Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 8, 2021

STARS v2.2

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:
17,019.52 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 9.51 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 173.05 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 182.56 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Excluded areas: buildings, parking lots, sidewalks and other impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, forest holdings, riparian, protected and natural areas and other areas that are not managed or maintained by any landscaping team or service.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
Three small organic farms on the Corvallis campus produce food that is used by on campus dining outlets and/or sold to the public. These farms provide ongoing experiential learning opportunities to students.

OSU Organic Growers Club (~2 acres)
This club's primary focus is the student run organic production farm, founded in 2001 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. They currently have over 300 members and 400 community clients!

On the farm, located on OSU agricultural research land, they use organic methods to grow a wide variety of vegetables, as well as many berries and herbs. They then harvest and sell their produce to the on-campus community every Friday at their own fresh market. They 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.

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

Interns work with other student volunteers and Oregon Tilth certified staff member 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 from 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. Additions planned for the Food Forest include an orange tree and a grape trellis that will run along the side of Callahan Hall.

Three other organic areas, at 1/4 acre each, include: McNary Orchard (East of McNary Dining Center), the HSRC garden (East of Champinefu Lodge), and the Orchard Court Community Garden raised bed areas.

The Student Experience Center edible food bed on the southeast corner of the building is 500 square feet (0.01 acre) and managed organically.

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:
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 prevention and control strategies (4-tiered approach). To keep landscaping staff trained, at least one part of each staff member's annual training includes IPM. Landscaping staff also attend IPM certification each year.

Additional details on IPM:
IPM practices are used on all the grounds in accordance with state and federal laws. Departments at OSU must develop IPM programs that are consistent with these laws. State of Oregon IMP guidelines are offered 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.

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 Director 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." OSU has an extensive tree management program with certified arborists on staff and a tree catalogue with over 5000 entries.

The landscape crew looks for opportunities to convert smaller turf areas to shrub planting beds. Small lawn areas are particularly resource intensive and don't provide the same benefits that larger lawn areas.

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 and sheep have also been used to control invasive species.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
Several bioswales are installed on campus, and a major road reconstruction project in 2015 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 features 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 to consolidate information about this work. It can be found at https://fa.oregonstate.edu/sustainability/information/visitors

Recent partnerships with the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition have focused on returning "lost streams" to functional capacity on the Corvallis Campus. This is a partnership between the academic community and the Coalition. Past OSU/Coalition projects can be found at https://sustainablecorvallis.org/action-teams/water/three-waters-program/three-waters-osu/

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
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:
Regarding snow and ice removal, 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.

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:

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.