Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.06
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date May 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Virginia
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.92 / 2.00 Rich Hopkins
Landscape Superintendent
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 1,135 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 128 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 582 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 393 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 :

All pest management, with the exception of Athletics and Intramural Recreation fields, is directed by UVA’s Plant Healthcare Specialist. Grounds are maintained in accordance with IPM strategies that adhere to the four-tiered approach. The Plant Healthcare specialist is responsible for setting action thresholds and will recommend plant replacement in situations where plant material is likely to attract pests. When controls are used, biological controls, such as the use of nematodes, are prioritized.

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

The Athletics department at the University of Virginia is responsible for approximately 20 acres of sand based athletics field and turf grass areas with naturally occurring soils that are fertilized. There is no predominant soil type due to the construction process, but the department works closely with the University's office of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure that all regulations are followed.

The sand-based athletic fields included in Scott stadium, Klockner stadium, Lannigan field and Davenport field are composed of both warm and cool season grasses. The landscape management adheres to the Nutrient Management Guidelines which explicitly address season of application and cautions, nutrient application for turf grass, area specific guidelines (i.e. turfgrass, athletic fields, sod), fertilizer rate, starter fertilizer rate, drop seder, and fertilization for landscape areas.

The institution also has a Nutrient Management Plan for the Inter-Mural Sports Recreation department. The Nutrient Management Plan explicitly outlines landscape management criteria's for various management areas: The Park, North Grounds Recreation Center, Copeley Field, Lambeth Field, Snyder Tennis Center, Madison Bowl, and the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

Soil tests are conducted for each management area to show the acidic of each soil, and a regular liming program should be implemented. Liming is a critical management practice for maintaining soil pH at optimal levels for plant growth. Liming supplies the essential elements Ca and/or Mg, reduces the solubility and potential toxicity of Al and Mn, and increases the availability of several essential nutrients. The guideline also outlines the specific dates for when fertilizers must be applied.

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

UVA prioritizes use of native, adapted, low-maintenance, and non-invasive plant species in landscape design and replacement.

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

The University Landscape Department operates its own composting facilities for weeds and other landscape trimmings. Grass trimmings are not collected and left in place. Woody material is sent through a chipper and reused on Grounds.

Moreover, the overwhelming majority of all the debris generated by the University's maintenance tasks remains on Grounds at our stockpile location. The institution's woody waste is ground into wood chips for reuse as rough mulch and its non-woody waste is composted along with its leaves.

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

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

The institution focuses on low maintenance and noninvasive plants. These may or may not be "native".

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

The University developed stormwater management master plans for the two watersheds (Meadow Creek and Moores Creek) that drain UVA property. The plans outline strategies for mitigating the effects of stormwater runoff from existing and new development. In addition, the University is in the process of developing an Action Plan for demonstrating compliance with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL; this plan must be completed by 6/30/15. Action Plans for demonstrating compliance with local stream TMDLs will also be prepared but are not due in the next year.

Moreover, cisterns for capturing rainwater for irrigation purposes are installed at the Astronomy Building (550 gal), New Cabell Hall (4,200 gal), Garrett Hall (5,000 gal), Amphitheater (6,600 gal), O-Hill Dining (10,000 gal) and Lannigan Track (187,025 gallons). The largest two cisterns are directly connected to irrigation systems serving adjacent lawn areas. The others are available for hand watering student gardens or for our landscaping crews to pump from to fill portable water tanks.

Furthermore, the institution has installed a variety of systems to filter rainwater before it leaves the property. UVA has installed 16 oil-water separators, 1 oil-sand interceptor, 1 oil-grit separator, 3 sand interceptors, 1 StormScreen, 9 Filterras, 2 locations proprietary filter cartridges, 2 VortSentry. In addition other BMPs, such as raingardens and biofilters, naturally filter stormwater in addition to reducing the quantity of runoff. The institution also has bioretention filters or rain gardens installed at 11 sites across campus, with several more funded for installation as part of redevelopment and retrofit projects. Several of the existing sites have multiple bioretention cells.

Additionally, the institution has two retention ponds - one at the Dell and one serving the Health Systems area. The Dell pond treats the headwaters of Meadow Creek with a drainage area of 182 acres (approx 14% impervious) and has a forebay. The Health Systems Pond has a drainage area of 34 acres. We also have 7 extended detention basins and 8 detention basins. Due to space constraints, we also have 17 locations of underground detention for peak runoff control.
UVA also employs constructed wetlands, infiltration, street sweeping, stream daylighting and stream restoration.

The institute also restores and maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus through the several cisterns that collect water for use at both times of draught and for landscaping establishment and gardening purposes. These are described in detail in OP-27. Since those cisterns are not metered, the rainwater collected and subsequently reused is not included in the totals above.

Lastly, starting in 2013, the University installed its first condensate recovery system. This system captures air handler condensate (the liquid product of dehumidification) and sends it to our chiller plants for use in the cooling towers.

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

The University has reduced the use of rock salt first through use of a 1 part rock salt, 2 parts sand blend and more recently through significantly increased use of magnesium chloride for snow and ice removal. No urea products are used. The use of mechanical spreaders as a replacement for hand-spreading has significantly reduced the amount of material applied.

Rick Hopkins also manages and procures all of the products used for snow and ice control on all Academic, Housing, Medical Center and P&T locations. The University uses bulk sodium chloride on the roads, parking lots and interconnecting sidewalks. The institution also uses magnesium chloride on our steps, building entrances as well as sidewalks and it uses Sodium Acetate on the top decks of the parking garages. The acetate based deicers are non-corrosive and not likely to harm the steel rebar in the concrete of the decks but they are very expensive so we use them only where absolutely necessary. There are occasions when the national supply of magnesium has been used before the winter season has ended. This happened this year requiring Hopkins to purchase 18 tons of Calcium Chloride to see the University through to the end of the year.

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:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.