Sustainable Care

Integrated Pest Management

The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program was established in 2006 as a decision-making guideline that promotes healthy vegetation and pest control activities on University of Alberta lands.

The IPM program gathers critical information before implementing necessary techniques to suppress pest populations effectively, economically, and in an environmentally-sound manner.

The goal of the IPM program is to reduce the need for pesticide use on campus and to look at ways to integrate preventative measures and alternative control technologies. Pesticide use can be limited or reduced by increasing cultural practices that improve long term vegetation health in order to successfully compete with weeds and diseases.

The IPM Program applies to all landscape maintenance and construction staff and contractors who directly or indirectly manage vegetation or pests, or who plan, design, renovate or construct landscapes and facilities on UAlberta lands.


Our mowers are equipped with mulching attachments, so rather than collecting the grass trimmings, the cuttings are left in the turf areas. All plant material that results from grounds operations is collected in a central area and is transported to a local composting site. Compost from our organic collection service is used in shrub and flower beds across campus. We generate roughly 100 metric tonnes of compost from this program annually. Trees (with the exception of elms or diseased stock) that are removed are chipped, and the material is used in shrub beds around campus.

Sustainable Turf Management Study

The Sustainable Turf Management Pilot Study is a five year study, running from 2010 to 2014, that is designed to address fertilizer use on campus lawns, using test sites on campus.

The results of the study will be used to support the creation and implementation of a comprehensive Sustainable Turf Management program for the university’s properties, in order for the university to continue reducing its ecological footprint associated with grounds maintenance.

New products

The study will evaluate organic and environmentally-friendly products for cost, performance, and ease of use, as compared to traditional chemical fertilizers. The products being tested are designed to improve the soil and enhance the overall health of the turf.

M. Derek MacKenzie, assistant professor of soil-plant relations in the Department of Renewable Resources, is working closely with Buildings and Grounds Services to assess nutrient availability in the soil and provide oversight to the project.

Water Workshops

Want to help you and your work or classmates increase your knowledge of water issues? Take the Blue Planet – Sustainability and Water workshop offered by the Office of Sustainability.

In addition to maintaining life, water is used in basically every facet of our lives, whether it be cooking, gardening, bathing or cleaning it is as fundamental a need for us as the air we breathe. In this workshop, participants will learn some simple tips on how to conserve this invaluable resource, and discover how to go from living green to living blue.