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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Bud Jones
Grounds Manager
FS Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
425 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 423 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 2 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 425 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):

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 IPM plan complies with OSHA and the NMSU Environmental Health and Safety Policies and NMSU Grounds Department. It is the policy of the Facilities and Services Grounds Department to achieve long-term, environmentally-sound pest suppression through the use of a wide variety of technological advances and management practices. Pests will be managed in order to reduce any potential human health hazard, to protect against a significant threat to public safety, to prevent loss of or damage to university property, and to enhance the quality of life for students, staff, faculty, and visitors.

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:

Established in 2012, the Student Research and Education Gardens (or "Student Gardens" for short) is a two-acre certified organic farm centered on the main campus of New Mexico State University. The mission of the Student Garden is to provide experiential learning opportunities and a hands-on educational facility for NMSU students, faculty, staff, and community. We teach and conduct research to explore organic and sustainable agricultural systems that are applicable to New Mexico farms and the greater desert southwest.
Map of Student Centered Field Lab: http://aces.nmsu.edu/academics/pes/documents/scfl_general_map-with-shed.pdf

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

The Facilities and Services Grounds Department at NMSU is in a high desert transition zone 10 where temperatures can fluctuate between 30-40 degrees during any fall or winter day. Our choice of plant material is to create a xeriscape of indigenous plants. By using xeriscaping, which clearly increases water conservation, these practices are enhanced.

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

NMSU Grounds and Landscaping department is currently installing a Rainbird IQ Irrigation Controller System. The system will allow the management team to water the trees, shrubs and turf throughout campus according to the evapotranspiration (ET). This will save the University millions of gallons of water annually.

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

Our composting program on campus encompasses the composting of all plant material harvested from mowers and tree and shrub trimmings. We have a 2-acre composting facility that has the following: a shaker, winrow turner, and its own water supply to make approximately 300 tons of compost a year. Once composted, all products are reapplied on campus to turf and shrub beds. We also have two Certified Compost Facilitators.

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

Our philosophy for energy efficiency in the landscape is to utilize Xeriscaping whenever possible. Drip irrigation systems have been both utilized for both turf and desert type flora. This concept saves dollars since water is conserved which correlates to less water-pumping costs.

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):

NMSU has a written program of snow and ice removal in our Emergency Response Procedure Manual. The campus is divided into six zones. All campus buildings, streets, and sidewalks are prioritized according to their usage during an ice storm. Our winter storms are light compared to a storm in higher elevations, but "ice is ice" and Grounds Department personnel duties are assigned contingent upon activities and severities during a storm.

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

Since our last report in 2012 we continue to use the same IPM policy.

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.