM is practiced both in greenhouse production and outdoors.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
0.23

A brief description of the organic land standard or landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials:

For the 1 acre of land grown organically (Price Garden), organic compost and mulch is used and IPM is practiced rather than applying inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The produce is this garden is utilized in the adjacent Rancher's Club restaurant.


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

OSU has a Landscape Master Plan that emphases tree preservation and protection. Environmental site review is always the first step of all landscape designs and installations. The proper plants are then chosen for the site with many being native plants. OSU does occasionally use non-native species in some gardens, but does not introduce invasive species in its landscape projects. .


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

Through our campus-wide tree inventory we know that our 3,353 trees have helped avoid 54,282 cubic feet of runoff in 2016. Our aeration maintenance program helps loosen compacted soils for better water infiltration. Mulching and sod grass budgets have been increased to better cover bare landscaped areas and lawns to improve moisture retention, water filtration and adsorption. A raw water non-potable irrigation project has been identified and funded in phases to minimize and/or limit future potable water use. Irrigation is being installed using non-potable infrastructure to eventually convert to non-potable resources. Non-potable irrigation pipe infrastructure has been installed over the past six years to serve about 87 acres, in addition to 1.1 miles of raw water pipe to get us closer to our source and goal of non-potable irrigation water. Also, the Student Union Plaza, Monroe Street (one of the main thoroughfares through campus), and other hardscapes are permeable. Lastly, we start each new design with information gathered from our campus surveyor to study and understand topography and water runoff for each site to make as little of an impact as possible implementing appropriate planting design and stormwater standards on a case by case basis.


A brief description of the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):

OSU has been composting landscape/greenhouse waste materials along with cured horse manure (from the OSU Rodeo Club) since 2011. All of the resulting compost is then used on campus in landscape renovation planting beds and as mulch. Other than a few specialty mulch items (e.g. cottonseed hulls), we no longer purchase ready-to-use compost or mulch. We chip tree prunings to use as mulch and purchase chipped hardwood scrap from a nearby milling operation to use as bulk mulch.


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

We have started to increase the tree canopy of the university and have as a goal to increase 10% over the next 10 years to help with reflective heat and improve shade coverage. We are currently 4.7% canopy coverage. In 2017, we calculated our total tree structural value at $9,319,590 with about 85 of those trees valued at over $15,000 each and total leaf area of 6,785,293 sq. ft.


A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

OSU’s sustainable landscape management program approach emphasizes 1) tree care and preservation as a priority, 2) low maintenance site specific landscape design and installation, 3) organic soil improvements and mulching, and 4) balanced fertilizer, pest control and irrigation practices. A stringent tree care plan is in place for maintenance, protection, and future plantings. OSU has been certified as a Tree Campus USA for 6 going on 10 years and an Urban Forester manages this priority. Landscapes are designed with low maintenance in mind using the appropriate plant to the site conditions. Native and drought tolerant plants are emphasized in all designs but OSU does also use appropriate zone adapted, low water use, non-invasive, non-natives.

Salt/sand mixes are used for ice events only, and only on streets. Sidewalks and parking lots are cleared with mechanical means first. Environmentally friendly ice melt products, with colorant to reduce over-application, have been specifically chosen to use on sidewalks to minimize re-icing. Furthermore, we use recycled paper tree wraps for sunscald protection on new trees, recyclable greenhouse growing pots, cornstarch compostable bags for collecting leaves, and biodegradable wood root ball tree stakes.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Steve Dobbs, Chris Martin, OSU Grounds & Landscape

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.