Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.34
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.02 / 2.00 Karen Petroff
Assistant Director, Arboretum/Horticultural Services
Arboretum & Landscape Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,340 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 17 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 816.48 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 833.48 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Impervious surfaces (parking lots, streets, parking garages, and the footprint of buildings) were excluded. Experimental agricultural land at Research and Education Centers around the state were also excluded.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
17 acres of land around the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts are maintained using organic methods without any application of inorganic fertilizers, chemical pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.

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:
Maintenance practices are developed with acknowledgement of the heavy use the landscape receives for recreational and academic purposes. Plant health is emphasized over pest control, and an environmentally sensitive system of integrated pest management is used to keep pest populations below acceptable thresholds. Recycling of organic material helps to build better soils and better plant health, and compliments Maryland’s goal of using minimal pesticides.

Since January 2011, staff members from all different departments have volunteered to adopt specific areas on campus in order to reduce chemical use in those areas. Any staff member interested in reducing chemical use is encouraged to volunteer. Maryland also holds large-scale student volunteer activities, such as weed removal to control pests. The volunteers include sororities and fraternities, sports teams, clubs and court ordered volunteers.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
University of Maryland strives to plant a minimum of 50% native plants in new landscape installations throughout the grounds. No planting of known invasive species occurs and the Maryland DNR’s Do Not Plant list is honored. Volunteer groups are utilized for invasive control and removal projects. The arboretum and botanical gardens are invaluable resources for Maryland's flagship campus. The native plant gardens are used to document, understand and learn about current and regionally important forces of nature and man. The gardens also serve to increase public environmental literacy for a sustainable future. The plants in our native gardens have been established from seeds collected by volunteers from construction-threatened populations in our region.The resulting plants provide a bank of locally valuable Maryland plant species and ecotypes and seed is collected and used to enhance managed meadows on campus. Native grasses and wildflowers are locally adapted to provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife including migratory birds, insect pollinators, frogs and turtles. The Maryland Native Shade Garden is a prime example of one of Maryland’s native plant gardens. It displays grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees that survive with a lower level of supplemental watering and fertilizers.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
The University of Maryland’s approach to hydrology and water use combines regulatory obligations with voluntary commitments. UMD’s stormwater permits include MS4, 12-SW, and 08-DP permits. Voluntary commitments include: demonstrating leadership in watershed restoration by going beyond regulatory requirements for stormwater treatments, significantly reducing potable water use, and restoring the university Campus Creek by 2020.

All new construction projects comply with the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) regulations on installation of Environmental Site Design practices for management of stormwater. For the majority of projects on campus, development occurs on previously developed sites, which require water quality treatment of 1-inch rainfall for a minimum 50% of the existing impervious area of the site. On new development on sites that have been previously undeveloped, enough rainfall must be captured/treated to mimic the site runoff equivalent to a wood in good condition, which depends on the amount of impervious proposed and existing underlying soils type.

A recent accounting of stormwater management facilities logged over 155 discrete facilities. Each has individual maintenance requirements and a Coordinator oversees maintenance activities. Volunteers, staff and contractors are utilized for maintenance activities such as trash and sediment removal, pruning and replanting of bioretention facilities and seasonal maintenance. During calendar years 2018 and 2019, UMD completed an effort to develop utility asset inventory and to map the stormwater system in GIS. Between April and June 2019, over 116 stormwater facilities were inspected by UMD staff.

In 2019, UMD and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources completed the first phase of the UMD campus creek restoration. The creek restoration improved over 408.9 acres of campus drainage area and decreased nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment nutrient loads by 2,427 metric tons. The creek restoration contributes to the larger effort to assess and restore stormwater infrastructure around campus. The second phase of the project is currently in design.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
University of Maryland recycles all grass clippings on site through mulching lawn mowers. Leaves and other yard waste are composted through the City of College Park every fall and, where practical, mulched directly into turf grass areas. Leaves and mixed debris, including weeds and branches, are collected on campus and taken to an off-site area for recycling. UMD uses off-site composting because there is not enough land on campus. However, the Department of Building and Landscape Services receives some of the compost generated off-site back to use for landscaping on campus.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:
Several buildings on campus have green roofs and two buildings have green walls to reduce heat gain (STAMP Student Union and the McKeldin Library).

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:
The University of Maryland uses ice removal material that is as environmentally benign as possible and available to meet the goal of a safe and accessible 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:
This credit only includes the campus area of the College Park main campus. It excludes satellite campus area (3,814 acres) that is predominantly used for agricultural research. These satellite campuses include agronomy and soil nutrient management plans.

This credit only includes the campus area of the College Park main campus. It excludes satellite campus area (3,814 acres) that is predominantly used for agricultural research. These satellite campuses include agronomy and soil nutrient management plans.

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.