Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.13
Liaison Traci Knabenshue
Submission Date March 3, 2021

STARS v2.2

West Virginia University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.02 / 2.00 Jim Mirage
Roads & Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
10,651.53 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 9.15 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 593.48 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 602.63 Acres

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

Areas excluded from managed grounds include experimental farm land, forests, and land that is not regularly managed or maintained:

Agronomy Farm (188.64 acres)
Animal Sciences Farm (452.04 acres)
Core Arboretum (91 acres)
Davis Sisters Forest (106.66 acres)
Dolls Run (17.24 acres)
Falling Run Greenspace (18.64 acres)
J. W. Ruby Research Farm (891.71 acres)
Organic Farm (126.19 acres)
Research Park (201.44 acres)
Van Voorhis Property (34.96 acres)
Wolfe Property (130.28 acres)
University Forest (7,790.1 acres)

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

Land is managed and maintained without the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

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:

WVU’s Department of Roads & Grounds manages and maintains 602.63 acres. Although the department does not officially have a formal IPM program, they incorporate an IPM approach in their management strategy. The overall goal is not to completely eradicate or eliminate pests, but to strengthen and stabilize the landscape so conditions are more favorable for plants to remain healthy. This reduces the risk of negative environmental side-effects and contamination associated with overuse of pesticides. The main principles are identification, monitoring, prevention/exclusion and control. Attached you will find the IPM plan that we follow.

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

WVU has an established Tree Campus Committee that developed a Campus Tree Care Plan along with a complete tree inventory and has received Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Tree protection zones are used during construction to prevent root compaction and tree damage. Proper site selection and use of resistant varieties for optimal plant health is a key priority. Strict requirements are set and governed by WVU Construction Design Guidelines & Standards on species selection and site preparation. A “Do Not Plant” list of unsuccessful species is available as well as a preferred species list of plants to be added for increased diversity which further enhances learning opportunities for students across campus. Invasive species are controlled by hand or mechanical removal, and followed-up by chemical treatment if necessary.

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

Lawns are maintained at proper heights during drier months to eliminate the need for supplemental watering. Most campus lawns have no irrigation systems and are dependent on natural sources of water. Newly planted trees are supplied with a drip-irrigation style bag that slowly and deeply waters during draught conditions. A buffer zone is maintained around Popenoe Run at Raymond J. Lane Park. Several bio-swells are managed to mitigate stormwater runoff and they are used as nursery grounds for rearing saplings to be later planted into the campus landscape.

A brief description of the institution's approach to landscape materials management and waste minimization:

Mowers are equipped with mulching blades and clippings are returned to lawn areas to decompose and naturally replenish nutrients. Tree waste less than 8” in diameter is chipped and utilized on walking trails in the Falling Run Greenspace area of campus. Mulch is supplied from a vendor using recycled natural wood materials. Leaves are either mulched during mowing or are collected and composted at the Organic Farm for later use on campus as a soil amendment. Wood waste from tree removals is cut to length and utilized as fuel to fire pottery kilns at the WVU Creative Arts Center.

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

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

The Department of Roads & Grounds uses brine solution in the winter to treat campus roadways, parking lots and sidewalks which significantly reduces the total amount of salt used on campus. Many of their trucks, UTVs and tractors have been equipped with brine tanks for this purpose. The Department also recently purchased several new drop spreaders to enable better control of deicing salt applications along sidewalks, thereby reducing materials overcast into adjacent soils. All spreaders are calibrated prior to each season and inspected throughout to ensure proper rates and to avoid over application. Employees undergo ongoing training on proper deicing salt application and environmentally friendly and chloride-free materials are utilized within 15 feet of all building entryways. The addition of heated steps in all new construction minimizes the need for additional deicing salt usage.

Revisions to the Landscape Master Plan include strategies for creating more sustainable landscapes, therefore reducing maintenance while remaining aesthetically pleasing. Mulch has been replaced by decorative river stone in numerous landscape beds to reduce maintenance requirements. Low mow zones have been established on many steep banks that prove difficult to maintain and these natural areas offer several benefits like providing habitat for pollinators and butterflies, dispersing rainwater more efficiently, and enhanced bank stabilization.

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.