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  • AASHE-STARS

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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.22
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Oregon University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.80 / 2.00 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
180 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 36 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 144 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 180 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):

The only land excluded from this credit are the athletic practice fields, as they are managed by a third party and information on management policies and practices was not available.


Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:
20

A copy of the IPM plan or program:
A brief description of the IPM program:
---

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:
80

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:

Southern Oregon University observes organic landscape management practices at the campus farm and throughout campus by eliminating the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemicals. There are only a select number of plant beds on campus that are sprayed for weeds with inorganic chemicals. For the rest of campus, the landscape services department uses organic fertilizers and organic pest control techniques to maintain a healthy and sustainable landscape.


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

SOU's Landscape Department propagates plants from existing ecologically adapted species on campus. They also make certain that all damaged and destroyed plants and trees are chipped and used on campus. Any large trees or branches that are too large to be chipped are used as habitat logs, mushroom inoculated and placed in planter beds, or used for riparian restoration of Roca Creek. When potentially harmful species are identified, they are bagged by hand and cooked in black plastic using direct sunlight to kill the entire plant including the seeds, then composted. The department also works with landscape architects and contractors on large capital projects to specify drought tolerant, locally adapted plants, with a preference towards native plants being utilized in their designs.

Tao Orion – the author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species - presented at SOU for last year’s Earth Week celebration. Her talk focused on the sustainable management of invasive species and what the term invasive species truly means.

SOU’s Green Purchasing Policy states: "Plants shall be selected that are appropriate to the microclimate. Native and drought-tolerant plants that require no or minimal watering once established shall be used."


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

Nearly all campus irrigation (approximately 99%) is irrigated with non-potable water from the Talent Irrigation District. SOU became the first university to offset 100% of its water use (including irrigation water) through the purchase of Water Restoration Certificates in 2013. Through the purchase of Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) Water Restoration Certificates® and custom project selection, SOU student funds have launched a new water flow restoration project in the nearby Klamath River Basin. Over the total five-year period, the university will restore approximately 80 million gallons of water per year to this critically dewatered ecosystem.

SOU is working to certify an area of campus as a permanent wetland located at the Farm at SOU: A Center for Sustainability. We also have one bioswale on campus and are currently planning a second bioswale to reduce the contamination of road runoff into the waterways. Whenever possible we utilize permeable surfaces instead of non porous/non permeable surfaces. The tree care plan also outlines the university's efforts to ensure adequate canopy coverage on campus ensuring evapotranspiration, soil stability, and reductions in stormwater runoff.


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

SOU Landscape Services composts all possible landscape materials and waste on campus. Grass clippings are spread on the turf and allowed to decompose naturally. All other campus landscape waste is composted on site or sent to a local biomass yard to be mulched in the case of pallets and stumps. We also use recycled materials when available such as reclaimed concrete for pathways, sheet mulching with recycled cardboard, and re-using agricultural plastic for weed removal (black plastic combined with molasses is used to heat and kill off lawns instead of herbicide).


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):

Wherever possible, snow is plowed and shoveled to areas where runoff from snow melt will benefit plants when melting. SOU uses Ice Away produced by Coastwide Laboratories. Their website states that Ice Away is safe for use on concrete and metal; is less toxic than baking soda and non-toxic to children; National Science Foundation (NSF) approved for Food Service; will not harm trees, shrubs, lawns or other vegetation; and is Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) registered for an environmentally safer product. We also use Ultra Violet Snow and Ice Melt which their website states “Tough on ice, gentle on the environment”. Ultra Violet contains organic dye and is made from all natural ingredients.


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