Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.79
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 2.00 Courtney Martin
Assistant Coordinator
Resource Conservation
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area:
229.73 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 0.21 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices 229.52 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 229.73 Acres

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

Total area of managed grounds includes all turf, landscape beds, sidewalks, and parking lots managed by the Campus Services Department. This number excludes the footprint of all buildings operated by the university within areas that is maintained by the Campus Services Department. The University utilizes an IPM procedure wherein inorganic chemicals are utilized once a semester, with all other applications being of organic origin.

Percentage of grounds managed organically:

A brief description of the organic landscape management program:

The Office of Sustainability has a Community Garden and edible landscaping, both of which demonstrate best practices in sustainable land-use. These include raised beds and in-ground garden plots. The garden does not permit the use of any chemicals or destructive practices on this property, and encourages sustainability and biodiversity.

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:

For a description of our IPM and sustainable landscaping program, please visit: https://www.wku.edu/sustainability/grounds.php

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

In the past several years, the university has developed a plant stewardship program to help protect existing vegetation from erosion. We have achieved this through by raising the height of cut on all turf areas on the university to help with a thicker, denser turf. This has helped decrease soil erosion and limited weed germination within the turf areas.
The department has made a strong commitment to control and manage invasive species through establishing a strong health turf to keep invasive species out of the turf areas, while manually removing invasive plants from our landscape beds.

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

The university's approach to hydrology and water use has been to reduce the amount of irrigation water and use more natural water sources. The university has increased "Green space" across campus to help with storm water filtration into the soil. Smart irrigation systems are installed across the university to reduce the amount of irrigation water used. The system only runs when humidity and temperature levels are ideal for water filtration by plants and turf.

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

All WKU's tree waste is taken to the WKU Farm to be ground and incorporated into mulch operations. Additionally, all leaves collected from campus are taken to the WKU Farm to be incorporated into composting or leaf mulch operations. Finished compost is used by the university or sold to the community to fund scholarships.

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

"Smart Water" irrigation systems have been installed through the university to help reduce the demand for city feed water during dry summer months. Irrigation rain barrels have been installed to capture rain water, which is stored and reused to water annual beds throughout the university.

Outdoor lighting within landscape beds have been transfer to low wattage LED bulbs. Evergreens have been planted along the east in-zone of the football stadium to provide a windbreak for the football field. WKU is continuing to explore multifunction landscape design.

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

Over the past 3 years we have been using less calcium chloride and have moved toward using more Cryotech CMA® solid commercial deicer. This is granulated calcium magnesium acetate, a patented chemical formulation from dolomitic lime and acetic acid. It is identified as a low corrosion, environmental alternative to road salt by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. CMA is used worldwide to answer environmental concerns such as pollution, soil contamination from heavy salts and solve problems associated with corrosion and concrete spalling.

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.