Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.32
Liaison Andy Mitchell
Submission Date July 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Illinois Chicago
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.51 / 2.00 Cynthia Klein-Banai
Associate Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
244.15 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 0.13 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 46.77 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 45.65 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 92.55 Acres

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

The foot print of buildings are hardscapes total the following: Sidewalks/ Misc. Pavement - 26.07 acres, Parking Lots - 56.78 acres, and Buildings - 68.75 acres.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

The Little Prairie on the Campus transformed a 2,000 square foot area of Kentucky Bluegrass to a pollinator-friendly habitat with over 20 different species of native plants thanks to a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The prairie is managed by Sustainability Internship Program students, Sustainability staff, and volunteers. Student interns are in charge of hand-weeding and watering the garden throughout the growing season, and therefore, there has never been a need for inorganic fertilizers or chemical pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.

The Heritage Garden is comprised of 8 satellite gardens on the east side of campus that are managed by students interns that work with faculty, staff, and community members to connect horticulture with environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, and social justice. Similarly, the Heritage Garden is also managed by students that hand-weed and water. The Heritage Garden explains how to plant organically using companion plants and how to control for pests for all their plants. Here is an expert from their cabbage page, "Cabbages can be planted in companionship with celery, dill, onion, potato, and chamomile. Interspersing clover with cabbages can decrease the prevalence of cabbageworms and native cabbage aphids by increasing the population of predatory ground beetles. Cabbage pests include the cabbage worm, cabbage aphid, cabbage root maggot, cut worm, slug, and nematode. Pay special attention to cabbage worms, which are green caterpillars that can weaken the plants’ fibers as they eat the leaves and burrow into the cabbage’s heads. Spraying neem oil, which acts as a natural insecticide, on the plants can reduce pest infestation." http://heritagegarden.uic.edu.

The UIC Nutrition Teaching Garden teaches nutrition students the importance of fresh ingredients with 9 raised beds of herbs, vegetables and fruits. Growing, harvesting and preparing the foods will be part of the curriculum in the Introduction to Foods course, open to all UIC students and required for nutrition undergraduates.

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:

UIC must utilize Bartlett’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program (“MoniTor”) that is outlined in the 2020 Tree Care Plan (https://m.box.com/shared_item/https%3A%2F%2Fuofi.box.com%2Fv%2F2020UICTreeCarePlan).This plan dramatically reduces the amount of pesticides used by as much as 90% and optimizes suppression while minimizing the use of pesticides through preventive maintenance and early detection of problems on teh UIC Tree population. The MoniTor program consists of scheduled visits to inspect the plants around the property for insects, mites, diseases or cultural problems. Nonchemical interference is given first priority, such as mulching and the release of beneficial insects. If stronger control is needed, the use of horticultural oil, insecticidal soap and several of the synthetic pyrethrums are employed. Chemical control is always the last alternative. UIC must then adhere to the written report of recommendations for follow through including a description of problems, treatments applied, observations of plant conditions.

The Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan outlines the IPM plan for native plants and other pollinator-friendly flowers on campus. https://uofi.app.box.com/s/m1k45b5y1goizabx6q0ny95puo6rfbrc
It outlines that there are acceptable pest levels, which emphasizes on control of pests on campus, not eradication. IPM holds that wiping out an entire pest population is often impossible, and the attempt can be expensive and environmentally unsafe. The campus shall follow these steps: Preventative practices like reducing fertilizer and controlling weeds, monitoring for pests via plant health inspection, mechanical controls like trimmers and wood chips, biological controls like the use of beneficial insects, and if all else fails, pesticides use is allowed but severely restricted and applied by trained professionals.

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

Since 2010, UIC's practice has been to install low maintenance, native plants in new renovation/construction campus grounds. The construction of Lincoln Hall (UIC's first LEED Gold certified building), is just one of the "green" buildings that have low maintenance, native plant plot with proper drainage surrounding the building. As new buildings/major remodeling projects occur their will be a transition to this kind of landscaping. In addition, the Department of Biological Sciences, Grounds and Maintenance, along with students and student groups have been maintaining a couple of small plots of native plants under the program UIC Seed as a pilot project for future native plant landscaping endeavors. UIC also maintains a satellite 5 acre plot (James Woodworth Prairie) of native prairie grass in Glenview, Illinois.

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

The university utilizes every effort to reduce water use through xeriscaping techniques and allowing turf grass to brown during stretched of dry, hot weather. When new irrigation systems are installed, UIC utilizes a wi-fi based irrigation system that works with meteorological detection systems to reduce the use of potable water, that are directly connected to a stormwater retention system. New projects and major renovations must adhere to the UIC Building standards Irrigation 32 80 00 that outlines the following:
1. Captured stormwater must be the first source of water used in watering applications. 2. Captured stormwater should preferably be sourced from rooftop runoff over the use of a cistern. 3. Where captured stormwater is not immediately, geographically available captured stormwater from elsewhere on campus should be used. 4. Only when captured stormwater sources have been exhausted can treated, potable water be used in watering applications. 5. All new buildings must consider captured stormwater storage and reuse in their design. This will allow for watering through the use of the stored water. https://uofi.app.box.com/s/b945f941hygdqfbrzj3a7tcd49iyy5vs

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

UIC collects all landscaping waste for off-site composting. Typically, 150-200 tons of landscape material is composted annually.

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

Green roofs have been installed on 4 buildings on campus. Light colored, reflective pavement is used for walkways and light colored, permeable pavement was installed at the Mile Square Health Clinic. The UIC Tree Care Plan prioritizes large, mature trees with large canopies (i.e. a large shading area) that emphasizes all ecosystem services trees provide including the fact that "trees capture carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen through photosynthesis, which both reduces the campus carbon footprint, and provides cleaner air for everyone. As trees store much of this carbon dioxide in their leaves, the larger the total tree canopy on campus, the greater the overall benefit. When planting new trees, it is important to select trees that will grow to a large canopy size."

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

UIC's snow and ice removal practice includes the strict adherence to limiting certain chemical compounds to certain areas of the institution's grounds. Sodium chloride (NaCl) is only used on parking lots, while calcium chloride (CaCl2) and magnesium chloride (MgCl2) is used on sidewalks, streets, pavements and other necessary hard surfaces. Both CaCl2 and MgCl2 are much less toxic to plant life surrounding paved surfaces, and is less corrosive to concrete and steel (and other iron alloys) than sodium chloride.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

IPM area was calculated using square footage of the campus that is covered under Bartlett Tree Expert's MoniTor program.

Tree Care Plan: https://sustainability.uic.edu/green-campus/grounds/trees/
Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan: https://uofi.box.com/s/m1k45b5y1goizabx6q0ny95puo6rfbrc
Heritage Garden information: http://heritagegarden.uic.edu/
UIC building Standards for Landscaping (Division 32): https://cppm.uic.edu/construction/construction-codes-building-standards/building-standards/

All other referenced links included with descriptions for additional information.

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.