Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.39
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date Sept. 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Colorado Boulder
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.49 / 2.00 Don Inglis
FM Grounds
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
604 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 134.35 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 118.38 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 6.27 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 259 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Buildings and other structures, features, installments not managed by the Outdoor Services / Grounds teams

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
Since the Turf Task Force Recommendations were adopted in 2012, Campus grounds teams have worked diligently to identify and implement more sustainable and organic practices. That said, our program is using established practices from a number of recognized programs that work in our climate and that can be funded consistently. CU Boulder has not applied synthetic pesticides to any non-athletic turf areas beginning in 2012. This includes herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc. This has been achieved through an aggressive program of supporting soil health through the use of industry leading cultural practices and landscape professionals. UCB has invested significantly in the equipment and personnel necessary to implement such a program. This includes large tractor supported items such as deep tine and impact aerators, slit seeders, and spreaders, as well as smaller walk behind versions to allow for targeted edge treatments. On the personnel side, UCB proudly supports certified and licensed technicians in the areas of turf management, irrigation management, and arboriculture. In addition to pesticide free turf, 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 (directly through the campus irrigation system) and using soil bioassay testing to track results. We also apply a mixture of organic products such as Fish emulsion, sea kelp and humates (all OMRI approved) to turf and bed locations. Campus turf areas have a student 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 also returned to the turf which increases fertility levels and organic matter of the soil as it decomposes. All (construction) projects that disrupt the landscape are required to replace soil to a depth of one foot with topsoil blended with organic compost. Due to the early date of our Commencement and the fact that soil temperatures are not to a point where organic fertilizers will be plant available, we do use one synthetic fertilizer application at 0.5 pounds of Nitrogen to ensure Campus shows well for attendees of that event. This one early application consists of a phosphorous free polymer coated urea with 95% of the Nitrogen derived from a slowly available urea nitrogen. The entirety of the subsequent turf fertilization program for the remainder of the season consists of five organic fertilizer applications, for a grand total of 3.0 pounds of Nitrogen for the season.

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:
As of 3/12/02, It is the policy of the University of Colorado at Boulder that unwanted pests will be managed by all persons (faculty, students, staff, contractors, and applicators) utilizing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures. Integrated Pest Management strives to provide cost effective and superior control of pests while minimizing the impact on human health and the environment by utilizing the following:  Use of least toxic controls: Biological, Mechanical, Cultural, and Chemical;  Utilizing extensive knowledge about the pests;  Monitoring through regular and careful inspections;  Record keeping to track and evaluate pest management; Campus policy requires: • Focusing on long term prevention of pests;  Establishing threshold action levels and selecting a treatment that is:  Least hazardous to human health;  Least damaging to the environment;  Effective in controlling the pest;  Has minimal negative impacts to non-target organisms  Within available resources  All proposed pesticide applications reviewed by coordinator.  Only “Qualified Supervisors” have authority to purchase pesticides. For full Policy and Procedure please visit: https://www.colorado.edu/ehs/pdf/UCB_pest_policy.pdf UCB has an in-house IPM team that responds to all wildlife management calls as well as all structural / indoor pests across all campus space types including: research, residential, day care, food service, and greenhouses, as well as museums / collections / archives. The IPM team provides support to the campus Grounds teams both directly and indirectly. This includes direct oversight of in-house services such as integrated mosquito management, rodent, and yellow jacket control, as well as providing guidance on best management practices in IPM.** **Please see section on ‘other sustainable landscape management practices’ for examples of IPM initiatives within campus Grounds operations.

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:
The following information can be found here: https://www.colorado.edu/fmgreen/ditch-water-cu Please be sure to click on the "CU Ditch Water by the Numbers” link contained on the site. Ditch Water at CU: CU-Boulder uses shares of Anderson Ditch, Smith-Goss Ditch, and Tantra ditch to water 100 percent of the main Boulder campus, Newton Court, Williams Village and most of the Research Park, as well as Smiley Court, and portions of Grandview Terrace and South Campus. A Toro Network 8000 sprinkler network integrated with six weather stations across three campuses – to better identify & manage microclimates - uses state-of-the-art irrigation controls to apply old-style ditch water in new-style ways; the university is touted by Toro as an exemplar of efficient water use. CU estimates savings of $440,000 a year from using ditch water instead of treated City water. All 50,000+ sprinkler heads in the CU system are controlled by radio from a computer. Weather stations continuously update the computer, which changes water schedules based on temperature, rainfall, wind speed and relative humidity. The irrigation team closely follows weather forecasts, and adjusts the Toro 8000 system to pre-water in anticipation of heat waves. This raises soil moisture so plants can better withstand heat stress. Another efficiency strategy deployed in the field is soil moisture monitors. The irrigation crew currently has roughly 30 soil monitors designed to help verify soil moisture levels so watering levels can be adjusted accordingly. Lastly, using their radios, irrigation technicians routinely 'tone' zones to briefly run areas and visually detect broken heads and other possible leaks, ideally before the campus community does.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
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 collected for composting or landfilling (depends on contaminants). 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. We have recently worked out an agreement with a local vendor to provide some of our pruned material to them and they make mulch out of that waste which we buy back at a low cost. This is much more sustainable than the previous practice of using Western Red Cedar mulch. The Grounds team collects material deposited in the outdoor recycle cans and brings that material to the Recycle Operations Center where it is sorted by student employees.

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:
In addition to the strategies described previously, UCB Grounds teams implement a number of other sustainable practices across their operations. For this section these can be summarized under one of three areas: 1. Examples of IPM in Grounds; 2. Snow & Ice mitigation, and; 3. Other Initiatives. Examples of IPM in Grounds UCB Grounds teams have a long proud history of implementing sound IPM practices in landscape management. Historic practices and initiatives: • Use of Cashmere goats to graze noxious weeds • Sanitation pruning of elm trees to discourage elm bark beetles  Use of trunk injections for the application of tree pesticides. Broadcast sprays predominantly oils • Collaboration w/ State Dept. of Ag. on the release of seed- and root-feeding weevils for knapweed control • Historic and ongoing collaboration w/ the State entomologist (CSU), State Forestry, and City of Boulder Forestry • Use of student labor for manual removal of broadleaf weeds in turf and beds • Use of integrated wildlife management practices such as ‘Beaver Deceivers’ that allow for co-existence and eliminated trapping and removal. Current practices and initiatives: • Proactive program for honey bee relocations in advance of tree removals and/or potentially harmful pesticide applications • Use of a steam machines for the reduction of weed cover in beds • 3rd year of collaboration w/ State Dept. of Ag. on the release of mites for the control of field bind weed Field Bind weed. • Release of wasps for the control of Emerald Ash Borer. • 1st year of trials of multiple 25-b exempt ‘burn down’ pesticide products (i.e., EcoMIght) Future practices and initiatives: • Investigate Japanese beetle biocontrol options • Investigate release of myrtle spurge biocontrol options (i.e., flea beetle) Snow & Ice The University of Colorado 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. CU Police Dept., Risk Management Dept., Office of Disability Services, Emergency Planning Dept. and the City of Boulder representatives are also members of the committee. 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 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 and the use of several chemical products. The use of snow and ice abatement products includes liquid Magnesium Chloride, Ice Slicer (parking), granular salt/Calcium Chloride mixes (bldg. entries), CMA (Calcium Magnesium Acetate), and on a limited basis, a sand/salt mix. (70% 3/8“ gravel w/ 30% ice slicer) CU introduced the use of salt brine in the Winter of 2020 in an effort to minimize the total amount of salts and sand/salt mix being applied. The number one environmental concern related to the program is air quality. Additional concerns include plant damage and water quality. For all these reasons, the campus uses various chemical products designed to be as effective as possible while reducing environmental impacts. One way this is achieved is by using different products based on current conditions of a particular snow event, with a particular focus on temperature. 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. 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 staff responsible for snow and ice abatement from building entries and ADA access points. The training focuses on safety and proper use and application rates of ice abatement chemicals. Other Current Efforts in the snow and ice arena: • Continuing to refine and better define departmental responsibilities through the use of GIS mapping systems. • Exploring additional alternative chemical products such as sugar beet-based products (discontinued due to smell and sticky nature of product) • Key staff pursuing Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) certification pending additional funding. http://www.sima.org/index.cfm 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. Other Initiatives We have changed out all of our four-cycle gas-powered leaf blowers to electric blowers which helps to minimize noise and air pollution. We are also using electric snow blowers and string trimmers to minimize air pollution. Lastly, the tree care team has converted several of their (trim) saws to be electric. 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 staff uses bicycles or walk from job site to job site. Graffiti removal products are environmentally friendly. We have discontinued specifying the use of Western Red Cedar mulch on campus.

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:
Please follow link for info on pollinator gardens. https://www.colorado.edu/sustainability/operations

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