Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 38.83
Liaison James Vollrath
Submission Date Dec. 16, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas State University, San Marcos
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 James Vollrath
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
457 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 457 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 457 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):

Much of Texas State University's landscape is considered wild-land urban interface and is not maintained. Because of the topography and continued growth, much of the overall acreage is either buildings or impervious surface. Approximately 48 acres are considered environmentally sensitive and maintained under guidelines set by the Habitat Conservation Plan. Further, many of the beds are maintained as wild space and receive minimal mechanical maintenance.

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:

The university's grounds program only utilizes inorganic pesticides during spot and basal treatments and only used when thresholds are met. No pre-emergents are used. When fertilizer is used, it is limited to beds as an amendment to new plantings and is always organic. The university composts all organics, returning them to the campus landscape. Applications of herbicides are only made by licensed applicators. Insecticides are only used to control fire ants colonies and wasps nests - the thresholds to deploy insecticides are set high. All bee hives are removed by professionals.

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:

A tree inventory was created many years ago and has been perpetuated by Nathan Lawrence who is a member of the Tree Campus organization. A native plant list was created by Grounds and Waste Management Operations over 20 years ago and supplanted by the Master Plan approved plant list.

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

MS4 program implemented on campus. Rainwater collection installed on some new buildings. The university amends existing landscape with both compost and mulch as regular practice. The university utilizes a state-of-the-art irrigation system and has staff that continually monitors and performs audits. Reduction of water is a goal of the university, and the grounds department strives to optimize distribution efficiency.

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

All landscaping debris generated from maintenance is composted. This includes all invasive species removed from Spring Lake on campus. The composting operation (Bobcat Blend) also diverts a percentage of food waste generated at cafeterias. The university returns this waste back to the landscape in the form of compost, mulch, and compost tea.

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

The campus is considered to be a very large campus tree canopy. The campus' plant palette is comprised of native and drought tolerant plants. The university minimizes the use of annuals in beds by planting perennials. Finally, the university optimizes the natural wild land interface.

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):

Our mission is to preserve the aesthetics of the university landscape while promoting a safe and sustainable environment for students, faculty, and staff through tree maintenance, water efficiency, composting, recycling, and promoting drought resistant plants.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.