Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.78
Liaison Jennifer McLaughlin
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

South Dakota State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.09 / 2.00 Jennifer McLaughlin
Sustainability Intern
Facilities and Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
502.77 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 288.31 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 27.45 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 315.76 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):

Roughly 187.01 acres of campus are un-managed. These areas include sidewalks, roads, lots, and building footprints.

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:

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:

These are naturalized areas that do not receive any herbicide application. Primary use is for habitat and stormwater filtration. This includes area up by the pond and any of the wetland areas as well as Local Foods Education Center (although not USDA Organic certified they use organic practices).

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

Whenever possible, SDSU F&S will use regionally native plantings to help promote native pollinator habitat. Plantings that are non-native will be regionally adapted, have low invasive potential, and serve an academic value by expanding our plant diversity.

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.

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

BMP drainage solutions are implemented where practical and natural drainage channels are preserved. These areas are managed for habitat and total suspended solids filtration. The edges of any designed detention or retention ponds will be a living edge of native plants to provide a high level of habitat value.

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

SDSU composts,or transports and donates for composting, any natural waste produced by grounds maintenance operations. Trees that are removed are turned into mulch to be used across campus and in some instances are milled and re-used in building applications on campus.

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

The landscape and tree plantings on campus are designed to provide utility for the users of SDSU campus. Shade trees are used on the south sides of buildings to provide summer shading while keeping in mind the preference for winter sun exposure. The campus canopy goals are 25% cover by 2030.

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):

Local materials are used for landscape applications whenever practical. In the case of bioswales on campus we use a local crushed granite from north of our location. Fieldstone is also a local commodity and used for landscape walls on campus.

Tree replacement after removal by building projects is calculated to gain back the future canopy growth on a fixed timeline. This replacement plan is designed to actually out-grow the removed tree over time. Though this can never replicate a lost tree, it does help us move towards our canopy cover goals.

On all new construction projects the institution requires minimum soil depths to provide a healthy environment for plant growth. Soil building components, like organic fertilizers, are used when time and budget allows. New project installs call for organic fertilizers added to planting soils. Aeration is completed yearly on compacted areas. Construction traffic is not permitted outside of marked areas.

SDSU has had a continual process over the past 16 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.

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.