Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.98
Liaison Jay Price
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.21 / 2.00 Jay Price
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
901 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 120 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 1 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 473 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 594 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):

256 acres for roads and parking areas were excluded from this count.

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 of Tennessee utilizes an IPM for their landscape management practices as well as an IPM for managing building interiors. The landscape management IPM focuses on five key components: prevention, pest and symptom identification, regular surveying and monitoring for pests, action threshholds and guidelines, and sound management methods. This IPM is taught to employees during training to enable employees to reduce unnecessary pesticide use, better manage pest populations, and minimize pest problems.

The University also abides by the "Suggested Guidelines for Managing Pests in Tennessee's Schools: Adopting Integrated Pest Management." Additionally, the UTIA (UT Institute of Agriculture) provides resources and training (http://schoolipm.utk.edu/training.html) for the public in order spread IPM education and implementation to all Tennessee schools.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

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 University recently began a Grow Lab using one acre of land that is utilized by individuals and classes. Their operations are organic and do not consist of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. In the fall of 2018, the Grow Lab hosted a volunteer activity to hand remove invasive weeds.

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

Landscape practices take several steps to improve plant health, such as choosing pest-resistant varieties, choosing plant species that are well adapted to local conditions, correctly preparing sites before planting, using proper planting techniques, and providing optimum conditions for plant growth. Native plant species are utilized all across campus. Rain gardens and other stormwater BMPs, such as grassed swales and vegetated filter strips, help naturally improve water quality on campus. The Volunteer Boulevard Phase I project (which consisted of the installation of consistent roadway and pedestrian lighting, removal of on-street parking, creation of a shared bicycle/vehicular travel lane, incorporation of bio-swale for stormwater remediation, and the addition of streetscape with site furniture and crosswalks), has resulted in a much greener stretch of road. Trees and bushes such as October Glory Red Maple, Palisade American Hornbeam, William Penn Barberry, and Little Henry Virginial Sweetspire, among others, now line the middle and sides of the street. These plants are ecologically appropriate for this area, and any rain from rainfall events less than one inch will be absorbed into the ground rather than running off to the storm sewer system. Additionally, Rose Rosette has affected UT in recent years. Employees are trained to recognize signs of the disease and to take actions to stop the spread, such as clipping the branch below the point of infection and disposing of the diseased plant properly. Efforts are made to manually remove diseased plants rather than treating with chemicals.

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

The University of Tennessee employs best management practices for stormwater management, promoting the campus as a leader in environmental stewardship, as befits a land grant institution. The institution uses sustainable strategies, such as bioswales and rain gardens, to increase the quality and decrease the quantity of runoff. The university considers these strategies to filter pollutants that accumulate between rainfalls and encourage on-site infiltration, while also providing carbon sinks with the vegetation, improving air quality and providing biodiversity on the campus. UT also utilizes permeable pavements where possible to minimize non-point source pollution of local waterways, while also increasing groundwater recharge and reducing stress on stormwater infrastructure. There are permeable pavers and structural cells at Neyland Stadium’s Gate 21 to permit infiltration and improve growing conditions for the trees in the plaza. Additionally, several cisterns have been installed on campus to collect rainwater for use for irrigation and indoor use.The rainwater harvesting and indoor reuse project implemented in the Orange Hall dormitory is a prime example of the university's efforts of promoting water reuse. See the Innovation credit for more details.

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

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has an on-site composting facility, and much of the green waste from Landscaping Services goes to this facility. No campus green waste is sent to a landfill. Rather, any green waste that can not be composted on-site is sent to Nature's Best Organics to be composted.

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

The university strives to utilize shade trees wherever possible, particularly during new construction, in order to maximize the cooling effect from this method. Additionally, the majority of the plant material on campus is drought tolerant, reducing the irrigation needs. Sorority Village and Hillside are no longer mowed. Rather, stormwater green space that requires no mowing is in place.

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):

UT has been transitioning landscaping areas to turf and other permeable surfaces that require little to no mowing. The intramural fields as well as Circle Park have recently been converted to natural turf hybrid sod system. Other areas of turf and grass on campus are treated with granular, pre-emergent herbicides, which are favorable to spray herbicides, during the winter season. This granular form is less invasive and harsh, and is able to prevent pest and weed issues before they become difficult to manage. Also, the Stormwater Management department regularly collaborates with the Office of Sustainability, Landscape Services Arboriculture, and UT Recycling to host inclusive events to remove invasive species and litter from creeks and waterways on campus as well as to plant trees in riparian zones. One such example is the 1,000 trees planted for Arbor Day in March of 2016.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.