Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.18
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.04 / 2.00 Kent Theiling
Grounds & Landscape Design Manager
Facilities Planning and Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
333 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 97.17 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 4 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 101.17 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):

Areas not included in the listing of managed grounds:
- building and impervious surface not included (both campuses)
- Tyson Research Center (2000 acre experimental conversation/agricultural lands)

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:

Our University Grounds Manager/horticulturalist works closely with the University's landscaping maintenance contractor to continually monitor the grounds to anticipate and prevent insect and disease-related issues. The grounds team first looks at doing something culturally or non-toxic: adjust irrigation, soil amendment, move plant to a more ideal spot, use pest free plant material, high pressure water, remove by hand, organic control, etc. Any pesticides necessary are specific to the target and used minimally. A turf specialist is utilized to ensure only targeted applications are used, only when needed.

While the University utilizes the IPM principles, they do not have a published plan. When needed, their treatments are ecological approaches, not blanket applications. When planning landscapes, plants are selected for disease and insect resistance. As a result, the landscape rarely requires chemical applications for pest control or additional nutrients.

In sum, the approach is:
- Set Threshold limits for pest
- Identify/Monitor
- Prevent
- Control/Treatment

Current pests identified as concern:
- Lacebug, spot treat specific trees affected
- Bagworms, hand pick and/or spot treat
- Webworm, treatment depends on the severity of the tree damage
- Rabbits, using plant material non-palatable to rabbits in high impact areas to push rabbits into secondary areas.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

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:

Snow Way, a small prairie restoration project located within the dense, urban campus, is managed without any chemical applications. The space is mowed once annually.

Other areas that are manages organically include: Snow Way Hill, Family Learning Center Meadow, Seasonal Annual Beds, Forsythe Perennial Beds, South 40 Green Roof Perennial Beds, McMillian Green Roof Perennial Beds, Millbrook Rain Garden, Eads Hall Rain Garden, Harbison House Rain Garden, Swamp Field Rain Garden, Hillman Bioswale, Seigle Hall Rain Garden, Gregg Hall Rain Garden, College Hall Rain Garden, Eliot House Rain Garden, South Campus Rain Garden, Lofts Green Roof/Rain Garden, Hope Plaza Perennial Beds, 4515 Rain Garden and TAB Rain Garden. No chemicals, except organic fertilizer (only when necessary) will be used in natural areas, rain gardens, green roofs, bioswales or other sustainable plantings.

Although this has been discussed and considered the university has not yet switched to all organic products. However we are using organic products for the following: Organic products we currently use: Holly Tone, M-Roots, C20, Compost (o/O), Nutri-Pel, Gypsum and Milorganite. Products may change or new products added during the course of the year.

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

As landscapes are renovated on the campus, University policy encourages the use of native and ecologically appropriate plants, where possible, in replacing non-native species. The grounds team is aggressively replacing invasive plant species at the university with native and adaptive species. This is an ongoing practice which we annually evaluate as we renovate older campus landscapes. We continue to eliminate turf areas when there is an opportunity to do so.

When practical Focal Pointe/Grounds utilizes onsite plant material to divide and transplant to fill in other areas. The team actively looks for opportunities when possible. A select list from 2017 transplant projects include:
-Removed Panicum grasses from south side of Edison Theater (safety reasons) and transplanted to the west side of baseball to eliminate the need of mowing along fence.
- Removed Hydrangeas and Panicum grasses at Whittaker (construction reasons) and transplanted various places around campus
- Divided and transplanted existing plant material in Newmark garden to fill in bare areas
- Focal Pointe and Med staff divided and transplanted several plants on Med Campus and Hope Plaza

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

Washington University has undertaken over a dozen landscape projects in the last five years that incorporate on-site storm water management, including engineered bioswales to capture and filter roof and hardscape run-off, pervious pavers, green roofs, and deep rooting plants. The off campus apartments (Loop Lofts) has a cistern system to collect and utilize rainwater.

Focal Pointe is working with grounds to top-dress turf areas with compost which will intern improve soil structure, water infiltration and holding capacity. In 2017 we applied compost to Sled Field, eroded hillside between Baseball and Gregg Hall, 4515 Bld. School of Medicine, and along McKinley/Clayton rd sidewalks at School of Medicine. We have plans to do additional areas in 2018.

Focal Pointe has an on staff certified landscape irrigation auditor, with plans for additional technicians to go through certification this year. Our technicians routinely look for improvements to the irrigation system for better coverage, repair leaks, increase efficiencies and reduce water use.

Irrigation Initiatives 2017-2018
- Installed new weather station and repaired 2 weather stations
- Replaced communication modules on controllers to be able to use weather station data
- Installed rain sensors on all residential properties
- Replaced/repaired 89 MP nozzles throughout campus this fall
- Replaced 10 rotors on oak allee with MP rotator nozzles.
- Moving forward we look to change additional spray heads over to MP rotator nozzles for better water efficiencies.
- Plan for spring is to repair flow sensors that will communicate to the central control when there is a leak.

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

The University landscaping and tree-service contractors recycles 100% of our landscape/lawn-generated trimmings and clippings and mature tree pruning and removals. All mulch used in the landscape is from recycled sources.

All lawn clippings and a portion of leaves are mulched onsite to allow natural decomposition, returning nutrients to soil and improve structure.

All plastic potting material is recycled or returned to growers.

Native vegetation is used as green mulch around buildings to eliminate or minimize the use of other mulches (harwood bark, rock, etc).

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

In the last three years, approximately 20 black building roofs have been replaced with white roofs. White roofs are now the standard for new construction. In addition, we have constructed four major green roofs, totaling about 1 acre of green space.

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):

- In the winter months the University is careful to use magnesium chloride in place of typical rock salt in de-icing our walkways. The magnesium chloride is less abrasive to the concrete and has less impact on the surrounding landscape and turf areas. At the School of Medicine campus, calcium magnesium acetate is used, which is even less harmful than magnesium chloride.
- Landscape areas along high traffic areas are treated with Gypsum in early/late winter to help neutralize the ice melt effects on plant material/soil.
- Propane mowers are used to reduce emissions.
- Plans are in place to converting some hand equipment over to electric.
- Heavy use of compost for new planting beds, annual areas and topdressing turf.

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