Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.84
Liaison Andrew Horning
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Michigan
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Kenneth Keeler
Senior Sustainability Rep
Office of Campus Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
3,175 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 1,030 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 1,030 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
665 acres total impervious surface.
1,480 acres of non-maintained natural area.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

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:
The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan for the University of Michigan Grounds and Waste Management Department has a four-pronged approach which includes:

•Inventory of the University's woody and herbaceous plants and identification of pest problems.
•Monitoring of areas and organisms that have been pest problems in the past.
•Remediation using management tactics in the context of the particular pest and plant host.
Our inventory is a database catalog of all the campus landscape trees. Every landscape tree is tagged with a unique identification number. This database identifies specific trees by their species, size, and other inventoried data. There are approximately 15,000 landscape trees.

We use the tree inventory together with our knowledge of the University landscape to monitor for insect and disease occurrences and environmental stresses (e.g., leaf and bark scorch, girdling roots, nutrient deficiencies, etc.) before these occurrences become problems.

In cases where the insect or disease occurrence is a problem, we use monitoring as a technique to measure population size and to determine if and when we need to use remediation measures. An example of this technique is using insect pheromone traps to monitor the elm bark beetle population.

We observe and collect weather related data to estimate when certain insects will hatch their eggs and anticipate the outbreak of certain fungal diseases. An example of weather data monitoring occurs in the management of elm leaf beetles using degree-day monitoring. A degree day is a unit based on accumulated heat to measure physiological time.

Before applying pest management control measures we determine what action is needed and whether that action is likely to be effective. The majority of our landscape pest problems are minor or do not threaten plant health and therefore no action is taken. When action is needed, we use more than one method in combination to provide more effective control.

As a part of our Integrated Pest Management Plan we use cultural, mechanical, physical, biological, and chemical control measures.

We base our pest management program on cultural control. Cultural controls begin with selecting healthy specimen of pest resistant species, properly planting them, and maintaining their vigor with the necessary irrigation and fertilization. Providing plants with the proper care is our foremost consideration and the best line of defense against pests. In addition to proper installation and establishment, we give a lot of time and effort to pruning appropriately to minimize pest problems.

We are attempting to use physical controls, e.g., barriers to prevent plant pests from doing repeated damage. Examples of this kind of control are bands around particular trees to discourage gypsy moth invasion or barriers around the trunks of young trees to prevent damage from dogs and squirrels.

Our biological control attempts have been limited to successful use of Bacillus thuriengensis for the management of eastern tent caterpillar. We are exploring the use of predaceous insects, but have not worked with any species yet.

Annually, we will utilize chemical means for controlling landscape pests such as weeds, insects, and diseases. The use of chemicals on campus is a last resort tactic. We will use the least toxic chemicals available and have had great success using horticultural soaps and oil. All the staff who apply pesticides are certified by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and we heed all of the occupational and environmental precautions and suggestions in addition to ecological common sense.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
The University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, are involved in several important initiatives to help restore and protect our natural areas such as invasive species removal, prescribed burns, native plant propagation, and erosion control and storm water management.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
Naturalized shorelines, or buffer zones, are maintained around Fry Pond and Fleming Creek. These areas add habitat for wildlife and serve as a buffer for any potential contaminates (i.e. fertilizers, pesticides, road salts) before they reach the water surface. Computerized irrigation systems greatly increase efficiency of water use.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
The compost used in planting beds is made on campus from yard waste. Any mulch used is made from UM-generated wood waste.

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

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:
In 1995, U-M established the Salt Use Improvement Team (Salt Team) to research alternative ways to melt snow and ice in conjunction with salt and sand, without jeopardizing pedestrian safety and the environment. The team was comprised of representatives from Building Services, Grounds and Waste Management (G&WM), the Office of General Counsel, Risk Management, Plant Operations, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH). Using the input from all these groups, G&WM has started to implement the alternative methods discussed and created by the team. G&WM and OSEH continue to look for alternative de-icing practices and improving the implementation of these practices.

The team developed Best Management Practices (BMPs) in order to help snow removal crews to use salt and sand more efficiently, reduce its overall use, and minimize its undesirable effects. BMPs currently used include: closing areas that are not frequently traveled; initiating night time snow removal crews; training snow removal crews in effective salt and sand application; alternative de-icing products; anti-icing techniques; and innovative application equipment.

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:

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.