Water & Stormwater SWATeam and the Agriculture, Land Use, Food & Sequestration (ALUFS) SWATeam had a joint meeting to discuss shared objectives and project ideas.
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Sustainable Landscapes Plan (In Progress)
F&S Director of Sustainability, Morgan Johnston, asked the ALUFS SWATeam for their input regarding the forthcoming "Low Mow Zone" sign updates. She said, "I would like to talk with you about the “No Mow Zones” on campus and our efforts to bet
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 7, objective 2 is "Design and maintain campus landscapes in a more sustainable manner; expand the specification of sustainable plantings in campus landscaping standards, and develop and implement a tree care plan by FY16 and an integrated pest management program by FY17."
The campus landscapes are continuously improved and maintained in a more sustainable manner with guidance from the Campus Landscape Architect at F&S.
The Facilities Standards require more sustainable planting systems than in the past, and new construction projects are reviewed individually by the Campus Landscape Architect. To read more details, check out the plants standards on http://www.fs.illinois.edu/resources/facilities-standards/technical-sections under Division 32-Exterior Improvements.
The campus has a comprehensive tree care plan, which specifies questions such as how, who and how often we take care of the trees, and what are our goals. The tree plan needs to be reviewed every year. Each year in December, an Illinois Tree Care Plan is submitted to the Arbor Day Foundation, to seek Tree Campus USA certification. Campus holds an annual public event on Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, to educate the campus community on the efforts completed for tree care.
A chemical pest management program is discouraged on campus because it is difficult to protect students from the spray, and the chemicals used can be detrimental to people and the environment. While an Integrated Pest Management program is not yet formally documented, F&S does use the four tier system when managing outdoor pests.
The development and implementation of a plan for sustainable landscapes and landscape maintenance practices on campus was included as a goal in the 2010 iCAP. Carbon sequestration, the process through which land management practices absorb and sink carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is a large part of sustainable landscaping and maintenance. Activities that allow for sequestration can affect climate change by enhancing carbon storage in trees and soils, preserving existing tree and soil carbon, and by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Practices such as using native and adaptive, and perennial plants allow for less maintenance and more carbon sequestration. Converting shallow-rooted plants to natural prairies can also allow for an increase in carbon capture.