Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.87
Liaison Cindy Shea
Submission Date Dec. 23, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.44 / 2.00 Steve Gooch
Grounds Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
1,718.70 Hectares

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 28.73 Hectares
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 128.29 Hectares
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 263.45 Hectares
Total area of managed grounds 420.47 Hectares

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:
Carolina North Forest and University Lake Areas are monitored to protect watershed and for fire prevention.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:
Proactive stormwater management strategies have positively affected landscapes throughout campus. Some of the strategies adopted include reforesting areas to augment the evapo-transpiration of stormwater through trees. On sloped and shaded areas, turf grass is being replaced with low maintenance perennial ground covers that hold stormwater more effectively. Rain gardens, daylit streams, and riparian buffers are additional methods employed to reduce stormwater runoff and improve stormwater quality. At all of these reforested areas, replanted slopes, and stormwater management features, organic standards have been adopted that eliminate the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and 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:
The University’s IPM plan is managed by the Grounds Department within the Facilities Services Division. The acreage actively managed by Grounds is about 722 acres, which excludes building footprints and forested areas. The University Forest Manager and a two-person IPM staff work with Grounds crews that are assigned to 16 campus zones. There are over 50 crew members licensed in pesticide application by the NC Pesticide Board and trained to implement the IPM plan.
1. Action Thresholds – Action thresholds are set according to plant and site-specific conditions with the goal of maintaining plant health and campus appearance with minimum hazard to people and environment.
2. Monitor and Identify Pests – Zone crews search for signs of potential threats and take effective measures before the level of pests reaches an action threshold requiring the use of a pesticide. Zone crews search for eggs that can be treated safely before pests arise. Certain insects can be hand-picked off plants, e.g. bag worms. When a pest threat that meets an action threshold is identified, a work request is sent to the IPM staff.
3. Prevention – To the extent possible, the Grounds Department plants species that are resistant to common pests. Plant diseases are controlled by scheduling fertilization and irrigation to prevent spores from germinating, reducing the need for fungicides.
4. Control – The IPM staff uses the least hazardous treatment first. Eggs are treated with low-impact dormant-oil sprays. As a last resort, specific products targeted to specific plants are used. The only broad-spectrum product used, Round-up, is narrowly applied; it is hand-sprayed on walkways only. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is not done.


A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:
The Grounds Department installs native plants whenever possible. In addition, native and non-invasive plants are incorporated in landscape design guidelines for the main University campus, Carolina North, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

UNC Campus – In 2005, the Task Force on Landscape Heritage and Plant Diversity developed Guidelines for Landscape Designers Working on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus, which states a preference for choosing native plants and plants adapted to the ecological conditions of sites under development or renovation. According to the Guidelines, plantings should be appropriate to the North Carolina piedmont, preserve the tree canopy and forested areas, include plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife, and avoid invasive plants. Recommendations for landscape design incorporating these preferences are given for each campus district (Section X. Recommendations for Landscape Designers When Working in Each District). The appendix section provides lists of plants that are Southeastern US natives or exotics with proven usefulness in Southeastern landscapes (Section XI), and invasive plants to avoid or to use only where their spread will be monitored and controlled (Section XI.F).

The NCBG has a policy of removing and preventing accession of known invasive exotic species from its collections. In most areas of the Garden, only plant species native to the Southeast US are cultivated.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:
The University's Environment, Health, and Safety Department developed a soil erosion and sediment control plan. The plan must be incorporated into all construction documents before a project can be sent out for bid. Components of the plan include the following provisions: 1. Identifying areas with a high susceptibility to erosion, 2. Limiting disturbance on steep slopes, 3. restricting clearance to only those areas necessary for construction, 4. covering any cleared areas that will be unworked for seven days, 5. planting cleared areas that will not be worked for 30 days. Contractors must designate an on-site crew member who is responsible for soil erosion and sediment control, including the maintenance of sediment basins and other control strategies.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:
The recycling program is staffed by two grounds employees who use state-of-the-art equipment, including a tub grinder, to process waste materials accumulated from pruning and trimming trees and shrubs. All landscape waste is returned to campus as compost or mulch. Grass clippings, turf, and leaves are converted into leaf-compost, and hardwood scraps are converted to mulch.

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:
UNC practices sustainable landscape management by:
1. Preserving historic landscapes
2. Protecting the tree canopy
3. Aerating the soil and tree roots as needed
4. A soil erosion and sediment control plan
5. Planting the right plant in the right place relative to site use and conditions and stormwater management goals
6. Mulching and composting landscape trimmings
7. Integrated Pest Management

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.