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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 74.63
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date July 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stanford University
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Area
Total campus area 8,180 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 1,182 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 4,908 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Area
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 0 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 2,090 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
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The IPM plan :

Stanford first launched an IPM program in 1997 through Buildings & Grounds Maintenance (BGM). By taking an IPM approach, the Grounds department attempts to use the most environmentally sound methods for controlling pests that negatively impact the health of plant life on campus. Every attempt is made to find the most innovative and least toxic way of controlling pests, using chemicals only as a last resort.

Goals of the IPM Program at Stanford include:
-- Reduce pesticide use and associated exposure risks
-- Reduce the cost of pest control on campus
-- Minimize harm to the environment
-- Improve long-term plant protection
-- Train and educate staff members about the Grounds IPM program

Monitoring for pests and beneficial insects on Stanford plants is one of the main approaches used by the Grounds department as part of our Integrated Pest Management program.

For more information, including examples of alternative pest control methods and horticultural articles on Stanford's IPM program, please visit http://bgm.stanford.edu/groups/grounds/ipm.


A brief summary of the institution’s approach to sustainable landscape management:

Principles now heralded as sustainable in the 21st century were fundamental to the Stanford campus since its inception over 100 years ago. Basic concepts introduced by Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect and the university's planner in the 1890’s, as well as Stanford’s Landscape Design Guidelines first published in 1989, encourage climate responsive designs, native plant materials and water conservation.

From large gathering space to intimate retreats, developed outdoor areas create a mosaic of formal and informal elements including cultivated gardens, plazas, usable lawns, tree lined alleys, drought tolerant native landscapes, oak groves, wildflowers and grasslands. The result is a dynamic and flexible environment that is essential to Stanford’s rich and unique landscape character.

It is Stanford’s goal today to continue on the path that its predecessors envisioned and use new technologies and understanding to expand Stanford’s sustainable landscape and grounds practices. Examples of current accomplishments and activities in key landscape and grounds areas include the following:

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
-- Approximately 75% of the campus is native or drought resistant plantings with mulch or non-irrigated grass grounds and native oaks for canopy.
-- To date, over 800 mature trees have been transplanted with an 85% +/- survival rate.
Since 1980, Stanford’s Oak Reforestation Program works with non-profits, volunteers, community and school groups to annually plant oak seedlings, now totaling over 2000.
-- Green waste from tree and shrub trimmings is converted into compost or wood chips and reused on the campus landscape.
-- Seasonal color relies on the choice of perennials and wildflower seedings over more water intensive, non-native ornamental annual plantings.

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
-- Stanford employs an integrated pest management system to minimize the use of chemicals, synthetics, fossil fuels and water.

IRRIGATION
-- Stanford’s irrigation responds to site conditions using data collected from an on-site weather station with an automated Maxicom Irrigation Controller that conserves 20% more water than conventional irrigation methods.
-- Non-domestic water sourced from Stanford’s Searsville and Felt Lakes is used to irrigate at least 80% of the campus landscape.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN
-- Swales and detention areas planted with native vegetation are integrated into new project landscape designs.
-- Water is incorporated in landscapes for maximum use, enjoyment, air quality and moderation of climate where the largest numbers of people gather and is minimized in peripheral areas, borders or other non-intensive people spaces.
-- Stanford’s landscaped ‘outdoor rooms’ serve as meeting, classroom, break-out, circulation and gathering spaces replacing what would otherwise be constructed, enclosed and conditioned interior spaces.
-- Since 2007, Stanford paired 125+ new or retrofitted custom designed (split to hold bottles, paper and compost) outdoor recycling containers with existing trash bins.
-- Trees are consciously placed to provide shading and cooling for buildings and pavement with an emphasis on deciduous trees along the southern and western building exposures.
-- Turf lawn is typically limited to use areas only.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
-- Campus Planners continue to research the manufacturing processes and material sources of new sustainable products and test their durability and performance over time. -- Current tests include exterior LED lights, recycled plastic furniture and posts, permeable pavements, newly developed drought resistant usable lawn and other plant materials.
-- Responding to concerns caused by global climate change, the university is working with a non- profit to plant a range of oak test species and varieties collected from acorns to explore their adaptability to warming climate, pathogens and seasonal moisture.


A brief description of how the institution protects and uses existing vegetation, uses native and ecologically appropriate plants, and controls and manages invasive species:

About 60% of Stanford's 8,180 acres has been preserved as undeveloped oak woodland (the ~4908 acres noted in the prior section). Some undeveloped areas include Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, the campus arboretum, and small oak groves across campus.

Native plants are prioritized in landscaping for maintained areas across campus, and Stanford places special care upon preserving native trees that need to be relocated during the course of construction projects. Extensive Facility Design Guidelines (http://lbre.stanford.edu/sem/sites/all/lbre-shared/files/docs_public/Landscaping_Design_Guidelines.pdf) and Landscape Design Guidelines (http://lbre.stanford.edu/architect/sites/all/lbre-shared/files/docs_public/UA-CPD_Landscape%20Design%20Guidelines_V1p1.pdf) address the native planting and invasive species.

A Waterwise Demonstration Garden was also created on campus to educate the community about native plantings and alternatives to traditional residential landscaping (http://bgm.stanford.edu/groups/grounds/special/waterwise).


A brief description of the institution’s landscape materials management and waste minimization policies and practices:

Grounds keeping waste, including grass trimmings, is actively composted at Stanford. General yard waste is collected from the Grounds Department and the on-campus Faculty/Staff housing and taken to an off-campus facility from which the university is allowed to backhaul a certain percentage for use on campus. Brush collected by the Grounds Department is ground into mulch and used throughout the campus. Stanford also practices "grasscycling" by leaving cut grass on the 140 acres of campus turf areas.

In 2011, Stanford mulched, grasscycled, and chipped about 2050 tons of yard trimmings and sent about 2750 tons to an off-campus composting facility.


A brief description of the institution’s organic soils management practices:

N/A


A brief description of the institution’s use of environmentally preferable materials in landscaping and grounds management:

To date, over 800 mature trees have been transplanted with an 85% +/- survival rate.
Since 1980, Stanford’s Oak Reforestation Program works with non-profits, volunteers, community and school groups to annually plant oak seedlings, now totaling over 2000. Green waste from tree and shrub trimmings is converted into compost or wood chips and reused on the campus landscape.


A brief description of how the institution restores and/or maintains the integrity of the natural hydrology of the campus:

Stanford’s irrigation responds to site conditions using data collected from an on-site weather station with an automated Maxicom Irrigation Controller that conserves 20% more water than conventional irrigation methods. Non-domestic water sourced from Stanford’s Searsville and Felt Lakes is used to irrigate at least 80% of the campus landscape. Swales and detention areas planted with native vegetation are integrated into new project landscape designs.


A brief description of how the institution reduces the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal (if applicable):

N/A


A brief description of any certified and/or protected areas:

For details on the areas of campus with protected species and other sensitivities, please review the Habitat Conservation Plan:
http://hcp.stanford.edu/


Is the institution recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program (if applicable)?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable landscape management programs and practices is available:
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Please visit the following websites for more details about Stanford's lands:
http://lbre.stanford.edu/luep/
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/land
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/landscape_and_grounds
http://bgm.stanford.edu/groups/grounds/ipm
http://hcp.stanford.edu/

Please note that the "building footprint" includes an approximation from Stanford's GIS map layers and represents the sum of building footprint, roads, paths, and parking lots. The value is approximate and reflects available data quality given the large overall land area. The value used is consistent with OP-27.

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.