Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.21
Liaison Gary Cocke
Submission Date Sept. 11, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

The University of Texas at Dallas
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Gary Cocke
Associate Director for Sustainability and Energy Conservation
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
445 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 445 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 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 445 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):

The only maintenance done at underutilized areas is occasional mowing with no fertilizer and herbicide use. An additional 212 acres outside of the main campus area have no herbicides and pesticides.

UT Dallas sits in Texas’ Blackland Prairie. The Blackland Prairie region is a strip of dark, rich soil encompassing much of Dallas and following the I-35 corridor. Facilities Management has established a No-Mow Zone to encourage native prairie grasses and give plants an opportunity to reestablish. Mowing less and planting native species are a key part of our prairie restoration program. An eight-acre area on the southwest corner of campus is the home of the restoration and our largest Monarch Waystation. Native pollinators, like Monarch butterflies, Bumblebees, Mason Bees, and Honey Bees, are crucial to the proliferation of many flowering and fruit producing plants.

An organic land care experiment is being conducted FY 19 by the Office of Sustainability.By using a soil compaction tester, also known as a penetrometer, the level of compaction can be determined in an easily quantifiable and comparable way.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
100

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

This Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan/program is an approach to identifying, controlling, managing and preventing the occurrence of pests and infestations at The University of Texas at Dallas. This document outlines the practice and procedures utilized to maintain the campus environment while
remaining in compliance with new and existing environmental regulations established through local and state governments.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
0

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

Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability work across campus to improve the livability of our landscapes. A healthy environment contributes to our students’ success and provides a welcoming environment in our community.

As part of the Campus Landscape Enhancement Project, an Urban Forest (PDF) was established along University Drive. The forest is a densely planted area, reminiscent of a Texas creek bed. More than 5,000 trees and shrubs were planted, many of them native to Texas. The varieties include Afghan Pines, Bur Oaks, Caddo Maples, Cedar Elms, Chinquapin Oaks, Magnolias, Pond Cypress and Shumard Oaks. The Urban Forest is set in a natural riparian corridor running through campus.

Cottonwood Creek also runs through campus. The West Fork of Cottonwood Creek runs along the west side of campus, through University Village. It ultimately joins other waterways at White Rock Lake, part of the Trinity River watershed.

With more than 7,000 trees on campus, and as the recipient of $50 million dollars for landscape enhancement, The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to maintaining our fabulous landscapes. To demonstrate that commitment, the University has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA®, a program that helps campuses establish and maintain healthy community forests.

To maintain that certification, UT Dallas has established a Tree Advisory Committee, a standing sub-committee of the Campus Sustainability Committee. A Tree Care Plan has been developed and implemented by Facilities Management. Tree Planting events take place annually on campus. Service learning events are hosted by the Office of Student Volunteerism, both on campus and with community partners.

The UT Dallas Tree Campus USA® program began in 2016. As part of existing tree management practices, a publicly accessible campus map and tree inventory has been made available online for students, staff, and faculty to view.

UT Dallas sits in Texas’ Blackland Prairie. The Blackland Prairie region is a strip of dark, rich soil encompassing much of Dallas and following the I-35 corridor. Facilities Management has established a No-Mow Zone to encourage native prairie grasses and give plants an opportunity to reestablish. Mowing less and planting native species are a key part of our prairie restoration program. An eight-acre area on the southwest corner of campus is the home of the restoration and our largest Monarch Waystation. Native pollinators, like Monarch butterflies, Bumblebees, Mason Bees, and Honey Bees, are crucial to the proliferation of many flowering and fruit producing plants.

The Monarch Watch is a nonprofit managed by The University of Kansas. UT Dallas is located in the migratory path of the Monarch Butterfly. To encourage species recovery, we have planted native milkweed to serve as a breeding ground, and wildflowers to support all pollinators in their search for food. Through the Office of Student Volunteerism, students can participate in planting and maintaining the Monarch Waystation and Blackland Prairie Restoration.

At UT Dallas, landscape waste including tree limbs are shredded into mulch and reused on-campus. The Monarch Butterfly, a species of concern, is protected at UT Dallas as well. The development of a Monarch Waystation features diverse plant and insect life including milkweed, the flower at which Monarch Butterflies reproduce, feed and thrive during migration.


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

UT Dallas is a campus that is comprised of buildings, greenspace, and natural landscaping features that includes many diverse species of flora and fauna. Through efficient and strategically planned watering, our Facilities Management team ensures that our campus landscape is healthy and visually appealing.
Efficiency in campus irrigation minimizes water loss and waste.

UT Dallas utilizes bioswales, rainwater harvesting, stormwater ponds, solar sync sensors, and native landscaping to minimize water loss and runoff. Bioswales have been added as part of new construction at the Student Service Building and Bioengineering and Science Building. Stormwater mitigation techniques improve the management of Cottonwood Creek that runs through campus.

With the new drive to building efficient, green, and/or LEED certified buildings at UT Dallas, bathrooms are of interest for water conservation efforts. Our Facilities Management team has taken the initiative to maximize water savings and conservation whenever possible when renovating bathrooms and/or replacing bathroom fixtures such as toilets, urinals, and faucets. This may include, but is not limited to, low-flush toilets and urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets.


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

At UT Dallas, the collected landscape waste materials are integrated into the campus composting operations. Small and medium sized tree limbs are placed in a brush pile where they are eventually shredded down and reused on-campus. Leaves are collected on-campus in heavy duty, reusable bags. The leaves are collected on-campus and added with pre-consumer food waste to make compost, then mixed with soil and reused on-campus.

The University of Texas at Dallas has evolved its composting program from previously targeting only landscape waste, to including pre and post-consumer food waste, and now to providing students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to compost on-campus. Since 2012, UT Dallas has composted over 420,700 lbs. of food waste, therefore diverting 81 metric tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere campus-wide. Since expanding the compost program into Housing in September 2018, over 2,950 lbs. of food waste has been composted from on-campus resident participants

Composting is an important part of the campus waste management program that is continuously evolving. Pre-Consumer food waste contributions began in 2011 in partnership with Dining Services and Facilities Management. In August 2017, a partnership with Organix Recycling formed and enhanced the overall composting program at UT Dallas. With the transition, specialized compost containers were installed near kitchen locations, therefore simplifying the pre-consumer food waste collection process. With this new partnership, additional food items became acceptable in the waste stream that were not previously accepted (for example, meat and dairy products), increasing the amount of food waste that is recycled. As of current, Dining Services has taken the lead and moved to all food waste collections in Dining Hall West.

Composting has been on the mind of students for many years. In fall 2018, the UT Dallas Student Government Green Initiative Committee took the lead and collaborated with The Office of Sustainability within Facilities Management, Housing, and Organix Recycling to make the composting program accessible to residents of University Village and Canyon Creek Apartments. In order to participate in the program, residents must attend a compost training. At the training, residents will learn what goes in the compost containers, how to manage individualized food collection caddies, and acquire a combination for the lock securing the containers.

UT Dallas also harvests milkweed seeds from our Monarch Waystation to replenish the station. This reduces the demand for milkweed seed purchases from external parties which is protective of campus resources.

Recycling is a key aspect for reducing our environmental impact at UT Dallas. Recycle bins are located on the interior and exterior of buildings across campus. UT Dallas operates a single-stream recycling program. This means you can place cardboard, paper, aluminum cans, metal cans, plastics (1-5 and 7), and unbroken glass bottles in a recycling bin.

Special Recycling Streams include:
Batteries
Cardboard
Clothing and Shoes
Confidential Paper Shredding
Electronics
Metal
Nitrile Gloves
Plastic Wrap
Printer Cartridges and Toner
Styrofoam Packing Peanuts
Styrofoam #6 (Polystyrene)
Used Binders


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

There have been tremendous changes regarding our campus landscaping. This includes numerous shade trees that were included in a $50 million campus landscape enhancement project.

Dark colored roofs absorb the sun’s rays and heat the building from the top down. It also creates a “heat island effect”, the result of buildings raising the local temperature by several degrees. During the summer, this difference can reduce total energy use by up to 40%. UT Dallas has made an effort to use light-colored roofs when reroofing is done. This lowers the heat island effect on campus and lowers the amount of energy needed to cool these buildings.


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):

The utilized snow and ice plan calls for sanding in explicit locations; the sanding plan precludes the use of salt in the mix. After an event, the university sweeps up the sand for reuse to prevent the material from flowing into the creeks.

Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability work across campus to improve the livability of our landscapes. A healthy and diverse environment contributes to our students’ success and provides a welcoming environment in our community.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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