Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.79
Liaison Ryan Chabot
Submission Date April 23, 2024

STARS v2.2

University of Central Florida
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.49 / 2.00 Ryan Chabot
Sustainability Coordinator
Arboretum and Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,415.10 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 862 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 297 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 1,159 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Areas excluded from managed grounds include building footprints and impervious surfaces.
Fertilizer data reported here does not include land managed by UCF Athletics.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
The Arboretum Park, which includes the Organic Arboretum Community Garden, is approximately 7 acres and is managed using all organic pesticides and herbicides. The Arboretum Community Garden is approximately ¾ of an acre on site and while not certified organic, uses all organic practices.

The UCF Natural Lands are approximately 850 acres and are managed for invasive species using a combination of mechanical removal (by hand, roller chopping, felling by chainsaw, etc.) as well as through UCF's prescribed fire program. UCF is proud to utilize prescribed burning as one of our forest management practices. This technique of burning the forest when weather parameters and fuel moisture are in line to produce a predictable and manageable fire keeps the campus safe from wildfires that can ignite during our frequent lightening storms. Many Florida native plant species depend on these fires for regeneration. More information on UCF's prescribed fire program can be found at https://www.green.ucf.edu/natural-resources/prescribed-fires/

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:
UCF's IPM plan outlines procedures to be followed to reduce pest infestations by evaluating the biological features contributing to an infestation and using a combination of cultural, biological, and chemical controls to control only those pests that have exceeded established thresholds for treatment. The plan is designed to comply with policies and regulations published by the Florida Department of Agriculture. The IPM plan addresses a four-tiered approach: prevention strategies; monitoring for pests; taking action when appropriate (action thresholds); and identification of appropriate controls.
Objectives of this IPM plan include:
-Elimination of significant threats caused by pests
-Prevention of loss or damage of plant material by pests.
-Protection of environmental quality.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
Taken from UCF Landscape Master Plan Summary (pg. 120):
“The selection of the appropriate plant material for use on any project on the UCF campus is critically important. Experience has shown that there is specific soil profiles and environmental considerations that can vary throughout the campus, resulting in a specified plant species thriving in one area and not another. Landscape architects are strongly encouraged to visit the area of campus where the project they are designing is located in order to determine the appropriate plant palette.

As stated in the Landscape Master Plan, of which these Design Standards are a part, the intent of the planting design should be to match the surrounding context and to minimize the excessive use of a variety of plant species on any particular project to create a bolder landscape approach and a more natural landscape. The use of native and naturalized plants is strongly encouraged, but just as important is the use of the right plant in the right place, grouped with other plants with similar requirements. Designers are also encouraged to think of the maintenance implications of their designs and the campus grounds maintenance staff who must care for these landscapes.

Specific requirements regarding the use of the plants that are specified by the designer is limited. These include permitting only Florida #1 quality plants, palms, and trees as determined by the latest edition of Florida Grades and Standards for Nursery Plants. No shrubs and groundcover plants, with the exception of those used for wetland restoration projects, shall be smaller than 1-gallon container size. In most instances, 3-gallon container shrubs will be the expected specified size. For trees, field-grown is required to be from a Roots Plus Grower. In addition, all canopy trees shall be no smaller than 3” diameter breast height (DBH) and no larger than 4 1/2” DBH. Small trees shall be no smaller than 2” DBH. Multi-trunk trees shall have a minimum of three trunks, and palm trees shall be a minimum of 10’ clear trunk. All trees shall have at least one irrigation bubbler. Larger trees shall have multiple irrigation bubblers."

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
The university has 11 constructed stormwater retention ponds on campus that collect rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces to reduce rapid flow into downstream waterways during storms, and to filter impurities before the water flows out into a natural forested area. These natural forested communities then filter the water further before it flows off of campus and into the Little Econlockhatchee River. The constructed stormwater ponds have seen a number of edge restoration projects where volunteers have planted native riparian plant species along the ponds’ edges to assist with filtration of the water.

The campus landscape is irrigated with 100% reclaimed water. Irrigation schedules are adjusted seasonally and to account for rainfall, with an emphasis on applying no more water than necessary to sustain plant health. Water-loving plants are planted only in areas with naturally wet soils, and the campus plant palette emphasizes the use of water-efficient plants.

The Natural Resources department has carried out several restoration projects that relate directly to water filtration. The first is in a natural riparian community in the northeast portion of campus, an area that is included in the 726 acres of conservation land on campus where aquatic plants were planted to deter motor vehicles from driving through the area and reduce erosion. The second restoration project is ongoing and is located in an original deep drainage canal that carries stormwater out of the urban portion of campus and into the conservation portion of campus. Invasive plant species were removed and native wetland flora, including aquatic vegetation and hardwood trees, were planted along the edge of the canal to filter and slow the flow of water and to reduce erosion.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
The landscape operation uses recycled hardwood mulch and pine straw in landscape beds. Campus landscape trimmings and debris are picked up by a contractor who recycles much of the waste into mulch and other organic products.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:
The campus has 25 LEED-certified buildings and the landscape was included in the LEED credits portion. Landscape designs emphasize low maintenance plant materials. Pruning schedules follow standard horticultural practice with an emphasis on material that does not need to be frequently pruned. The campus has a campus tree planting plan that aims to provide shade in more areas which will reduce the heat island effect and help reduce overall heat loads to buildings. All LEED certified buildings require native plant landscaping and low water requirements.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:
Landscape master plan (https://www.green.ucf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UCF-LNR-Master-Plan.pdf), prescribed burn program (https://www.green.ucf.edu/natural-resources/prescribed-fires/)

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Fertilizer data reported here do not include land managed by UCF Athletics.

Area of organically-managed lands include the UCF Natural Lands and Arboretum Park.

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.