Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison James Gordon
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Thompson Rivers University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.69 / 2.00 James Gordon
Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator
TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 250 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 21.68 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 63 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 103.32 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 62 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

TRU uses an Integrated Pest Management Plan which recognizes the importance of planning to prevent organisms from becoming pests, followed by identification, monitoring and injury thresholds related to pests or problems. Once action is determined to be necessary, strategies for managing problems may include biological, physical, cultural, mechanical, behavioral and chemical controls. When a chemical control is employed, the least toxic pesticide is chosen. Spraying of insecticides is only used as a ‘last option' when survival of plant material is threatened, and only directed against the target problem/population, and never used as a preventative measure. In addition, the Campus Sustainability Action Plan includes the task of further reducing pesticide use in years to come.

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

TRU's Grounds crew takes all possible steps to manage the campus landscape in as sustainable a fashion as possible. Some of these approaches include the following:
In order to overcome one the Grounds crew's main challenges to sustainable landscape management--not enough hours in the day!--it has teamed-up with the TRU Horticulture Department, whose students work on campus landscaping projects. All of the students, at various points in their course of study, work alongside the Grounds crew on a myriad of campus projects. Not only do the students gain valuable hands-on experince working with landscaping professionals, but the Grounds crew gets keen, capable and interested student-workers to help with countless important 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:

The new TRU Campus Strategic Sustainability Plan requires that all new landscape design or disturbances must include provisions that protect native vegetation. This includes the protection of existing Ponderosa Pine and their drainage patterns. In addition, TRU Grounds staff does make an attempt to incorporate native vegetation where possible.

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

TRU grounds staff separates any garbage from compostable plant material and takes it to City of Kamloops composting sites (approximately 200,000 lbs. annually). In addition, quality compost is bought from from the city and used for topsoil when planting and backfilling.

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

All of TRU's organic 'yard-clippings' are brought to City sites for composting. This quality compost is then bought back for use in flower beds and as top-dresing for other landscaping needs. Very little chemical fertilizers are used, and an organic plant growing program will be implemented when funds become available. Organic mulches are used as well.

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

The TRU Grounds crew uses its own plant material from around campus to propagate new plants for the following year's displays. Reused landscape materials are not readily available in the Kamloops region and so are not used at TRU in new projects.

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

Irrigation water is all potable and is supplied through the city's state-of-the-art water filtration system. Water use is controlled by a computer program/weather station in order to water only what is required for specific plants and turf areas. Also, natural areas on campus are protected as wildlife corridors.

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

The TRU Facilities staff only uses environmentally safe ice-melt substances to melt ice when neccessary: Ice Fighter Plus from Zep ('people, pet and environmentally safe to use'), and Eco Melt (which is also environmentally friendly). Here is a description of other snow and ice removal measures taken by Facilities staff (taken from the TRU Facilities website: http://www.tru.ca/facilities/coreservices/snow_control.html):
Provision for snow clearance and ice control for the University is provided for through a contract with a snow removal contractor. Whenever possible, snow and ice control activities will be scheduled during campus off-hours to minimize disruption to routine TRU educational and operational activities. The aim is to have all roads, parking lots and sidewalks snow and ice free by 8:00 a.m. on each "school" day.
The following is the order of priority for snow removal and/or sanding
•Sidewalk ramps, curb cuts and parking stalls used by the disabled
•Main building entrances and emergency road access points
•Sidewalks, when required.
◦Walks are sanded once in the morning and once again in the afternoon.
•Roads and parking lots.
"In Winter, Watch Your Step..."
Most accidents due to ice, snow and general winter conditions are preventable. Here are a few guidelines to help us get through the season safely:
•While travelling to and from work or school, wear appropriate winter footwear - preferably with flat, rubber, slip-resistant soles ◦A second pair of footwear should be kept at the workplace
•Where possible, walk on plowed, sanded, well-lit paths and walkways. Avoid taking short cuts over snow banks
•Be extra careful when getting out of your vehicle in parking lots as it is very difficult to sand between parked cars, and there may be slippery patches
•Always use handrails on steps and walk carefully.
•Cross roadways at pedestrian crosswalks

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

According to the recently adopted TRU Master Plan (2013), even at full build-out of the plan in 30 to 60 years (this time frame depends on activity of market forces) approximately onme quarter of the the campus (62 acres) "will be protected from development" (page 40). "This land use is designated to protect and preserve the existing natural areas for learning and teaching, as well as, recreational uses" (page 40).

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.