Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.15
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Virginia
OP-9: Landscape Management

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

Total campus area:
1,230 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 0 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 393 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 32 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 425 Acres

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

The total area of managed Grounds excludes buildings and impervious surfaces as well as areas of forest on the campus that are not maintained with a landscape program.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

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:

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 description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

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 approach to hydrology and water use:

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. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL is a 15 year program and we are in the third phase, working with the City and County in our community.

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 drought and for landscaping establishment and gardening purposes. 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 the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

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 approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

UVA prioritizes canopy cover within Grounds at-large and in the design of the landscaped areas to reduce heat islands and heat gain. Between the forested area and the landscaped areas of Grounds, the overall tree canopy is 51%.

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

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. When this happens, UVA typically purchases Calcium Chloride to see the University through to the end of the year.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management program 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.