Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 26.15
Liaison Hector Davis
Submission Date June 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Tarleton State University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Mike Newton
Director of Grounds Maintenance
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 2,113.45 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 50.26 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 1,956.91 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 0 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 106.28 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information of the life cycle of pests and their interactions with the environment. By taking this information in combination with available pest control methods, Grounds Maintenance is able to manage pest damage by the most economical and least environmentally impactful means.

Understanding what pests require to thrive is essential when implementing IPM. Pests seek habitats that provide basic needs such as air, moisture, food, and shelter. Pest populations can be prevented, controlled or reduced by creating environments in which they are not able to thrive. This is sometimes accomplished simply by removing some of the basic elements they need to survive, or by blocking access into buildings. Pests may also be managed by other methods such as traps, mechanical removal, or pesticides.

Inspecting, Identifying, and Monitoring

An IPM program consists of a cycle of inspection, identifying, monitoring,evaluating, and choosing the appropriate method of control. Routine inspections and accurate identification of pests are vital steps in IPM to ensure that control methods will be effective. Once the pest has been identified and the source of its activity isolated then habitat modifications and repair and sanitation efforts may greatly reduce the prevalence of the pest. Monitoring includes inspection of areas for pest evidence, entry points, food, water, and estimating pest population levels. The information gained through monitoring is evaluated to determine whether the action threshold has been exceeded and what can be done in the way of prevention.

Action Thresholds

These are the levels of pest populations or site environmental conditions that require remedial action: An action threshold is the level at which action is initiated. It is determined based on the sensitivities of building occupants. This is how many pests can be tolerated. The presence of a pest does not, in itself, necessarily require action.

When pest populations exceed pre-set action thresholds, action must be taken. Precise recommendations or actions to achieve specific results are an essential part of an IPM program. Specific recommendations should be based on the evaluation of all available data obtained through inspection, identifying,and monitoring.

Applying IPM Strategies to Control Pests

These include redesigning and repairing structures, improving sanitation, employing pest-resistant plant varieties, establishing best management practices, and applying pesticides judiciously. Pest prevention measures can be incorporated into existing structures. Such preventative measures reduce the need for pesticide applications. These include sanitation, structural repair, employing physical and mechanical controls such as screens, traps, air doors, etc.

IPM Strategies for Indoor Sites:

Typical Pests include, but are not limited to mice, rats, cockroaches, ants, flies, wasps, hornets, spiders, microorganisms, termites, carpenter ants, and other wood destroying insects. Although beneficial as predators, wasps, hornets, and spiders can be troublesome.

Potential entryways for these pests can include doorways, overhead doors, windows, holes in exterior walls, openings around pipes, electrical fixtures, or ducts. Examples of methods to assist in keeping pests from within buildings include:
- Keeping doors closed when not in use.
- Placing weather stripping on doors.
- Caulking and sealing openings in walls.
- Installing or repairing screens.
- Keeping vegetation, shrubs, and wood mulch away from structures.

Best practices for food preparation and serving areas such as dining rooms, kitchens, lounges, snack areas, break rooms, vending machine, and food storage rooms include:
- Storing food and waste in containers that are inaccessible to pests. Containers need to have tight lids and be made of plastic, glass, or metal. Waste should be removed at the end of each day.
- Place screens on vents, windows, and floor drains to prevent pests from using these as pathways.
- Create an unfriendly living environment for pests by reducing availability of food and water
- Remove food debris, sweep up all crumbs, fix dripping faucets and leaks, and dry out wet areas.
- Promptly clean food preparation equipment after use and remove grease accumulation from vents, ovens, and stoves.
- Capture rodents by using mechanical or glue traps. Mechanical traps, including glue boards, used in rodent control must be checked daily.

Areas with extensive plumbing such as bathrooms, rooms with sinks, locker rooms, enclosed swimming pools, and greenhouses):
- Promptly repair leaks and correct other plumbing problems to deny pests access to water.
- Routinely clean floor drains, strainers, and grates. Seal pipe chases.
- Keep areas dry. Avoid conditions that allow formation of condensation. Areas that never dry out are conducive to molds and fungi. Increasing ventilation could be one solution to this problem
- Store paper products or cardboard boxes away from moist areas and direct contact with floor and walls.

IPM Strategies for Outdoor Sites

Typical Pests include but are not limited to mice, rats, moles, and other rodents. Turf pests may include broad leaf and grassy weeds, insects such as grubs or sod webworms, thrips, aphids, and worms. Diseases such as brown patch and other plant diseases are also included in an IPM.

Playgrounds, parking lots, athletic fields, loading docks, and refuse dumpsters
- Maintain healthy turf by selecting appropriate turf type best adapted for the area.
- Monitor mowing heights for turf to enhance competition with weeds and conserve water. Keep mower blades sharp and vary mowing patterns to help reduce soil compaction.
- Provide good drainage and inspect turf for evidence of pest or disease.
- Have soil tested to determine nutrient requirements.

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

The grounds department (SSC Grounds Maintenance) at Tarleton State University has taken a green and organic path for many years now. Grounds Maintenance must contend with numerous variables, such as local and invasive insects and plants, weather, and the landscape plants themselves - therefore SSC employs a flexible approach to Integrated Pest Management. SSC employs the most up to date technical approach to grounds maintenance, while still taking into account the use of safe and organic materials. This ensures our grounds receive the greatest benefit with the least harmful impact to the surrounding environment.

Grounds Maintenance also maintains a continuing program of training and education. This ensures that personnel are up to date on the newest and emerging procedures and technologies. This, in turn, ensures that the grounds at Tarleton State are of the highest quality and aesthetics, and our environment suffers the least impact possible.

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

If improperly chosen, a plant can be problematic through its entire life, and have adverse effects on its surrounding environment. Therefore, Grounds Maintenance takes great care to protect existing and native vegetation, and also chooses appropriate plants (including native vegetation when applicable) for landscape purposes across the campus. Decisions include consideration of irrigation/drainage, sunlight, proximity to buildings/parking lots, soil type, etc.

As stated previously, our Grounds Maintenance department maintains a continuing program of training and education. This ensures that personnel are able to identify and properly treat invasive species.

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

Grounds Maintenance re-uses virtually all vegetative waste generated on campus. Wood chippings, mulches and composts are saved at the Horticulture Center or at the University Farm for utilization across the campus.

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

Tarleton State University is located in an area which is typically described as a slightly alkaline sandy-loam soil type. Our water source for irrigation is slightly saline.

The application of cotton seed burr, phosphate and organic humate is utilized to replace nutrients and maintain neutral soil conditions.

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

Re-use of virtually all vegetative waste (composting) on campus is the typical mode of operation for Grounds Maintenance, and where appropriate, native plants are used for landscaping purposes. Organic fertilizers and herbicides are the university's primary choice when and where appropriate. In addition, all trash/recycle receptacles utilized by grounds maintenance are made from recycled, post-consumer HDPE.

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

To minimize the use of potable water for irrigation, Grounds Maintenance currently utilizes evapotranspiration based technology to regulate irrigation on campus. In addition, two separate real-time smart controllers are being tested on campus in an effort to provide even tighter controls across the entire campus.

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

Tarleton State University typically does not experience ice and snow events due to our climate and location. In the event of an event which requires maintenance, plowing is the first option to eliminate any environmental impact. If plowing is not conducive, the application of magnesium chloride is employed as a de-icing agent. Only certain, high-traffic areas of campus are de-iced to reduce the amount of material applied. For lighter events urea is utilized, which also aids in replacing nitrogen to the soil. Higher traffic areas are also treated with sand to increase traction in the event of re-freezing overnight.

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:

Tarleton State University is currently in the process of becoming a recognized institution by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program.

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.