Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.70
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date Sept. 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Colorado Boulder
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.45 / 2.00 Don Inglis
FM Grounds
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 511 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 251 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 0 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 97 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 93.50 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 69.50 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :


The most common turf and lawn pest problem on the UCB is weed invasion; and primarily dandelions and other broad leaf “weeds”. True IPM is a powerful approach that anticipates and prevents most problems through proper cultural practices and careful observation and knowledge of the life cycles of both beneficial and pest organisms.

A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:
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 design for the campus landscape includes native and adaptive species creating a biologically diverse campus. Planning for restoration, renovation and new construction prioritizes native and adaptave plantings where appropriate micro climates exist.

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

HDS collects in mower bags and composts, FM leaves clippings on turf and/or collects and composts, Athletics collects and composts. Nothing is transported to the landfill.

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

CU Boulder is using an organic fertilizer made by Richlawn (OMRI approved) from Dry Poultry Waste on turf areas. We are brewing and applying Compost Tea to turf and bed locations and using soil bioassay testing to track results. We also apply a mixture of organic products such as Fish emulsion, sea kelp and humates to turf and bed locations. Campus turf areas have a crew that removes Broadleaf weeds by hand. The practice of leaf mulching is used on turf areas in the fall to add organic material to the soil. All grass clippings are returned to the turf and increases fertility levels and organic matter of the soil as it decomposes. All Projects that disrupt the landscape are required to replace soil to a depth of one foot with composted topsoil. For more detailed information follow the attached link.

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

The CU Boulder campus is irrigated with ditch water which minimizes the use of potable water. The use of four cycle leaf blowers helps to minimize noise and air pollution. We are using electric snow blowers and string trimmers to minimize air pollution. In an effort to improve turf quality we are purchasing a grass seed blend that is well suited to our climate based on NTEP results. Beds are mulched to hold moisture and minimize weeds. Student help uses bicycles or walk from job site to job site. Grafitti removal products are environmentally friendly.

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

Proper site design of new capital
projects must include Low Impact Development (LID)
techniques to control storm water runoff at each site
instead of removing the water by piping directly to the
storm sewer system. These best management practices
(BMP’s) include reducing the amount of impervious
surfaces, using bio-swales, retention, detention and
the landscape to filter and treat stormwater, and taking
advantage of natural runoff in the landscape recharging
ground water. Proper soil amendment and soil depths
for the landscape ensure robust plant growth and
increases carbon sequestering.

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

The University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) campus manages snow and ice removal through a campus Snow Committee. The committee consists of members of all the departments responsible for snow and ice abatement from campus sidewalks, building entries, streets, parking lots, and parking structures. The three main entities responsible for the physical removal of snow and ice on the UCB campus are: 1. Facilities Management; 2. Housing and Dining Services; and 3. Parking and Transit Services. The Snow Committee meets monthly during the season and at least twice in the off season.
Various approaches are in place for removing snow and ice as effectively as possible. This includes hand shoveling, traditional plowing, snow brushes, and the use of several chemical products. The use of snow and ice abatement products includes liquid Magnesium Chloride, granular salt/Calcium Chloride mixes, and on a limited basis, a sand/salt mix.
The number one environmental concern related to program is air quality. Additional concerns include plant damage and water quality. For all these reason, the campus uses various chemical products designed to be as effective as possible while reducing any environmental impacts. One way this is achieved is by using different products based on current conditions of a particular snow event. Temperature is the most important factor. If temperatures are not too low, campus is able to use products with lower concentrations of active ingredient.
The continued use of a sand/salt mix, although limited, is primarily a cost consideration as some alternative ice melt product can cost up to 2.5 times as much.
Regardless of which product is used, the committee continues to look at ways to reduce the amount of material applied. Obviously, the majority of the use is dictated by weather conditions. The winter of 09/10 was the 2nd worst/best snow in 50 years. Weather like this makes it challenging to set a numeric target for reduction.
One of the biggest impacts we can have on product usage is through the annual Winter Injury Prevention Program. As part of this program, a detailed snow and ice removal training is given to all our (custodial) staff responsible for snow and ice abatement from building entries and ADA access points. The training focuses on safety and proper use of ice abatement chemicals.

Other Current Efforts
• Exploring additional / alternative chemical products such as sugar beet-based products
• Continuing to refine and better define departmental responsibilities through the use of GIS mapping systems.
• Key staff pursuing Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) certification
o http://www.sima.org/index.cfm
A Certified Snow Professional is...
• A leader in the snow plowing industry
• Passionate about his/her work
• Environmentally responsible
• Eager to learn and grow
• Creative in exploring and reaching successful solutions
• Informed, knowledgeable, and an effective communicator of the industry's values and principles
• An educator expanding the horizons of co-workers, customers, and community
Currently, the campus has a good structure in place for addressing goals and challenges of snow and ice removal in the form of the Snow Committee. This will be the lead group as we move ahead with additional sustainability goals for the program.


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


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:

UCB's state stormwater permit containing full detail of stormwater management plan available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw35kOQrHucIWG9NNERpS0gzNWM/edit?usp=sharing

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.