Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.88
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date April 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Texas at Austin
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.34 / 2.00 John Burns
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 914 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 148 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 252.58 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 338 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 175 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
The IPM plan :

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

The Campus uses a variety of sustainable practices while managing the landscape. Propane mowers are used to reduce the amount of CO emissions while eliminating our need for gas in those mowers. The mowers also mulch the grass and we do not bag the grass clippings. This allows nutrients back into the soils without adding any chemicals to the landscape.
The irrigation system is monitored 24/7 by a central irrigation system. This system detects breaks and shuts off that zone in order to reduce water use and the programming is modified by live weather events on campus. The distribution nozzles are low rate precipitation nozzles which lower the amount of water loss due to wind and lower the amount of runoff. Drip irrigation is being utilized in some of the landscape beds to increase the efficiency in those areas. All these features assist in having a sustainable irrigation system which goes hand in hand with a sustainable landscape management.

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

Since the campus was established over 130 years ago and a majority of that area has been landscaped for 50 years, the only protection on existing vegetation is for the trees. The campus within the last 5 years has spent over two million dollars to transplant trees on campus due to construction. This process of transplanting due to construction is continuing with the construction of the new medical center.
Invasive species are mapped out along Waller Creek and scheduled for removal. This process is done by staff and the assistance of students.
Experimenting with native grasses (Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center “Habiturf”) for better resilience in drought conditions is being done on campus. Old outdated landscape is being replaced with new xeriscape beds where appropriate.

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

Landscape material is collected and brought back to landscape services office where small/medium tree limbs are put in brush box where they are taken offsite to be turned into mulch. Leaves are added to a pile where they turn into compost and then mixed with soil to be used around campus.
Large size tree limbs are being stored and will be used to create different types of furniture, office accessories, and award plaque.

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

We use an application of local composts (vegetable and leaf mold), hummates, organic fertilizer, and greensand.
Soil sampling is used to determine any soil amendments.
Aeration is used as needed to benefit soil health and root growth, and usually in conjunction with compost application.
Trees - Application of local composts (vegetable & leaf mold), mycorrhizae fungus, and organic fertilizers are incorporated into the soils through use of an Air Spade tool.
Remediation of compacted soils (through Air Spade tilling) in order to benefit root growth and long term tree health is being done on campus.
Utilizing local composted hardwood mulch in tree root zones and in landscape beds to benefit roots and soil, and reduce soil compaction.

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

The campus utilizes native and adaptive plant material that has been tested to survive in this area. We are also working with different groups to design a landscape master plan for the campus. This plan will provide additional native/adaptive plant material and practices that will lower maintenance requires but increase sustainability of the landscape.

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

The campus is starting to utilize bioswales to minimize the amount of runoff into our storm water system. We are also using Rain Water Harvesting on some of our newer buildings and working on implementing them for different areas around campus. More information on that is under the water section.

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

Landscaping consults with Environmental Health & Safety annually in advance of severe weather warnings. Ice and snow are an infrequent event in South Texas, but despite the low threat, special precautions are taken so that Landscaping does not use chemicals or solids that threaten the health of Waller Creek and the campus's other natural features. Plain sand is usually the first safety measure deployed.

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

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 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.