Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.92
Liaison Gretchen Vanicor
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.71 / 2.00 Mike Hess
Grounds Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,198.50 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 470.80 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 161.10 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 14.25 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 646.15 Acres

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

We do not include the 100 acres of grounds at the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), which is outside of our campus boundary. This is because the NIRC facility, up until 2020, was federally controlled and the University had no say in management. At the University's Cade Farm property there are 600 acres but only ~48 are managed actively. 100 of the acres are leased to sugarcane farmers and the rest is natural area.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

A majority of campus grounds are large areas with turf grass and trees. We also have a 10 acre native prairie that was put in place to reduce mowing, increase biodiversity, and increase capture of stormwater. There is no maintenance to these areas except for mowing. When needed, pests on trees are treated with a citrus-based spray, which is an ecologically preferable materials.

The Ecology Center (50.9 acres) mainly manages the property to promote pollinator habitat and populations. They only use conventional management where necessary (think fence lines, around sensors, buildings, etc.) and try our best to avoid herbicides, and other chemicals across the property whenever possible.

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:

We treat pests when needed with chemicals but do not usually use pesticides and insecticides. Instead, we try to vary the plant varieties used in order to chase insects away. The primary insect treatment done is for ants. Other than a once per year treatment of the athletics fields, ants are treated on campus only by request. At Cade Farm, as part of their IPM, they clip our pastures after each grazing rotation. This helps suppress weed growth by creating a more competitive condition for our desirable grasses. I have also implemented the use of a Roto-wiper applicator. This is a slow spinning, carpet-covered drum that is raised to a height where the drum only comes in contact with the undesirable species. Herbicide applications are at the lowest rates that gain the desired control. Depending on the weed, total control is not always desired. For the most part, the spraying done here is to suppress the growth rate of desirable species that will completely take control if not placed in check.

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

Our grounds crew constantly protects plants and flower beds. We have started using native plants and trees when possible. We also focus on using a large variety of plant species. We have a list of approved species that can be planted on campus and none are invasive. We also avoid planting vines that will choke out other species. Construction documents have instruction that contractors must protect trees during work and we work to prevent any parking on tree routes.

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

In the case of needing to water, our wet climate makes it so we do not have to water often. We also choose locations for planting where watering will not have to happen often. So, we do not water unless it is absolutely necessary and when that happens, it is mostly on athletic fields. Our stormwater master plan prioritizes green infrastructure and materials that will allow for infiltration so that we can reduce runoff and localized flooding.

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

Grounds management has a designated location where they mulch landscape waste materials on site. This mulch is then utilized on campus. For material that cannot be taken to the campus pile, branches and leaves are consolidated, picked up, and taken to the City of Lafayette's yard waste compost facility.

Grass clippings stay where they are cut. They are seldomly vacuumed, but are taken to the campus mulch pile when they are. Pine needles are vacuumed off of the turf baseball field and added to the campus mulch pile.

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

Right now, main campus has an approximate 55% tree canopy. It is a strategic objective to preserve and introduce more shade trees on campus.

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

Grounds management is committed to choosing environmentally preferable landscaping materials. We have put some lighting protection in a few trees to protect them from lightning. We have a strong partnership with a local company, Bob's Tree Preservation who assists in keeping our campus trees healthy and not treated with chemicals.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.