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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.92
Liaison Jonathan Lantz-Trissel
Submission Date July 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Eastern Mennonite University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jim Yoder
Professor
Biology Dept.
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

There is also a 10 acre urban forest on campus that has been maintained as a conservation area, with only only minimal disturbance to control invasive plant species or remove dead wood for safety concerns along walking paths.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
No

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas (including most recent year assessed) and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

In 1998 EMU received Urban Forest grant from the U.S. Forestry Service to perform a detailed floristic survey of all the trees and native plants in what was then a 6 acre forest (now 10 acres) on the edge of University's main campus. That floristic survey was followed up with a second survey in 2007 to look at the native plants planted after the first survey and all the trees in the forest.

Classes do ongoing study of the forest and the creek that runs through the forest. Two years ago a class surveyed salamanders in the creek using traps and boards.


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

The floristic surveys identified native plants (e.g False Solomon's Seal, Shagbark Hickory) and invasive plants (e.g. garlic mustard). The protected stand of White Oaks in the center of the forest are some of the oldest in the central Shenandoah Valley, more than 250 years old based on ring counts of downed trees in the stand and historical records of community activities in the forest.


A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

There are three meadows totaling more than 12 acres of campus that serve as excellent habitat for a wide variety of native species of wildlife. The grasses are mowed twice a year to conform to local city ordinances but the meadow still allows for birds, small mammal and insect habitat. EMU also gives priority to shrubs and trees that have wildlife food value in new plantings. There are also several riparian areas set aside from active management mostly for stormwater management but also creates habitat for various flora and fauna.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.