Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.83
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2023

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.24 / 2.00 Sue Fassler
Sustainable Facilities Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
25,000 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 11.10 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 34.34 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 45.44 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:

Managed grounds include the Syracuse campus and portions of ESF's regional campuses and field stations (http://www.esf.edu/campuses/).

Areas excluded include building footprints, impervious surfaces, research plots and forested areas on ESF campuses and field stations. Similar to the criteria for "experimental agriculture land," these forested areas are largely experimental forest lands and land that is not regularly managed or maintained. They are used for either forestry research or for un-managed conservation.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Organic material otherwise seen as waste is left in place to decompose or composted in designated areas. Fertilizers, chemicals, herbicides and fungicides are not used on landscaped areas or on forest access roads.

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:

Syracuse Campus

- Chemical pesticides/herbicides are only used once or twice a year, if needed at all. These applications are only used to manage populations of invasive species or species that could cause harm to campus community members or visitors (ex: poison ivy). Approval is needed from ESF's Environmental Health and Safety Office and/or College leadership prior to the use of chemicals. Application must be supervised and/or conducted by certified members of the campus operational staff.

ESF minimizes the exposure of campus members and visitors to toxic chemicals that may be used in the control of animal, insect, and vegetation pests. ESF prohibits the use of toxic chemicals whenever options for alternate means of control are available. If pesticides/herbicides are used, they are typically sprayed in a very limited coverage areas and location of spraying is marked with flags.

Ranger School

- Hand-pulling of invasive or undesirable plants is preferred, where feasible. Chemical pesticides/herbicides are only used once or twice a year, if needed at all. These applications are only used to manage populations of invasive species or species that could cause harm to campus community members or visitors (ex: poison ivy). Application is done by ESF's Division of Forest Properties with the appropriate certifications. Broadcast sprayings (e.g. roadside) are not conducted.

Southern Properties

- Organic material otherwise seen as waste is left in place to decompose or composted in designated areas on property. Pesticide was only applied once in the last 3 years (insecticide used on hemlock trees to control the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid). Vegetation is controlled mechanically or by hand. Forest roads are not sprayed with herbicide.

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

During summer 2022, ESF became an affiliate of Bee Campus USA and a Bee Campus Committee was formed. In the near term, the Committee's efforts will primarily be focused upon the Syracuse campus. The Bee Campus Committee is Co-Chaired by a Native Pollinator Ecologist.

During the Fall 2022 semester, the ecologist and committee led the College in designing and planting two native and/or pollinator friendly habitats on the Syracuse campus. To the greatest extent possible, the campus protects and enhances existing vegetation. If new landscape beds are created and designed, they prioritize native and pollinator friendly vegetation (ex: new Illick Hall landscape beds designed Fall 2022 to replace prior existing sidewalk and redesigned Marshall Hall landscape beds in conjunction with major renovation of the existing building). The College also grows and propagates native and pollinator friendly vegetation in its greenhouses. In Fall 2022, many such plants were provided to Syracuse University, provided to members of the ESF community and general public and provided to a local nursery for their own continued propagation.

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

Generally, there is no watering of lawn areas at any of ESF’s campuses. The College purchased self watering planters from Earth Planter to replace existing plant containers, thus increasing the time frame between watering and reducing labor, water and fuel usage by 50-80%. Several rain gardens (near two buildings) collect excess surface water runoff from either rooftop or adjacent pavement. Managed ground areas campus-wide do not use irrigation systems. Spot watering is done during establishment periods and times of drought/high heat.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

At the Syracuse campus, landscape materials are either brought to the County's industrial compost facility or composted at one of ESF's Southern Properties. To the greatest extent possible, leaves are mulched in place where they fall (through mowing) and lawn clippings are not collected, but instead left in place. See above responses organic material management at other campus locations.

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

The Syracuse campus features no-mow zones (along roadway), an award winning green roof on its Gateway Center, rain gardens (Gateway Center, Illick Hall, Marshall Hall) and an area planted to mimic a hardwood forest stand. The renovation of Marshall Hall (completion during Summer 2023) will feature a landscape created in conjunction with scholars in ESF's Environmental Biology and Landscape Architecture programs.


A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

The Newcomb campus began purchasing environmentally preferred de-icer in preparation for the 2022-2023 snow season. The Syracuse campus is also piloting environmentally preferred de-icer and will use this product on the sidewalks of the newly renovated Marshall Hall during the 2022-2023 snow season.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Building footprints, managed forests, research plots and impervious surfaces have been excluded

ESF's 25,000 acres of satellite forest properties were excluded, given their use as either intensive forestry research or for un-managed conservation.

- Cranberry Lake = 2.3 acres
- Heiberg Memorial Forest (Tully) = 5.25 acres
- Lafayette Experimental Station = 6.0 acres
- Newcomb = 4 acres
- Ranger School = 6.4 acres
- Syracuse Campus = 6.14 acres
- Tully = 8.25 acres
- Warrensburg (Pack Forest) = 7.1 acres
TOTAL: 45.44

Bees, Trees and, the Human Spirit (podcast episode by ESF student, Eden Gardner)

New pollinator garden planted at SUNY ESF, supporting bees, butterflies

ESF garden gives bees, butterflies a boost on their way out of town

SUNY ESF is on its way to improving its pollinator-friendly environment on campus

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.