Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.23
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oregon State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.05 / 2.00 Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
16631.70 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 148.30 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 8.50 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 156.80 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):

Excluded areas: buildings, parking lots, sidewalks and other impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, riparian, protected and natural areas and other areas that are not regularly managed or maintained by any landscaping team or service.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
94.58

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

The objective of OSU's IPM program 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 program aligns with EPA's guidance in relationship to setting action thresholds, monitoring and identifying pests, and in prevention and control strategies (4-tiered approach). To keep landscaping staff trained, at least one part of each annual training include discussion of IPM. Landscaping staff also attend IPM certification each year.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
5.42

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:

Three small organic farms on the Corvallis campus produce food that is used by on campus dining outlets and sold to the public. These farms provide ongoing experiential learning opportunities to students, and sometimes community members.

OSU Organic Growers Club (~2 acres)
Our primary focus is our student run organic production farm, founded over a decade ago by a handful of students with a desire to learn about agriculture first hand. Besides being a lot of FUN, the club is today a valuable teaching tool, as well as a model organization, over the years having gained support from administration, forward thinking faculty, students, and community members. We currently have over 300 members and 400 community clients involved with the Growers Club!

On the farm, which is nearly 2 acres and located on OSU agricultural research land, we use organic methods to grow nearly every type of vegetable you can think of, as well as many berries and herbs. We then harvest and sell our produce to the on-campus community every Friday at our own fresh market. We use only quality seeds and starts, including many heirloom varieties. This site is certified organic by Oregon Tilth. https://www.facebook.com/OSUOrganicGrowers/ and https://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/organic-growers-club

Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture (6.5 acres)
This site, located along Oak Creek, is tucked into a corner of campus once used to teach beekeeping. An interdisciplinary group of faculty, students and staff have created a space that provides a forum for learning that integrates landscaping, ecological restoration, green building technologies, community food systems, organic horticulture production, natural history, science, the arts, and cultural ecology. OCCUH is an excellent learning laboratory for sustainable horticultural practices in both rural and peri-urban landscapes. Practices focus on organic horticulture and cultural ecology; inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are not used.
http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/group/oak-creek-center-urban-horticulture

Callahan Food Forest (~1/4 acre)
Envisioned by an OSU student, University Housing and Dining Services and other campus departments have partnered to landscape a fully functional organic garden outside of Callahan Hall named the Food Forest. With the Food Forest, students can observe and participate in organic gardening without even leaving campus. They can harvest fruits and vegetables, prune fruit trees, spread bark chips, and, most importantly, eat the food being grown.

Interns get to work with other student volunteers and Oregon Tilth certified staff members Sylvan Pritchett and Brian Kreft. The hands-on experience enhances academic learning in horticulture or natural resources, and exposes students to organic gardening methods. Spending time gardening in the Food Forest can also help interns and volunteers learn the difference between local, seasonal food options and imported food products while grocery shopping.

Although produce in the Food Forest is available to all students, some of the food is harvested and served in the dining centers or occasionally sold in Cascadia Market. With hopes for an expansion near McNary Dining, organic gardening and fresh food availability on campus is steadily growing. Additions planned for the Food Forest include an orange tree and a grape trellis that will run along the side of Callahan Hall.
http://experience.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/growing-food-osu
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/lifeatosu/2015/food-forest-brings-organic-produce-to-the-heart-of-campus/


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

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."

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. Goats have also been used to control invasive species.


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

Several bioswales are in place on campus, and a major road reconstruction project in FY14 included a very large swale. The Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility includes a vegetated swale with a footbridge over it near the entrance to a building, making these efforts highly visible. OSU assembled a water resources brochure to educate the public about the ways in which OSU is reducing its impact on water resources and consolidate information about this work. It can be found at http://fa.oregonstate.edu/sustainability/operations/water


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

The use of compost or mulch waste is a priority of landscapers at OSU. On-campus handling and chipping of woody debris and compostable material ensures these materials are used as locally as possible. Grass clippings are left on 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 approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

Trees are used in some landscape applications to provide shade to west and south sides of buildings. Shade trees are also used along paved areas like parking lots to minimize heat island effects. Additionally, certain hard to mow areas of turf have been removed to reduce needed inputs from mowing and turf maintenance. These areas have largely been replaced by mulch cover.


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 is located in a temperate climate that receives little snow and occasional ice. When needed, only products labeled as safe for the environment are used in ice removal for sidewalks. 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 or sidewalks.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.