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

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.60
Liaison Shanna Eller
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Trey McDonald
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

In 1997, UNCG Chancellor Sullivan established the Peabody Park Preservation Committee to oversee and make recommendations about preserving a small mixed hardwood forest (~14.5 acres) on campus. The forest is not legally protected, however, from the University’s perspective, the small forest is special because it sits inside a large urban area and yet serves as a refuge for a diversity of plant and animal species found in Piedmont-region forests of the eastern United States. The woods provide a glimpse of native oak-hickory and beech-maple forests that once covered this region of the United States. The branches of Buffalo Creek that flow through the Park are part of the headwaters of North Carolina’s Cape Fear River system (http://www.uncg.edu/reg/Catalog/0910/UnivComm/peabody.html).

Adjacent to the Peabody Park woods is the Peabody Park open area, also not legally protected. This area is used for both recreation and education about ecology and biodiversity. Together, the woods and open area occupy ~34 acres in the northeastern part of campus.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable 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?:
Yes

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Students, faculty, and tree specialists used keys to identify plant and animal species in Peabody Park. No species were found to be endangered, threatened, or vulnerable.


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

Peabody Park is a 34 acre area at the north end of the UNCG campus. Peabody Park woods is a mature Piedmont forest, made up of White Oak, Southern Red Oak, Tulip Tree, Shagbark Hickory, American Beech, Red Maple, Dogwood, and Redbud trees. To increase the diversity, in 2002 the University planted several American hollies, Carolina silverbells, deciduous Magnolias, and Eastern hemlocks. Native shrub diversity is low, including a few Strawberry Bushes and Piedmont azaleas. The diversity of Piedmont wildflowers and ferns is low and currently includes species such as: Spring Beauty, Trout Lily, Mayapple, Red Trillium, Wild Ginger, Spotted Wintergreen, and Beechdrops, which parasitize the roots of Beech trees. Some species are found only in one restricted area of the Park. Unfortunately, because of many years of neglect, invasive English Ivy and Japanese honeysuckles abound.

When the Peabody Park open area was last surveyed, it was home to native and introduced plants characteristic of central North Carolina, such as Purple Dead-Nettle, Peppervine, Bulbous Buttercup, Star of Bethlehem, Spotted Touch-me-not, Carolina Cranesbill, Daisy Fleabane, Horse-nettle, and White Clover. Since then parts of the area have been altered to create outdoor volleyball and basketball courts.

Branches of Buffalo Creek that flow through the Park are part of the headwaters of North Carolina’s Cape Fear River system (http://www.uncg.edu/reg/Catalog/0910/UnivComm/peabody.html).


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

The importance of championing the remaining natural habitat on campus, i.e., Peabody Park, is noted in the university's 2007 Master Plan Update and is strengthened in the 2014 Master Plan Update. These plans place all future development outside of Peabody Park and the 2014 Update emphasizes expanding forested areas on campus.

In practice, the university has worked to improve the health of Peabody Park over the last several years. With student help, native trees (loblolly pines, oaks and dogwoods) have been planted along a degraded edge of the woods to speed reforestation and to protect the forest interior. Twice a year, student, faculty, and staff volunteers gather in the Woods to remove English ivy, bush honeysuckle, and other invasive species from the understory as part of a restoration effort. This past fall, the group began planting Piedmont native shrubs and herbs to augment the biodiversity. One result of these efforts is that Greensboro Beautiful Inc. awarded its '2010 School Award' to the Peabody Park Preservation Committee for the work to preserve Peabody Park woods.


The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

Information for this credit was received from Dr. Elizabeth Lacey, Professor of Biology and Chair of the Peabody Park Preservation Committee.

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.