FY2020 UK - Demonstration and Development of Education Materials Related to Non-Chemical Weed Management Techniques

Grants and Contracts Details


In 2015, the University of Kentucky (UK) adopted landscape guidelines which are intended to “encourage orderly development” of the campus landscape with careful consideration given to aesthetics, ecology, function, and maintenance. Sustainability is a main principle expounded in the guidelines with emphasis placed on the ecosystem services vegetation provides. As part of these guidelines, and as evidenced by the addition of water as a main focus area for UK’ Sustainability Strategic Plan, UK is actively pursuing opportunities to protect and conserve water resources in addition to using its position as the Commonwealth’s flagship institution to conduct water-related outreach and engagement on campus, in Lexington, and beyond. This project seeks to address an issue of importance to both environmental and human health with regards to the maintenance of urban landscapes: weed management via non-chemical means, specifically using steam, on invasive and ornamental plants. The 18-month project is comprised on six main elements: 1) demonstration plots, in the UK Arboretum, to evaluate the length of steam exposure required to eradicate invasive winter creeper, 2) demonstration plots, in the UK Arboretum, to evaluate minimum safe distance from desirable plants for stream application, 3) assessment of knowledge and attitudes of grounds personnel regarding weed control and water quality, 4) survey to assess operational satisfaction levels of ground personnel with regards to use of steam for weed management, 5) development and piloting of training materials in non-chemical weed management using information gleamed in items 1-4, and 6) creation of a webpage for distribution of training materials to larger audiences. The project has a myriad of water quality and educational benefits for UK, students, faculty, and staff as well as the surrounding community. UK is dedicated to the long-term success of the project through its incorporation in instructional and outreach efforts. The project builds upon other completed and ongoing highly visible sustainability projects such as the Gluck Pond Native Planting, Vaughn’s Branch stream restoration, UT to West Hickman stream restoration, Farm Road rain garden, and UK’s pollinator gardens.
Effective start/end date1/27/207/31/22


  • Lexington Fayette Urban County Government: $21,646.00


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