Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Gabriel Durham
Graduate assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 667 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 102 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 184 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 381 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 0 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :

The goal of the university's pest management program is to balance the benefits of control, cost, public health and environmental quality. This is accomplished by monitoring and evaluating pest problems and then selecting a control to prevent or cure unacceptable pest activities or damage. Pest are defined as weeds, diseases, insects or others. Control options may include chemical, cultural, manual or mechanical.

This IPM program is based on effectiveness, environmental impact, worker/public health safety and economics. The university strives to take advantage of all options in implementing this program.

Our IPM program includes, but is not limited to the following steps:
A) Monitoring the campus on a regular basis for the presence of pest and monitoring the overall health of the landscape.
B) Determining the threshold of damage acceptable. This is determined by factors such as severity of the injury caused by the pest, aesthetics in the case of weed infestation and health concerns.

Initiating preventive or curative actions to avoid unacceptable damage. The methods selected must take into consideration the economic threshold, degree of expected control, worker/public health and safety and any potential hazards to property and the environment. When outbreaks do occur, effective methods of suppressing damaging population levels must be implemented. When measures are taken, the least toxic methods are always given preference.

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:

Existing trees are protected during construction. The campus has a tree replacement policy of 1:1 caliper-inches replaced for every tree removed. The campus landscape list includes many native plants. Plants are selected for their durability in Houston’s high heat and humidity as well as allowing for reduced water usage.

Historically, there have not been any issues with invasive species on campus.

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

All landscape waste is recycled either on-campus or sent to a landscape recycling center. On-site re-use includes mulching branches 4” or less in diameter and allowing leaves to fall and decompose naturally.

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


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


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


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


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

Though not considered an immediate part of the UH main campus (not included in the 667 acres), see OP-11 Biodiversity for information on the UH coastal center.

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:

The University of Houston is currently in the process of becoming Tree Campus USA certified and expects to receive certification in 2016. http://www.uh.edu/af-auxiliary-services/sustainability/news/articles/2015/November/11052015RockTheCampus.php

Some information about tree care: http://www.uh.edu/magazine/2015-spring/feature-stories/branching-out.php

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.