Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.77
Liaison Andrew Porter
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Cincinnati
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.37 / 2.00 Daniel Hart
Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
425 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 125.20 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 210.80 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 336 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:

The total campus area of the University's uptown campus is 425 acres, 246 acres of this area are managed grounds, including any space that is not building, of these managed grounds 125.2 acres are managed organically and 210.8 are managed using Integrated Pest Management.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

A variety of different areas on campus have been naturalized, these areas, for example the hillside on the North side of DAAP present maintenance challenges due to their topography, and in an effort to reduce labor hours required for maintenance and in order to promote a more sustainable landscape, 125.2 acres of campus have been selected to be managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers. Some of the land that the University owns that is managed organically includes woodlands and forest.

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:

An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan is utilized by the Grounds Maintenance team. The IPM covers fertilizer and herbicide use and insect control on both turf and ornamental beds. Fertilizer applications are limited to turf areas at specific times of year in limited quantities. Cultural practices are used to avoid use of herbicide and insecticide as much as possible. When chemical intervention is deemed necessary, spot applications limited to the smallest area possible are made.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

UC works hard to maintain optimum soil health as a basis for plant stewardship on campus. We have minimum standards for tilth, and we avoid use of dyed mulches. opting instead to use double-shredded hard bark mulch or (preferably) our own wood chips. Invasive plant species are not included in any of our landscape design; 90% of our built environment is thought through using native plant species as the primary element.

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

Water management on our campus is a critical component. We have retention takes and a storm-water management plant. We employ xeriscapic landscaping, and opt for drought-tolerant and disease resistant species whenever possible to minimize the need for irrigation. When we do have to irrigate, we use non-potable water whenever possible--collecting it from our chillers and cooling towers and recycling it. Additionally, the incorporation of green infrastructure through three green roof systems and a variety of bioswales work to keep water on site in order to reduce UC's contribution to combined sewer overflow events.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

UC stores our wood waste as woodchips and they are recycled into our landscapes whenever possible (primarily with naturalized areas, not around buildings). UC also composts spent coffee grounds from the various cafe locations across campus with dead organic material from campus. This material is composted at the University's surplus site and is brought back to campus to use as amendment in annual flower beds.

Snow Removal

The University of Cincinnati strives to incorporate sustainability into the design, operation, and maintenance of the built environment while ensuring the safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors. When inclement weather hits campus in the winter months, the University takes a prescriptive approach to snow removal to minimize the harmful effects of salt on the campus's built environment, its landscapes, and adjacent streams and habitats.

Spikes in salinity levels, salinization, from salting sidewalks and roadways disrupts natural biological balances and leads to soil contamination, poor water quality, a reduction in biodiversity, and erosion of nutrient rich topsoil. The corrosive nature of salt also deteriorates sidewalks, buildings, and site furnishings at an accelerated rate.

A prescriptive approach to snow and ice removal minimizes salt application by focusing on primary and secondary pathways. Tertiary, those sidewalks and steps less traveled, will remain snow covered and need to be avoided as accumulation begins. This site specific approach to snow management also allows the University to identify micro-climates and opportunities for alternative de-icing elements. These operational measures help to preserve and maintain a sustainable campus landscape.

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

Through the incorporation of green infrastructure, UC is working to reduce irrigation in certain areas of campus. Plant material that is low maintenance and tolerant to the Cincinnati bio-region is also utilized as much as possible. Additionally, certain zones on campus are starting to be designated as being more naturalized, such as the hillside on the north side of the College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning. Through minimizing or eliminating mowing of certain areas, the University is reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain certain areas on campus.

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

UC has goals for maintaining a specific soil tilth. In our front end specs we indicate a need for rubble-free, weed-free materials to be provided by contractors, to reduce the need for chemical or mechanical intervention.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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