Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.12
Liaison Amir Nadav
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of St. Thomas
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.08 / 2.00 Jeff Voshell
Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
84 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 4 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 43.80 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 47.80 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds:

The areas excluded represent building footprints, impervious surfaces and synthetic athletic fields.


Percentage of grounds managed organically:
8.37

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Areas identified as organically managed do not receive any non-organic inputs. The only maintenance operations performed in these areas include mowing, line trimming, manual weeding, and hand watering.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
91.63

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

The University of St Thomas implemented a 4-tiered integrated pest management (IPM) program in 2019 specific to vegetative pests. The goal of the program is to use the minimum amount of pesticide necessary to maintain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing campus. Each area of campus is assigned a threshold category. Preventative measures are taken to control pests. The application of pesticides are only used as a last resort when thresholds are breached and mechanical measures are not effective.

In addition, the university contracts with Ecolab for several animal pest management services. The Cockroach program employs proven Integrated Pest Management technology that emphasizes minimal use of pesticides. The rodent program employs multi-catch rodent devices and does not use rodenticide. The ant program uses only the minimal amount of insecticide required, and all materials are EPA-approved and applied according to the label, laws and regulations.

Additional information about the university's integrated pest management program is available here: https://www.stthomas.edu/physicalplant/sustainability/integratedpestmanagementprogram/


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

In 2016, the university inventoried all 1,484 trees on campus. The inventory captured general information on tree species, size and condition. We noted any trees that really stood out and whose contributions exceeded those of the other trees due to their size, structure and location. We identified these trees as Heritage trees and Honorable Mention trees and they are incorporated into our long term Campus Master Plan.

Another focus of the tree inventory was to evaluate the current and future maintenance needs. Our preventive maintenance plan includes regular monitoring of their condition, pruning, cabling and bolting as well as the treatment for Dutch elm disease and Emerald Ash borer (EAB). The preservation of our trees is the main focal point.

Our campus trees contribute to the landscape in multiple ways. Not only do they clean the air, provide habitat for wildlife, sequester carbon, provide beauty, but they can also reduce storm water, save on heating and cooling cost, and reduce volatile compounds (VOC’s). Trees play an important part of our overall campus environment. Our tree management program is essential for ensuring the preservation of our trees for years to come.

The Pollinator Path at the University of St. Thomas incorporates several native and perennial plants in a variety of sites across campus. More information about the pollinator path is available at: https://cas.stthomas.edu/departments/areas-of-study/biology/facilities/pollinator-path/


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

Water used for the majority of our irrigation needs comes from two wells located on our campus in St Paul. One well is in the north and one well is in the south part of campus. Meters were installed in spring of 2020 on these wells to track use. All of our irrigation systems are controlled using a Rainbird IQ Cloud smart system. This system has the capability to control watering amounts by using evapotranspiration readings.

During the growing season of 2020 we chose one area of mid campus to test the feasibility of using evapotranspiration information to control watering amounts. We plan to expand this program in 2021 to include all irrigation systems currently running off city water. All irrigation heads installed after 2018 are pressure regulated heads.


A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

All organic waste generated during any grounds operations are recycled using an organic waste dumpster service.


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

All new landscape developments and landscape renovations are to follow a new set of landscape design guidelines. The guidelines encourage the use of native plants and plants that are pollinator friendly. Native plants have proven to require fewer inputs over time.


A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution:

The Stewardship Garden, which covers 3/4 of an acres on the university's St. Paul campus, does not use pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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