Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.78
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date April 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Oregon State University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.93 / 2.00 Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 1,635 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 181 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 779 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 49 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 0 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 626 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

The objective of OSU's IPM plan is to maintain pest populations below action threshold levels while ensuring minimal human exposure to health risks, inflicting minimal hazards on the environment, providing effective monitoring through inspections and standardized record keeping, and evaluating the effect of IPM practices. OSU's IPM plan aligns with EPA's plan in relationship to setting action thresholds, monitoring and identifying pests, and in prevention and control strategies. Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for ensuring that landscape services and all departments on campus follow proper IPM guidelines.

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

While we do not have a formal sustainable landscape plan, the other details on this page specify OSU effort to minimize impacts from landscaping activities.

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

OSU acknowledges the importance of using native plant species in landscaping practices. According to OSU Facilities Services Manager Joe Majeski, "Native plants are being incorporated into many of the new landscape areas. Also drought tolerant plants are used as well in many areas. We utilize a computerized irrigation system that measures: temperature, wind, humidity and rainfall and then meters just the amount of water required for optimal plant growth."

Additionally, People's Park at OSU showcases native and drought tolerant plants to demonstrate more sustainable landscaping practices. Fore more information: http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/peoples-park

A newer approach within the landscape crew is to convert smaller turf areas to sustainable shrub planting. These small lawn areas are particularly resource in intensive and don't provide the same benefits that larger lawn areas do.

For invasive species control, volunteer crews are used periodically to remove the two major invasive plants in this area: Himalayan blackberry and English ivy. Many of these volunteer events are student focused and include a service learning component.

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

The use of compost or mulch waste is a priority set by landscapers at OSU. On-campus handling and chipping of woody debris and compostable material ensures these materials are returned to the soil. Grass clippings are left on the lawns to return nutrients. All leaves are composted on-site, and mulch and wood chips are applied to OSU grounds to reduce watering and weeding needs.

All wood waste from landscaping is chipped on site and used on site. Green waste, except that from invasive species, are processed on site. Invasives are composted off site at a commercial facility.

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

Landscape crew has changed their practice to leave leaves in place. Leaves are moved into landscaped areas rather than being hauled away to compost at another part of campus. In place composting under large plants and trees reduces transportation fuel, labor hours and provides year-round mulch for water and nutrient retention, and soil amendment.

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

This is not currently included in OSU's efforts, with exception of some small permeable concrete areas for park benches.

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

Several bioswales are in place on campus, and a major road reconstruction project in FY14 will include a very large swale. The new Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility includes a vegetated swale with a small bridge over it near the entrance to a building, making these efforts as visible as possible.

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

OSU is located in a temperate climate that receives little snow but some ice on roadways. When needed, only products labeled as safe for the environment are used in ice removal. Steam distribution systems under many of the sidewalks on campus further help to melt ice. When needed, a gravel/sand mix, rather than chemical treatments or salt, is used on roadways.

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

Protected areas at OSU include the following types of areas, counted in the acreage above:
-LEED reserve
-Riparian protected areas
-Highly Protected Significant Vegetation
-Conservation Reserve Enhancement

OSU's total protected land is 626 acres, of a Corvallis total of 1635 acres, which includes farmlands.

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:

Problems with STARS terminology: building footprint and undeveloped.
The terminology for this credit is unclear and results in a questionable score. There is not guidance on whether or not sidewalks, parking lots and other impervious areas should be counted toward "Footprint of the institution's buildings." Terms should be pervious vs. impervious and other conventional land use planning standards. "Undeveloped land" also lacks a clear definition. Undeveloped, as OSU has used it above, equals no impervious acres+no protected acres. Where are impervious non building acres to be counted? How are farmlands with minimal management counted?

Additional notes on IPM:
OSU's Facilities Manager, Joe Majeski, has stated, "IPM practices are used on all the grounds in accordance with state and federal laws." Below is the Oregon Department of Agriculture's IPM plan. Departments at OSU must develop IPM programs that are consistent with state laws. Oregon State's IMP guidelines are offered below to illustrate how the State's plan aligns with the EPA's four-tiered IPM plan.

Definitions for ORS 634.650 to 634.665. As used in ORS 634.650 to 634.665:

(1) “Integrated pest management” means a coordinated decision-making and action process that uses the most appropriate pest control methods and strategy in an environmentally and economically sound manner to meet agency pest management objectives. The elements of integrated pest management include:
(a) Preventing pest problems;
(b) Monitoring for the presence of pests and pest damage;
(c) Establishing the density of the pest population, which may be set at zero, that can be tolerated or correlated with a damage level sufficient to warrant treatment of the problem based on health, public safety, economic or aesthetic thresholds;
(d) Treating pest problems to reduce populations below those levels established by damage thresholds using strategies that may include biological, cultural, mechanical and chemical control methods and that shall consider human health, ecological impact, feasibility and cost effectiveness; and
(e) Evaluating the effects and efficacy of pest treatments.
(2) “Pest” means any vertebrate or invertebrate animal, pathogen, parasitic plant, weed or similar or allied organism which can cause disease or damage to crops, trees, shrubs, grasses or other plants, humans, animals or property.

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.