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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Ryan Buchholdt
Submission Date Aug. 12, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Alaska Anchorage
OP-10: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Catherine Shenk
Horticulture Supervisor
Facilities and Campus Services, Landscape Department
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds::
Area
Total campus area 384 Acres
Footprint of the institution's buildings 45.91 Acres
Area of undeveloped land, excluding any protected areas 191 Acres

Area of managed grounds that is::
Area
Managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan 146 Acres
Managed in accordance with a sustainable landscape management program that includes an IPM plan and otherwise meets the criteria outlined 0.12 Acres
Managed organically, third party certified and/or protected 0.12 Acres

A copy of the IPM plan:
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The IPM plan :

UAA’s main campus consists of 384 acres, of which 193 have been developed. The remaining acres are undeveloped and consist of forest, wetlands, that contain mostly unpaved trails. This area is left wild and no pest management is conducted on this undeveloped land with one exception: we have been hand pulling Prunus Padis, an invasive tree species, from the wild areas around the creek.
The UAA horticulture landscaping’s operating philosophy is that healthy plants don’t need pesticides. Good cultural practices are used to prevent pests. We select varieties that are mildew and mold resistant, and use site appropriate plants. We keep our soils healthy with organic material (steer manure, grass, wood chips and corn gluten mulches). If a plant becomes infested sometimes the best solution is to get rid of the plant before the infestation spreads.
To keep newly planted landscape trees and shrubs healthy they are watered as needed until they are established. Established trees and shrubs receive no extra water other than rain unless we experience drought conditions. These beds are planted using site appropriate plants, and are mulched with wood chips to help retain water and to suppress weeds. When trees are removed from developed areas of campus they are mulched and returned to the landscaping beds. We purchase trees and shrubs locally, and replace trees that have been removed.
Each Spring UAA’s annual and perennial beds receive composted steer manure and 8-32-16 time released fertilizer as soil preparation. 9-45-16 liquid fertilizer is used once in June, July and August on the annual beds. Site appropriate pest resistant plant varieties are used, and they are mulched with wood chips, grass clippings or corn gluten to help them retain water and to suppress weeds. No pesticides are used. Weeds are pulled by hand, and insect pests don’t appear in large enough numbers to cause problems. On the rare occasions aphids become a problem in the hanging baskets we squish them by hand. Vegetation is removed from the flower beds in the Fall to avoid over-wintering of pests.
In the greenhouse we use preventative measures to remain pest free. Each Fall the plants are removed from the greenhouse, the ventilation is shut down, allowing the sun to heat up the greenhouse. This essentially ‘bakes’ the greenhouse, killing insects, eggs and larva. The walls and ceiling are washed with a mild soap. The greenhouse is kept clean and weed free year round and only a few hanging baskets are over-wintered. To insure a pest-free crop in the greenhouse our team grows plants from seed, ensuring a clean start to the growing season. Employees avoid going into the greenhouse after working with their interior plants or working in the landscaped areas. This keeps hitchhiking pests at bay. If a pesticide is warranted, pyrethrums, soap, industrial vinegar, or volk oil is used. To save on heating costs the vents are covered, and the thermostat is kept at 50 degrees. Seed germination requires temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. We use a germination chamber and heating pads to heat the soil in the seeding flats rather than heating the greenhouse.
We also maintain several hundred interior plants. The leaves of the plants are cleaned with water several times a year to prevent dusty conditions that insects prefer. On the occasions we have pests, natural products like volk oil, neem oil, rubbing alcohol, or soap are used. New interior plants are quarantined and checked for pests before moving them into the common areas. When repotting we mix in organic fertilizer. They are fertilized with a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer when appropriate for the individual plants.
Grass clippings are used to mulch flower beds, and trees removes from landscaped areas are chipped and used as mulch. All other plant material, with the exception of diseased or invasive species, is taken to our composting site.
Natural vegetation is preserved as much as possible. Examples are the wild areas by ISB, and AAC
Bioswails are used in landscaped areas instead of storm drains, allowing the water to seep into the ground. A rain garden at ISB captures runoff from the roof drains.
Plantings are also used for educational purposes. Tours of University trees are given to the public, annual flower bed plants are labeled, students from the Culinary Arts program utilize the herb bed and fruit from the crabapple trees.


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

The UAA horticulture landscaping’s operating philosophy is that healthy plants don’t need pesticides. Good cultural practices are used to prevent pests. We select varieties that are mildew and mold resistant, and use site appropriate plants. We keep our soils healthy with organic material (steer manure, grass, wood chips and corn gluten mulches). If a plant becomes infested sometimes the best solution is to get rid of the plant before the infestation spreads.
To keep newly planted landscape trees and shrubs healthy they are watered as needed until they are established. Established trees and shrubs receive no extra water other than rain unless we experience drought conditions. These beds are planted using site appropriate plants, and are mulched with wood chips to help retain water and to suppress weeds. When trees are removed from developed areas of campus they are mulched and returned to the landscaping beds. We purchase trees and shrubs locally, and replace trees that have been removed.
Each Spring UAA’s annual and perennial beds receive composted steer manure and 8-32-16 time released fertilizer as soil preparation. 9-45-16 liquid fertilizer is used once in June, July and August on the annual beds. Site appropriate pest resistant plant varieties are used, and they are mulched with wood chips, grass clippings or corn gluten to help them retain water and to suppress weeds. No pesticides are used. Weeds are pulled by hand, and insect pests don’t appear in large enough numbers to cause problems. On the rare occasions aphids become a problem in the hanging baskets we squish them by hand. Vegetation is removed from the flower beds in the Fall to avoid over-wintering of pests.
In the greenhouse we use preventative measures to remain pest free. Each Fall the plants are removed from the greenhouse, the ventilation is shut down, allowing the sun to heat up the greenhouse. This essentially ‘bakes’ the greenhouse, killing insects, eggs and larva. The walls and ceiling are washed with a mild soap. The greenhouse is kept clean and weed free year round and only a few hanging baskets are over-wintered. To insure a pest-free crop in the greenhouse our team grows plants from seed, ensuring a clean start to the growing season. Employees avoid going into the greenhouse after working with their interior plants or working in the landscaped areas. This keeps hitchhiking pests at bay. If a pesticide is warranted, pyrethrums, soap, industrial vinegar, or volk oil is used. To save on heating costs the vents are covered, and the thermostat is kept at 50 degrees. Seed germination requires temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. We use a germination chamber and heating pads to heat the soil in the seeding flats rather than heating the greenhouse.
We also maintain several hundred interior plants. The leaves of the plants are cleaned with water several times a year to prevent dusty conditions that insects prefer. On the occasions we have pests, natural products like volk oil, neem oil, rubbing alcohol, or soap are used. New interior plants are quarantined and checked for pests before moving them into the common areas. When repotting we mix in organic fertilizer. They are fertilized with a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer when appropriate for the individual plants.
Grass clippings are used to mulch flower beds, and trees removes from landscaped areas are chipped and used as mulch. All other plant material, with the exception of diseased or invasive species, is taken to our composting site.
Natural vegetation is preserved as much as possible. Examples are the wild areas by ISB, and AAC
Bioswails are used in landscaped areas instead of storm drains, allowing the water to seep into the ground. A rain garden at ISB captures runoff from the roof drains.
Plantings are also used for educational purposes. Tours of University trees are given to the public, annual flower bed plants are labeled, students from the Culinary Arts program utilize the herb bed and fruit from the crabapple trees.


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

The Landscaping department has been using alpine plants (both native and not) incorporated in rock gardens and perennial beds because they tolerate drought and harsh weather conditions. In a majority of landscaping beds, shredded native wood is used as mulch to help keep the soil moist by reducing water evaporation and weed growth. Native Birch and Spruce trees are planted in areas of new construction where applicable. Turf areas are seeded with a mixture of Nugget Bluegrass which is a grass species originating in Hope, Alaska.


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

Flowers, grass and leaves are all composted without invasive weeds, making the compost healthy for reuse. The landscaping team uses ZTrac and reel mowers to leave clippings on lawns to aid in returning fertilizer to the soil. Clipping are only bagged during dandelion season to avoid the spread of weed seeds. Branches from shrubs and trees are chipped and used as mulch. When dead trees have to be cut down, the wood is reused on campus, in the campus sculpture class, or donated as firewood. The team also collects stores and reuses rocks that would otherwise be disposed of, adding to the campus aesthetics.


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

When repotting we mix in organic fertilizer. They are fertilized with a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer when appropriate for the individual plants.
Grass clippings are used to mulch flower beds, and trees removes from landscaped areas are chipped and used as mulch. All other plant material, with the exception of diseased or invasive species, is taken to our composting site.


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

When repotting we mix in organic fertilizer. They are fertilized with a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer when appropriate for the individual plants.
Grass clippings are used to mulch flower beds, and trees removes from landscaped areas are chipped and used as mulch. All other plant material, with the exception of diseased or invasive species, is taken to our composting site.
Natural vegetation is preserved as much as possible. Examples are the wild areas by ISB, and AAC


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

Bioswails are used in landscaped areas instead of storm drains, allowing the water to seep into the ground. A rain garden at ISB captures runoff from the roof drains.


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

Snow removal is done at 2” accumulation on sidewalks and 3” accumulation on parking lots. Ice control consists of washed aggregate and sand with a on sidewalks that is stored warm inside, on roads and lots the sand is a 5% mixture of rock salt. We use potassium acetate in intersections and calcium chloride as ice melt chemicals on our sidewalks or other areas (usually just around the entrances to buildings). Snow removed from sidewalks and parking lots is stored on location and at the back of parking lots that are less used. Snow storage is in designated areas as to provide a bio-swale effect as it melts rather than overwhelming the storm drains.


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