Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 60.52
Liaison Lindsey MacDonald
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Washington University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Chris Brueske
Assistant Director
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
212 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 212 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 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 212 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):

Campus buildings are included in the IPM area above, since we use IPM for all pest control, both interior and exterior

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:

100 percent of the grounds on campus are covered by an IPM plan. Chemical herbicides and insecticides are not used on campus landscaping. As required by Washington state law, all WWU gardeners go through IPM training to earn a Pesticide Application License. When the university determines that an area should be maintained at a higher standard or more frequently manicured, herbicides and chemical fertilizers may be necessary to achieve the desired goal.

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:

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

WWU plants many native species such as vine-maple, red alder, western white pine, Douglas fir, Western hemlock, and the Western red cedar. Plants are matched with an area according to sun and wind exposure, water availability, and space to grow relative to adjacent species. When choosing plants for landscaping the gardening department will take a holistic approach to make sure the right plant is in the right place. Hardy plants with good drought tolerance will often be chosen over plants requiring more maintenance. Usually the design ends up including a mixture of natives, native-varieties, and hardy exotics. Tree preservation is a high priority. Contractors and university staff are held to high standards in this respect. We try to replace each tree that is lost from disease, damage or removal from a construction project.
WWU composts and reuses all vegetative debris generated on campus, thereby maintaining the natural nutrient cycle. Steep slopes are protected from erosion with mulch or vegetation.

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

WWU maintains the natural hydrology of the campus with biofiltration ponds on the south side of campus. These ponds filter the turbidity as well as significantly reducing the quantities of phosphorus and other toxins in the water. Water infiltrates in these ponds to maintain natural hydrology of the basin.

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

WWU generates very little grass trimmings. 90 percent of the lawns are mulched to limit the amount of trimmings produced. The remaining trimmings are composted but our compost is made up primarily of leaves from campus. All woody debris is composted at an nearby university-owned compost lot.

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 (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

The WWU grounds crew has steered away from the use of more harmful ice melts like salt and urea to less harmful products like Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride. WWU pre-applies ice melt before conditions reach freezing temperatures. The pre-application helps to weaken the ice-to-surface bond which in turn reduces the total amount of ice-melt used after freezing conditions have set in.

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.