Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.42
Liaison Mary-Lee Townsend
Submission Date Oct. 6, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Stefanie De Adder
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Total campus area 193.60 Hectares
Footprint of the institution's buildings 20.36 Hectares
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 11.21 Hectares

Area of managed grounds that is::
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 0 Hectares
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 161.87 Hectares
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Hectares

A copy of the IPM plan:

The IPM plan :

An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan has been in place at Western since 1992. Harmful fungicide and pesticides are not used on campus and have not been used for more than a decade. As of April 30, 2009, a new piece of legislation put forth by Western has forbidden the University from spraying unless it is a matter of high importance. The same year, Western Grounds phased out herbicides for weed control on hard surfaces (between sidewalk slabs). Currently, Western relies on natural remedies in a conversion to all environmental products.

In addition, all gardens around campus are monitored under an IPM. Gardens that needed to be sprayed every 7 to 10 days have been removed. Western also plants trees that are thought not to cause problems. Specifically, Western has been buying black spot tolerant trees while making sure that they are being planted correctly, trimmed, and established properly so that little or no maintenance is needed.

Another practice started by Western to prevent pests includes the removal of any plants which are susceptible to infestations. Any tree or shrub that is being considered for planting needs to meet the following criteria:
- Have a long life expectancy
- Come from a disease-free stock
- Insect and disease resistant
- Not an alternative host to a secondary disease

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

Western University follows a strict Integrated Pest Management Plan, as well as uses native and ecologically appropriately plants, and controls for invasive species. Western is committed to landscaping with environmentally preferred materials, and reuses as many materials as possible in order to minimize waste. Maintaining and enhancing natural nutrient and water cycles are of high priority on campus, such as proper soil aeration and minimal irrigation. Due to harsh winters in London, ON, Western uses a magnesium chloride additive to allow salt to work at extremely cold temperatures.

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

Landscape planning at Western incorporated preservation of the grounds and development of a Landscape Plan. This Plan includes the allocation of lands for the Arboretum, and enhancement of courtyards and other spaces while trying to use species native to Southwestern Ontario whenever considering new planting/landscaping. Furthermore, in the development of plans for new facilities, the preservation of trees is a critical part of the planning. When it is necessary to remove trees, these are to be replaced in numbers equal to or greater than the trees being removed (University of Western Ontario – Master Plan).

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

Western recycles and reuses 100% of the leaves on campus. Leaves on the forest edge are blown back into the wooded lots and leaves that are on the lawn and flower beds are collected and transferred to the university's leaf composting area on campus. Other materials, such as grass clippings, plant material, soil and turf from landscape installations are also added to the mix.

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

Over 90% of all lawns on campus are aerated on an annual basis to allow for increased water, oxygen and nutrient uptake by the grass roots. Aeration reduces soil compaction, and allows plants to uptake oxygen and nutrients more efficiently. Aeration also assists in decomposition, allowing for healthier soil.

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

Decorative mulches are purchased locally to ensure water retention in flower beds. Reused landscaping materials include grass clippings from recently mowed lawns, which are left on the surface for a select number of days to prevent weed growth and to retain soil moisture. Additionally, any grass clippings that are collected are composted. Furthermore, any dead trees or branches are turned into mulch for landscaping usage.

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

Western restores and maintains the natural hydrology of the campus by minimizing and eliminating the use of potable water for irrigation, as well as the use of native, drought-tolerant plant species. Many flower beds throughout campus are designed to be drought tolerant, and do not require irrigation throughout the growing season. Two artificial turf fields have recently replaced grass sport fields on Huron Drive, across from the Labatt Health Sciences Building, which require no irrigation and have well-equipped drainage systems. Permeable, highly reflective tiles and native drought-tolerant landscaping exist at Claudette McKay Lassonde Pavilion's courtyard and the building’s perimeter. As a result, no permanent irrigation is required.

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

The salt used on the Western campus is treated with a magnesium chloride additive. The greatest benefit is that the salt continues to work in extremely cold temperatures. Normally, once the temperature decreases to minus six degrees Celsius or lower, most road salts become less effective and some areas may need to be salted several times to compensate. On the other hand, magnesium chloride-treated salt is effective up to minus 20 degrees Celsius, making a single pass often enough.

In addition, less harmful formulation containing potassium acetate and corrosion inhibitors (green and blue coloured material) are being used in and around campus. The colour is a product feature to let workers identify areas that have already been treated, eliminating the tendency to over-apply.

Western staff are trained on the 'Smart About Salt' Program, which teaches staff how to sparingly use salt, while still maintaining a safe campus. This has helped to significantly reduce the tonnage of salt being used on campus each winter.

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.