Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.41
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date March 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Colorado Boulder
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.08 / 2.00 Don Inglis
FM Grounds
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
597 Acres

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 97 Acres
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 93.50 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 72 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 262.50 Acres

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):


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:

It is the policy of the University of Colorado at Boulder that unwanted pests will be managed by all persons (faculty, students, staff and applicators) utilizing the following Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures. For full Policy and Procedure please visit: https://www.colorado.edu/ehs/pdf/UCB_pest_policy.pdf

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:

The turf management program which has successfully eliminated the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides is described in detail in this document:
https://www.colorado.edu/fmgreen/sites/default/files/attached-files/integratedturfmngmtplan.pdf . 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.

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

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 adaptive plantings where appropriate micro climates exist.

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

CU Boulder uses a number of waste minimization strategies such as having our Dry Poultry Waste fertilizer delivered in one ton totes instead of fifty-pound bags, the totes can be reused by the manufacturer and do not end up in the landfill like the fifty-pound bags. During the fall all leaves are mulched into turf areas to prevent this debris from being hauled to the landfill. All grass clippings are returned to the turf which increases fertility levels and organic matter of the soil as it decomposes. All tree and shrub prunings are chipped and sent to a recycler to be used for mulch or compost.

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


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.