Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 36.72
Liaison Lindsey Abernathy
Submission Date July 17, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mississippi
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.96 / 2.00 Lindsey Abernathy
Associate Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
1884.45 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach 254 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an organic land care standard or sustainable landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials 780 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 850.45 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 1884.45 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds (e.g. the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, areas that are not regularly managed or maintained):
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Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
13.48

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

The UM Golf Course manages its 254 acres using a four-tiered IPM approach. The guidelines used by the Golf Course are accessible via this link: http://magazine.ggcsa.com/HTML5/GGCSA-Best-Management-Practices-Manual (pg. 68-73). The Mississippi chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association Of America is also in the process of creating state-specific best management practices of which IPM is a critical component. UM's facility is also in the process of creating its own manual to spread the word to membership about the many environmental benefits of the golf course.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
41.39

A brief description of the organic land standard or landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials:

The UM Biological Field Station, which is the host for the Center for Water and Wetland Resources and future host for the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, manages 780 acres of institution-owned mixed hardwood forest using sustainable land management practices. Experimental ponds comprise 222 acres of this. Several of the ponds and much of the rangeland has been allowed to enter into the process of ecologic succession, but the areas are managed by Field Station employees. No inorganic fertilizers or chemical pesticides are used on the property. On the occasion that the Field Center is used for agricultural research, they abide to Natural Resources Conservation Services best management practices as a standard.


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

To conserve resources and effectively utilize staff, Landscape Services regularly incorporates native plants into the campus landscape, including many native tree species. Native canopy trees are often used, which also aid in storm water retention. In areas that irrigation is not available, drought tolerant plant species are often used.

Landscape Services has also planted four pollinator gardens on campus utilizing native plant species. A fifth pollinator garden is in the planning stages. While natives are used throughout the campus landscape, a 1/2 acre area of campus was designated as an educational native planting site, and has undergone two phases of plant installations by student volunteers and biology classes with the support of Landscape Services and the UM Green Fund.

Additionally, as UM continues to grow, all attempts are made to save trees on campus. In a construction zone, Landscape Services requires protective fencing and other measures to keep a tree healthy during construction. If a tree must be removed, Landscape Services will relocate it if feasible. UM’s tree policy does not allow hammocks, slacklines and/or tether lines in trees. Per the policy, nothing can be tied, hung or wrapped around trees on campus as this can weaken, crack and wear away bark which puts the health of the tree at risk.

At the UM Field Station, native species are prioritized in its wildflower and pollinator gardens. Field Station staff and faculty are working to eventually replace non-native species in landscaping and non-native grasses with natives, as well as to utilize prescribed burning. For invasives, mechanical removal or natural predator removal is preferred.


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

Landscape Services uses the Sentinel system by Toro to monitor weather conditions and wind speed, sense rain, test the moisture of the soil and regular irrigation accordingly. If soil is still wet from a previous rain or irrigation, the Sentinel delays irrigation until it senses the soil is dry. Additionally, the system alerts if valves and sprinkles should be checked for damage. Pervious pavement has also been used on campus at the university’s Medicinal Plant Garden and law school. UM also has a bioswale on campus near Crosby Hall to slow rainwater runoff and to help purify water and reduce erosion. There are two detention areas on campus, as well as a retention pond. The UM Field Station does not use any potable water for irrigation and limits hard surfaces to allow for infiltration. The Field Station also maintains monitoring wells to monitor groundwater levels, which is used for teaching purposes and to help conservation practices.


A brief description of the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):

Landscape Services composts/mulches more than 90 percent of leaf material on campus and reuses it in the landscape. Additionally, trees that are removed and cannot be relocated are mulched or composted and reused. This mulch is often used as dry material for the UM Compost Program, which is an on-site program operated by the UM Office of Sustainability. Landscape Services also donates plants that are being removed from seasonal color beds to a local care facility for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


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

When designing a landscape, Landscape Services generally plants deciduous trees on the south side of buildings to shade in the hot summer, and in the winter the leaves have fallen, allowing the sun to warm the building. Evergreens are planted on the north side of the building to provide a windbreak for the prevailing winds. Parking lots are planted with canopy trees to lower surface temperatures. Landscape Services also plants canopy trees along roadways to lower surface temperatures.


A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

The Field Station utilizes a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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-In very rare instances at the UM Field Station, herbicide is used to remove potentially harmful plant material, but standard practice is mechanical removal or natural predator removal. We felt it was appropriate to report the Field Station's acreage in the sustainably managed portion of this credit because the Field Station's mission is to foster ecosystem stewardship and all efforts are made to utilize sustainable landscape management practices as the standard for land management on the property. More information about the Field Station is available here: http://fieldstation.olemiss.edu/

-IPM practices are used in some other areas of campus, but there is no formal program in these areas, so we reported that acreage as area managed using conventional landscape practices. Practices used by Landscape Services in these areas do include components of IPM, and are listed below:

-Trees and shrubs are pruned to encourage air circulation.
-Resistant plant species are used when available and correct spacing when planting to avoid overcrowding.
-Selecting appropriate plants for the site conditions and preparing the soil for the plants.
-Dormant oil is applied to all shrubs in February to prevent insect infestations.
-Weeds are controlled in shrub beds to promote healthy plants.
Landscape Services uses several weed control options including hand-weeding, sanitation, cultural practices, and chemical control. This includes frequent monitoring and spot treatment using the least-toxic methods.
-Leaves and other debris are removed to prevent overwintering of insects.
-Diseased and infested plants are physically removed to prevent spread.
-All landscape tools are regularly sanitized to prevent spread of pests and infections.

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.