Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Adam Stoker
Sustainability Consultant
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):
264.41 Hectares

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 264.40 Hectares
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 Hectares
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Hectares
Total area of managed grounds 653.35 Hectares

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):

To simplify reporting, the University of Calgary has not excluded the footprint of buildings and associated impervious surfaces (e.g. sidewalks, parking areas) as the same methodology is used consistently for all managed areas.

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 entire campus follows a four-tier Integrated Pest Management system that prioritizes preventative and non-chemical methods of controlling pest populations. Exterior IPM programs focus on avoiding landscaping features that may harbour pests, maintaining healthy landscapes to prevent pest infestation, ensuring potential food and water sources are appropriately situated, and using only least-toxic pesticides if necessary.
To incorporate IPM procedures in order to control structural and landscape pests in a safe, efficient and effective manner within the buildings and on the grounds of the University of Calgary, these actions must be taken:
Set Action Thresholds - Before taking any pest control action, IPM first sets an action threshold, a point at which pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken. Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is needed. The level at which pests will become an economic threat is critical to guide future pest control decisions.

Monitor and Identify Pests - Not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms require control. Many organisms are innocuous, and some are even beneficial. IPM programs work to monitor for pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control decisions can be made in conjunction with action thresholds. This monitoring and identification removes the possibility that pesticides will be used when they are not really needed or that the wrong kind of pesticide will be used.

Prevention - As a first line of pest control, IPM programs work to manage the crop, lawn, or indoor space to prevent pests from becoming a threat. In lawn maintenance, this may mean using methods such as selecting types of sod and grass seed that are more pest-resistant varieties. These control methods can be very effective and cost-efficient and present little to no risk to people or the environment.

Control - Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM programs then evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first, including highly targeted chemicals, such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding. If further monitoring, identifications and action thresholds indicate that less risky controls are not working, then additional pest control methods would be employed, such as targeted spraying of pesticides. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort.

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:

85% of grounds trees and shrubs are native to this area as not many other species would survive in Calgary with its semi-desert conditions, zone of 3 hardiness and winter Chinooks. The rest of the plant material consists of mainly cultivators of the natives that have more desirable habitats. Native grasses, such as Blue Gamma are being used as long as there is no exposure to heavy foot traffic as natives will not survive heavy compaction and other adverse conditions. A mixture of hardy grasses is prevalent to cope with the excessive wear and tear.

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

The University of Calgary endeavors to limit disruption and restore natural hydrology by reducing impervious cover, increasing on-site infiltration, reducing or eliminating pollution from stormwater runoff and eliminating contaminants. The fundamental principles of stormwater design are captured in the University of Calgary's Integrated Stormwater Management Plan which includes recommended green infrastructure projects such as rainwater harvesting, absorbent landscaping, large scale stormwater capture and retention infrastructure.

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

The University of Calgary composts leaves and grass clippings by two methods. First method is by grass recycling, which involves cutting grass at more frequent intervals and this produces a short blade of grass that can be worked and decomposed back into the root structure. The other method is when the grass is too long and needs to be picked up. This is mixed with other leaves to be composted. The University of Calgary chips tree branches and the end product is distributed back into the flower beds to help retain moisture, provide nutrition to the plant, and reduce the need to water.

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

The university aims to incorporate native and adaptive vegetation that has low maintenance requirements to reduce the energy spent mowing, irrigating, and otherwise maintaining landscaping. Additionally, all exterior lighting fixtures are LED, full-cutoff fixtures designed to meet or exceed the outdoor lighting efficiency requirements of ASHRAE 90.1 - Energy Standard for Buildings.

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):

The University uses a variety of strategies to minimize the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal. When conditions permit, snow is shoveled onto plantings to help add moisture in the spring and mitigate the impacts of melt and freeze cycles and false spring occurrences (a regular occurrence in our climate). Ice and hard-packed snow are removed manually by chipping as soon as possible, and sand is applied at entrances. A magnesium chloride solution is used on high traffic walkways only when necessary to prevent slips and falls as an alternative to conventional salts.

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.