Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.22
Liaison Olivia Wiebe
Submission Date Jan. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Idaho
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 2.00 Rusty Vineyard
Director
Facilities Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,585 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 0 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 275 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 275 Acres

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

The buildings are excluded, as well as the land for the golf course as they are outside of facilities purview.


Percentage of grounds managed organically:
0

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

No such program exists at the University of Idaho.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
0

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
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A brief description of the IPM program:

Our Plant Health Care Program (PHC) is holistic and encompasses what is best for the plants and landscape we are stewards of by using products and techniques from all avenues of landscape care.
Our concern is with healthy plants that are vigorous and attractive. We diagnose and treat problems related to pests as well as cultural and environmental factors such as overwatering, drought stress, or winter damage. We are lucky in that the Palouse Region has minimal pest problems, so we don’t have to be invasive with our pest management. One of the only treatments that we regularly apply is an injection for Dutch Elm Disease in our most valued trees, such as the Camperdown Elms. Our main focus is on prevention: selecting species to plant that are not susceptible to diseases common to this area.


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

The University of Idaho’s approach to plant stewardship includes using existing vegetation, native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controlling or managing invasive species.
Native plants are displayed where they will benefit areas of the campus landscape and serve as educational plant material sources for classes and students. There is a list of native plants that are allowed on the University of Idaho campus for various planting efforts of this type. While many regions of the United States have a wide variety of appealing native plant materials, Palouse area native plants are more limited in variety, color, and aesthetic substance, and therefore have a more limited use for the quality standard and image we are trying to maintain.


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

The University of Idaho attempts to restore and/or maintain the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus by promoting water infiltration, minimizing or eliminating the use of potable water for irrigation, and/or protecting/restoring riparian, wetland, and shoreline habitats and lost streams.

Additionally, the University of Idaho irrigates over 150 acres of campus with reclaimed water, saving up to 100 million gallons per year from the deep aquifer. The university expects to reduce the areas irrigated with domestic water use by 50% in the next 5-10 years; however, some areas of campus, such as those around housing units, must be irrigated with domestic water due to state and federal guidelines. Because of this, reclaimed water cannot replace domestic water completely for irrigation.

In the last few years, the university has added 45 acres of automated irrigation systems, the majority of which is on the reclaimed water system. Automated irrigation reduces water use over hand watering by an estimated 50%. Automated irrigation systems can be operated at night as well, significantly decreasing water lost to evaporation.

https://www.uidaho.edu/infrastructure/facilities/ues/conservation/water


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

All grass clippings and fall leaves are either recycled back onto the turf using recycling mowers or, if collected, taken to the UI Dairy Farm for composting.

Woody tree waste is taken to the steam plant chip pile to be converted into biomass fuel for the wood fired boiler. Hundreds of tons of these types of materials are recycled yearly off campus. Leaves are collected by a street sweeper and composted at the City of Moscow’s Transfer Station. Finished compost is distributed to the community, free of charge.


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

The University’s approach to energy-efficient landscape design includes the placement and selection of shade trees and wind breaks, as well as reflective materials to reduce heat islands.


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

Safety and effective clearing of streets and walkways on the University of Idaho campus is the primary goal for UI’s snow & ice mitigation effort. Sand and less damaging chemicals are used to provide the necessary traction needed for safe travel by pedestrians. For the streets we use rock, magnesium chloride, and salt when needed to clear major ice issues as quickly as possible to ensure the safe flow of vehicle traffic. Snow placement away from woody plant materials is always a goal during mitigation efforts. The amount of snow can change this priority though depending upon available space, resources, and the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The size of the campus grounds and the size of campus grounds that are maintained in accordance with a four-tiered IPM plan is 200 acres plus additional acres of maintained and naturalized landscape. This does not include the golf course.

Although campus has never developed a formal IPM policy, essentially all of the efforts follow those principles, with the possible exception of broad scale herbicide applications on the turf to control dandelions and noxious weeds like thistles (required by law). In the Arboretum, there is no use of insecticides or fungicides and try to limit the use of herbicides by widespread use of organic mulches, proper irrigation and mowing to encourage growth of desirable plants and turf, and proper timing of any herbicides that are applied to prevent seed production. The rest of campus does very limited insecticide treatments to control specific issues and very limited chemical fertilizer applications combined with top dressing compost on the turf areas.

Source: Paul Warnick, Horticulturist; University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden

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