Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.33
Liaison Kristin Larson
Submission Date July 31, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Diego State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Kandyce Hajosy
Assistant Landscape Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
9,283 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 9,283 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 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 9,283 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):

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:

Integrated Pest Management Protocol: SDSU Landscape Services

Pesticide use is a last resort within the department. When pesticides are used, least toxic effective methods are used whenever possible. Listed are the steps taken within our IPM protocol prior to and to prevent the use of chemical pesticides.

Cultural Methods:
- Proper pruning is done to allow air flow and prevent a place for pests to multiply and spread. Correct irrigation methods and amounts to allow for healthy growth levels and reduce plant stress. Reduce or avoid the use of pesticides for insect control to increase (and not unintentionally destroy) biological controls. Right plant, right place—this includes species that are native or have the same cultural requirements to thrive in the area. This also includes exposure, i.e. a plant that needs full sun exposure will more than likely be susceptible to insects and disease if planted in the shade. As a department, standard practice is applying a 3” mulch layer to all bare areas to suppress weeds and limit application of herbicides.

Physical Removal:
- Physically removing; by pruning off or spraying with water; branches, limbs or foliage that is infested with insects is a step that is used to decrease insect populations and spreading from plant to plant within an area.

Genetic Methods:
- Choosing plant varieties that are pest resistant or genetically modified to be less susceptible to pests is a commonly used practice.

Chemical Pesticides:
- The use of chemical pesticides within the department is limited to herbicide and fungicide use. When we are unable to pick or pull weeds the use of glyphosate and others are used to assist. Currently we are testing alternatives to glyphosate to reduce the use of the herbicide in the landscape.

Prevention Tools:
- To reduce the impact of invasive species within our urban forest to which there are no current biological controls, we have certain tree species treated chemically to prevent infestation. This prevents the loss of our assets and strengthens our defenses against the unexpected.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

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:

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

Under the guidance of trained horticulturists a group of 22 individuals are utilized for their skills, knowledge, and experience in plant and grounds maintenance. Each of the 16 grounds-workers on staff are assigned between 5-12 acres of landscape and turf to maintain. These professionals manage their areas in respect to the assets we have on campus (trees, planted landscapes etc.) by pruning, fertilizing and managing weeds appropriately and responsibly. They are trained on effective and responsible pesticide use, and utilize all effective means prior to the use of pesticides. They coordinate with their leadership staff on design projects within their areas.

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

SDSU uses the most advanced and accurate central control system (Calsense) to record and manage irrigation use. The system is designed to responsibly irrigate assigned areas based off of Et and utilizes a weather system to adjust based off of rain accumulation. Our trained irrigation specialists are regularly updated on the most modern components to help save water and regularly retrofit systems throughout campus to prevent wasting water. Calsense alerts the staff of irrigation flow issues to help us manage the large area and prevent water loss or landscape failures. We are consistently working to save water, at the same time planting low water use landscape material that is attractive and inviting.

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

We consistently mulch the grass clippings into the turf when we mow the turf areas, this provides extra nitrogen into the soil profile and reduces the amount of discarded grass clippings. We do not mulch on site for lack of space. As a department, we do not compost for lack of oversight available but there are departments on campus that compost food waste.

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

Landscape design projects that happen on campus are approved based on low water use, low maintenance, and are climate appropriate. Plant material is either Mediterranean or native/low water use. We try to choose plant material that is green and lush and mix in succulents to provide many textures and still stay ‘San Diego’ in our design style. When plant material is newly installed we always keep in mind the inputs required to keep the plants thriving. Plants are chosen based on their heartiness, pest resistance and low water requirements. This prevents us from having to use any extra resources to keep them alive and healthy. The landscape surrounding buildings, especially the mature trees help to limit the use of heating and cooling inside buildings by providing shade and shelter, reducing overall costs for the university.

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):

Although we do not compost or mulch on site, we regularly mulch all garden beds with a high compost percentage mulch. This helps us in the prevention of weeds and helps provide nutrients to the soil. We have decreased the use of herbicide overall because of the addition of mulch to our landscape. Over the past 6 years there has been a noticeable difference in the health of our plant material because of this.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.