Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison Steve Mital
Submission Date May 18, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Oregon
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.38 / 2.00 Phil Carroll
Landscape Maint Supervisor
Campus Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 615 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 182.51 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 133.49 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 113 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 0 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :

The University of Oregon's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is required by ORS 634.650-670. The objective of this program is to maintain pest populations below action threshold levels while insuring minimal human exposure to health risks, inflicting minimal hazards on the environment, providing for effective monitoring through inspections and standardized record-keeping, and evaluating the effect of the IPM practices.

A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:

The UO main campus in Eugene minimizes fertilizer usage, composts all landscape waste, uses only environmentally friendly ice-melt, mulches and uses mechanical weed control. They do not use any insecticides in the landscape and have an Integrated Pest Management Plan.

Additionally, landscape maintenance standards are as follow: “The Exterior Team is creating campus landscape maintenance standards in order to unify and clarify the aims of maintenance staff. The standards are outcome-based rather than methods-based. For example the standards will address the desired appearance and structure of pruned shrubs, rather than pruning techniques.

The intent is that groundskeepers will have common goals in their maintenance activities, and that this will result in uniform health and appearance of campus landscapes. These standards will be useful benchmarks for identifying priorities within landscape maintenance zones, and for evaluating progress.

These standards will not replace the discretion of individual groundskeepers in special circumstances, such as in response to specific customer requests, safety issues, and unique planting types. The hope is that these standards will be equally useful to groundskeepers and supervisors by providing a shared reference point when questions arise or needed work is identified. Possible categories are turf, trees, shrubs, perennials, groundcover, mulch, hardscape and irrigation.”

Regarding satellite locations: OIMB has a small staff and a low maintenance landscape. They do not use pesticides outside of the buildings. They do not pick up lawn clippings, do not use fertilizers, and simply trim things back and blow things off of the paths. The land is zoned for forests so cannot be further developed. UO Portland has essentially no land to manage beyond the building footprint. At the Shire, the management plan is basic. They mow to keep back blackberries and other invasive species under control and prevent meadows from turning to forest by preventing succession. They have to spray for invasive species including blackberries, English ivy, giant hogweed, but under the direction of a certified pesticide license. The Pine Mountain Observatory operates on a lease from the Deschutes National Forest (like a ski resort). Maintenance focuses on keeping the parking lot and pathways free of weeds. The forest service removes trees that obstruct views from the telescopes.

Eugene, OIMB and the Shire have salmon bearing rivers and streams and the Shire is along the Columbia River, so are regulated by the varying institutions (US Army Corps of Engineers, City of Eugene, Columbia River Go

A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:

The UO Eugene uses native plant species that are adapted to their climate zone whenever possible, while also paying attention to climate change by shifting toward drought-tolerant species in current and future plantings. The campus is characterized as a 411-acre arboretum-like environment containing approximately 4,000 trees and (according to the Campus Tree Plan http://map.uoregon.edu/campusmaps/treeatlas.pdf), 469 native species of trees. This plan outlines tree protection and preservation measures that go back historically. A plant-rich environment, there is ample habitat for wildlife, especially birds.

There are many existing buildings that meet LEED Gold or even Platinum standards, while all new buildings are required to do so. Many projects try to get points for ecologically appropriate plantings. Example: Lewis Integrative Science Building is the first LEED Platinum Higher Education Laboratory Building in Oregon and earned points for using climate-appropriate landscaping requiring minimal maintenance in addition to preserving two existing Oaks by raising pathways to protect new and existing roots.

Regarding satellite locations: OIMB is zoned for forest and all plants are replaced by native plants that are low maintenance including shore pines, ground cover of kinnikinnick, salal, huckleberries and others. There are some legacy trees on the OIMB campus, including fruit trees.

The Shire protects and restores meadow and woodland habitat for the cultural and ecological benefits, including the restoration of a salmon oxbow stream in partnership with the Cowlitz Tribe. They have a full time horticulturalist that prevents the spread of invasive species mostly through mowing and limited spraying.

UO Portland is mostly composed of concrete with some city-managed trees out by the street. The Pine Mountain Observatory is situated in the Oregon Coast Range in the Deschutes Forest at 6,300 feet and indirectly protects and preserves this leased property in a collaborative way.

A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:

The UO Eugene Campus composts 100 percent of its yard waste at Facility Services and then returns the compost to campus when it is ready. It also mills the wood from fallen trees on campus to be used as finished lumber around campus (as highlighted in one of our "Innovation Credits" in our 2011 STARS report.) For example, Milled wood has been used in Ford Alumni Center and Allan Hall for paneling, artwork, and cabinetry. Grass trimmings are not usually collected, and are returned or left on the lawn. During the Fall, Grounds Maintenance uses the collection system to pick up leaves for composting. https://campusops.uoregon.edu/services/landscaping-litter-removal.

Regarding the satellite locations: The OIMB buildings are on sand and surrounded by native plants. Most of the landscaping work involves leaf blowing and mowing where material is left in place or put in brush piles.

The Shire minimizes its impact as much as possible, letting nature take its course to maintain the historically-altered landscape by mowing and brush cutting and composting waste. This way of having minimal contact requires their horticulturist to work full time through all of the seasons.

A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:

UO Eugene uses compost that is created on campus for mulching and soil amendment and avoids disturbing the native soils. They control erosion by making sure vegetation is healthy and avoid exposed soils.

Regarding satellite locations: The OIMB campus is all on sand as a sandy beach as a part of the coastline in the past, and the forest is undisturbed. New construction is the only time soil is disturbed.

The Shire preserves the native soils and must be cognizant of US Army Corps of Engineers restrictions on erosion control along the river so tries to maintain native riparian plants. Both UO Portland and Pine Mountain Observatory do not work with the soil.

A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:

UO Eugene uses native plant species that are adapted to our climate zone, whenever possible. Fertilizers are minimized by applying only when needed in particular instances and are limited per the Integrated Pest Management Plan. Regarding other satellite locations: OIMB and the Shire are protected locations, so they share a goal of least disturbance and preservation.

A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:

For UO Eugene, all development must meet standards for minimizing impervious surfaces and providing natural infiltration for rainwater (for example we have bioswales, rain gardens, flow through planters, and green roofs). Landscape practices prioritize water retention over drainage in piped systems.

Strict city ordinances guide most of our practices including two relevant goals related to this credit

“(1) Reduce runoff pollution from development by reducing impervious surfaces and capturing and treating approximately 80% of the average annual rainfall and

(2) Except as otherwise allowed by this land use code, allow disturbances or development within drainage ways only when all of the following conditions exist:

(a) The disturbance or development will not impede or reduce flows within the drainage way;
(b) The disturbance or development will not increase erosion downstream;
and (c) The constructed pipe system is sized to convey all of the runoff from the upstream watershed when the upstream watershed is completely developed. “

(Section 9.6790 added by Ordinance No. 20369).

Regarding the satellite locations: OIMB has wetlands that run through the campus, which started as an underground ditch that drained the forest. In1980, it was turned into an open stream that runs into the bay that is now salmon bearing as the ODFW now uses it as an area to release smolt and there is a salmon ladder. Wastewater runoff goes into county sewer drain. The streams and ditches are left alone. The roofs are drained to the gutter systems that also go out to the harbor. Only about 5% of campus water (besides the roof) goes into storm drains because of the sand, runs off into the grass and soaks in. The water way is not prone to flooding, even when hit by a big storm. Only when high winds hit does water temporarily flow in with puddles here and there.

The Shire is on Columbia River so has US Army Corps of Engineers hydrologic restrictions on the riverfront. The Cowlitz tribe is involved currently with a water quality study as the geologic formations have shifted and made the water rusty so they are concerned about water quality and permeability. The goal is to create ideal salmon habitat by reestablishing and restoring the oxbow creek as a salmon habitat. Because it is on the north side of the Columbia River, the land slopes gradually to the river but floods infrequently. They do not and cannot change the flood plain. There is one stream on the property that drains directly into the Columbia River. Water temperatures is 55 degrees, much colder (and therefore better for salmon) than the Columbia, which can be 10-15 degrees warmer in the summer months.

A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):

At UO Eugene, snow and ice events occur infrequently ( 0-5 times per year). The UO's strategy for ice is to use sand whenever possible and only use environmentally friendly ice-melt as a last resort. Snow removal is done with utility vehicles brushes and blades to clear walks for people to get into buildings.

Regarding the satellite locations: OIMB, which very rarely experiences freezing temperatures, puts salt on the steps as needed to keep them from being hazardous.

A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:

UO Eugene follows progressive city ordinances, which protect and preserve ecologically sensitive areas. “The Eugene City Council has adopted policies that direct the City to pursue sustainability (Resolution #4618), protection of natural resources (Growth Management Policy #17) and recovery of threatened Upper Willamette Spring Chinook Salmon (Resolution #4615) in its activities. Eugene Environmental Policy: https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1083.

Regarding the satellite locations: OIMB has an 80 acre coastal forest reserve that is the oldest stand in Coos County. The deed limits development to research purposes and most of the campus is zoned as forest.

The Shire occupies a 75-acre waterfront site in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge directly across from Multnomah Falls and is part of the national scenic area. Purchased in 1965, John Yeon wanted to protect it from possible industrial development.

UO Portland is housed in a LEED Gold Certified refurbished facility that merges parts of three historic buildings—the Bickel Block Building, the Skidmore Block Building, and the White Stag and Hirsch-Weiss Building. The location of the White Stag block is within Portland’s Skidmore/Old Town Historic District, which is a district that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places “for its historical associations with the early development and economic growth of the Pacific Northwest’s most important urban center of the last half of the nineteenth century.” (National Register of Historic Places, 1977).

Pine Mountain is located on Deschutes National Forest at 6,300 feet and monitors the atmosphere for gases that affect the darkness of the night sky, a limited resource for astronomy.

Is the institution recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program (if applicable)?:

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available:

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available: http://uplan.uoregon.edu/plandoc/CampusPlan/CampusPlan3/Policy10_CampusPlan3rdEdition2014.pdf

320 acres encompasses campus only. The other satellite campuses bring the total to 615 acres which includes OIMB, Pine Mountain, White Stag and the Shire. These satellite campuses have very little grounds management and are primarily wilderness spaces (with the exception of White Stag, which accounts for the smallest portion of the overall extra acreage).

Acreage and building space from Shawn Peterson.

Kim Carson interviewed satellite staff and faculty for information relevant to these locations: The Shire- KC Culver, Randy A Gragg, Kingston Heath, Roxi J Thoren; UO Portland-John Woelfle; Pine Mountain Observatory-Scott Fischer; OIMB- Craig Young, James Johnson

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.