To maintain the grounds of Stetson University in a way that minimizes negative impacts to the air, soil, water and living organisms (including humans) that make up our campus and in ways that enhance global biodiversity.B. Assessment of current status:
Of the 170 acres that make up the DeLand campus of Stetson University, 120 are maintained by irrigation. Facilities Management is presently using reclaimed water for irrigation and is moving toward 100 percent "grey water" irrigation over the next several years. In addition, xeriscape planting of vegetation with low-water requirements has been initiated on a small scale. The Master Plan for University Landscaping calls for an increase in the number of trees and understory plantings on campus.
Our present campus landscape includes both native and exotic species in all forms of vegetation (trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species). A Native Landscaping Project has been initiated around Gillespie Museum, from which we have gained information concerning sources for buying plants, initial planting costs, and the feasibility of planting and maintaining small-scale native landscaping projects.
Facilities Management presently uses approximately 10 chemicals (fungicides, herbicides and pesticides) on an "as-needed" basis to rid the grounds of fungus, plant and insect pests. Because landscape chemicals can be toxic to non-target species (including humans), they must be chosen and applied carefully. The application of all chemicals on Stetsonís campus is performed by a licensed pest control applicator and label rates of application are always followed.
The trade names for the fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides presently used on Stetsonís campus are in the table below. In addition, there are links on the trade names to web sites that discuss the potential toxicity of these substances.
|Trade name||Application Rates 5/98-5/99||Chemical class||Toxicity class*||Special concerns||Persistence||Adsorption**|
|Pennant||.50 gal||Metolachlor||III||high||low to moderate|
|Surflan||1.0 gal||Oryzalin||IV||groundwater contamination||low to moderate||weak|
|Atrazine||4 gal||Triazine||III||groundwater contamination||high||weak|
|Finale||2.5 gal||Glufosinate||II (?)||moderate|
|Diazinon 4e||1.5 gal||Organophosphate||II||highly toxic to birds||low||moderate|
|Dursban||5.5 gal||Chlorpyrifos||II||highly toxic to many non-target insects||moderate||strong|
|Sevin SL||no information||Carbaryl||II||toxicity to non-target insects||low||strong|
|Daconil 2787||5 gal.||Chlorothalonil||II||groundwater contamination||moderate||low to moderate|
Facilities Management has taken steps to reduce chemicals used on the grounds by moving to aC. Action recommendations:
termite baiting system that has fewer effects on non-target species.
1. Short terma) By landscaping in an environmentally friendly manner, we are reinforcing the University's commitment to social responsibility. Campus grounds that are conceived and maintained with respect for the ecosystem serve as a continual reminder to the members of the Stetson community regarding this commitment. In support of this goal, we should particularly focus on the following interconnected areas:(1) Increasing the planting of native plant species on campus.
(2) Reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and continuing to use pesticides only on an "as-needed" basis, rather than as part of a regular periodic practice.
(3) When pest problems arise, employ organic pesticides and, when organic alternatives are not feasible, replacing broad-spectrum, persistent chemicals with more specialized, less persistent chemicals.
(4) Reducing or eliminating irrigation/supplemental watering.
(5) When irrigation cannot be eliminated, encourage the present practice of using reclaimed water.
(6) Encouraging the present practice of planting vegetation as an energy conservation measure.
(THIS PAGE LAST UPDATED ON 10/01)b) Investigate the possible substitution of organic (and/or less toxic, more specialized chemical) alternatives to present landscaping chemicals. Determining the possible environmental impacts for any chemical requires knowing not only its toxicity, but also its persistence in and adsorption to soil. Highly persistent chemicals are degraded slowly, and are able to accumulate in the soil for long periods of time. The ability of the chemical to become adsorbed in the soil determines the rate at which it is leached into groundwater supplies (risk is high for weakly adsorbed chemicals with high persistence) or becomes part of runoff into surface waters (risk is greatest for highly adsorbed chemicals with moderate/high persistence).
Thus, chemicals with low persistence and moderate adsorption should be used preferentially but cost and effectiveness should be considered in the selection of any alternative solution. The use of pesticides on campus should be part of an overall pest- management strategy which integrates biological controls, mechanical and cultural methods, pest monitoring, and the prudent use of chemicals (as a last resort), referred to altogether as Integrated Pest Management or IPM (information on IPM in Florida). Although the toxic effects of many insecticides on non-target organisms can be large, sparing application at low rates (as practiced by Facilities Management) can minimize these negative effects. However, where there is a potential for toxic side effects, it is most judicious to consider the use of safer alternatives. This is particularly true since many chemicals commonly used in landscaping have not been fully tested for effects on human health.c) Continue working with the Gillespie Museum in their Hollis-funded effort to expand the planting of native plant species. In addition, small native landscapes should be created at other locations on campus. The purpose of this would be twofold. First, we can monitor the cost-per-unit area for small native plantings and compare these costs to the present landscaping on campus to determine the financial feasibility of promoting native plantings campus-wide. Secondly, we can use these "islands" as examples to inspire the campus community to support additional work toward this end. The example provided by the recent plantings around Gillespie Museum can be used as a guide for implementing a similar approach to other locations around campus. In continuing the work at the museum and in choosing several additional sites, there should be preference given to areas where grass can be completely eliminated in favor of other ground covers. An initial project might involve a butterfly garden in an area near Sage Hall that could be used to enhance the present landscaping, in addition to providing an educational opportunity for biology students and visitors to campus. We would like to reiterate that Master Plan's emphasis on campus "reforestation" (see "Assessment of Current Status," above) and emphasize that this should be accomplished with the majority of tree plantings that presently exist (e.g., many of the largest trees on campus are native oaks).2. Long-term
d) Completely halt planting of exotic species on campus that are listed by the Florida Exotic Plant Pest Council as a Category 1 pest species (those that are invading and disrupting native plant communities in Florida). Several plant species listed as Category 1 pest species are presently found on Stetson's campus in ornamental plantings (e.g., Nandina domestica - heavenly bamboo, Asparagus densiflorus - asparagus fern, Cinnamomum camphora - camphor tree). In addition, there are Category I exotic pest species found on campus that are not a result of intentional plantings (e.g., Lantana camara - lantana, Dioscorea bulbifera - air potato), but have presumably invaded the landscape. These species, among others, are also the target of a study by the National Forest Service in Ocala National Forest aimed at preventing the spread of invasive, exotic plants (National Forests in Florida's Revised Land and Resource Management Plant, 1999, Chapter 3, p. 23). In all future plantings on campus, preference should always be given to native trees and shrubs.
e) Find financial and physical support for incorporating native plant species into Stetsonís landscape. Some potential resources for planning and planting include the local chapters (East and West Volusia County) of the Florida Native Plant Society, the St. Johns River Water Management District, and Green Stetson.
f) Make available an outdoor classroom space in the form of an amphitheater, or some other arrangement of group seating suitable for lectures. We recommend a fairly central campus location such as near Hulley Tower or the former Forest of Arden. In addition, we recommend that there be additional outdoor furniture that would provide more spaces for students to gather to eat, study, or socialize. These improvements would help provide all members of the Stetson community with a greater connectedness to the outdoor environment.
In general, our long-term goal should be to replace existing non-native vegetation with native species wherever possible. With proper planning, this will accomplish all of our associated goals. Native plant species tend to have natural defenses against resident pest populations and are adapted to the nutrient and water conditions of the area. Thus, the need for pesticides, fertilizers, and supplemental water will be greatly reduced. In addition, the carefully planned planting of native tree species can be used to increase shade as a means of reducing energy use in campus buildings. By moving toward a more native campus landscape, we will reduce human health risks associated with chemical pesticides and increase our commitment to environmentalism and social justice. Performed properly, these changes will reduce the costs associated with maintaining campus grounds.
As landscaping changes are investigated, there must be consideration given to the fact that grassy areas in particular need to maintained where students gather socially (e.g., the area around Holler Fountain) and where athletic fields are presently located. In addition, replacement of present landscaping with more eco-friendly landscaping should take into account financial limitations and the safety of our students.