Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 27.64
Liaison Jennifer McLaughlin
Submission Date March 31, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

South Dakota State University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.64 / 2.00 Jennifer McLaughlin
Sustainability Intern
Facilities and Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 494.24 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 41 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 20.10 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 127.35 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 90.30 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 6.25 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :

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

South Dakota State University Facilities & Services maintains a selection of plants based on long term sustainability in management inputs. Plants are selected for their regional adaptability at the least, and when possible we choose locally native species to represent the majority of our plantings. Planting density is also given importance as it serves to limit the opportunity for weeds to take hold in beds. Thought is given to the external benefits of planting such as wildlife habitat, forage and feeding for pollinator species, and increasing biomass to reduce urban heat-island effects. Species and genera that are observed to be invasive either by first hand observation or USDA designation are prohibited for planting. We employ heavy wood fiber mulching to control weeds in planting beds. All trees that are removed from the SDSU landscape are chipped into mulch for use in our landscape beds. Crews hand weed when undesirable species are identified in beds, and apply herbicides in accordance with IPM practices when hand weeding is not economical. Any heritage plantings or specimens on campus are protected through construction of any new projects.

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

SDSU Facilities & Services protects the existing vegetation on construction projects by identifying and setting up protection zones for important specimens. Much of our building is on previously developed land, so the vegetation of interest are heritage trees or specimens of special interest. Tree protection zones are established and observed through construction to keep heritage trees and specimens on campus. Native plants are used in planting beds for better handling our climate. Most of the plants used are ‘nativars’, native plants that have been bred for ornamental characteristics. When native plants cannot be used, we substitute regionally adapted plants that take minimum inputs to deal with our climate. Invasive species such as European buckthorn and Russian olive are eradicated when they are identified on campus and these species are prohibited from planting on campus.

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

All trees and shrubs that are removed on campus are shredded or chipped and recycled into planting bed mulch on campus. Mulch eventually decays and adds to beneficial buildup of soil organic matter. Any mulch or refuse taken from landscape beds that is not suitable for recycling is composted on site and donated to the City of Brookings compost pile for eventual distribution to the general public, free of charge.

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

Landscape and turf soils are managed with the use of environmentally responsible products whenever possible. Approximately 30% of our fertilizer is organically sourced turkey litter products. These products are used in both planting beds and on turf areas as needed. Planting beds are fertilized on a three to five year cycle and turf is fertilized every year.

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

Whenever possible, SDSU Facilities & Services uses locally produced or locally provided materials for landscape construction and maintenance. Examples are locally sourced seed and locally quarried stone for landscape elements.

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

Natural drainage patterns are given high importance in the design of new projects. Consideration is taken to preserve water velocity and flow, as well as on-site retention. All wetlands that are affected by constructed are delineated and replaced at a ratio of 1.5:1.

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

SDSU has had a continual process over the past eight years to reduce out ice and snow melt impact on both the campus and the environment as follows:
· purchased specialized sanders for the John Deer Gators that allow more precise application rates on sidewalks than previously achieved by the spreader that was used on both sidewalks and streets.
· purchased several Bobcat broom attachments to sweep the sand/salt off the hard surfaces to capture them before they into the storm water system during spring melts, and additionally we have purchased a street sweeper as well for this task.
· Do more efficient calibration of equipment and have recently been working on a salting system that reads the ground speed of the application machine and slows the output of salt as the vehicle slows or stops behinds foot traffic.
· provide continual training in best salting practices.

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

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:

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.