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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Dedee DeLongpre Johnston
Submission Date June 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Wake Forest University
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Jim Coffey
Sr. Director, Support Services
Facilities & Campus Services
"---" 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?:

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:

The university campus includes approximately 100 acres of Reynolda Gardens, which is not only a formal garden but also includes permanently reserved areas, including a native meadow/Prarie preserve, woodlands, freshwater ponds and stream wetlands. There is also a small area of woodlands (approximately 5 acres) of older growth forest (>150 years old).

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

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:

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

Faculty, primarily Biology Dept faculty, have conducted surveys of tree species, bird species, and aquatic organisms. The local chapter of the Audubon society also conducts surveys in the Reynolda Gardens reserve.

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

The following have been identified:
Nitella, a rare algae, found in one of the ponds (i.e. Swan Pond),
Pileated wood peckers found in the flood plain forest, and
migratory wetland birds, including bald eagles, and numerous warbler species throughout the preserve.

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

A large portion of the university's acreage has been preserved as forest. Only the first few feet around the perimeter of these wooded areas is trimmed and pruned for safety and aesthetics.

With the completion of the university's first LEED-certified building, the Dianne Dailey Golf Learning Center, Landscaping Services ensured that some areas of the surrounding gardens were retained as wild habitat and planted with native plants.

In 2008, the university converted a large previously mowed lawn in front of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art into a natural meadow in order to restore wildlife habitat. The Meditation Garden and Bioretention pond, installed in 2009 in the woods off Faculty Drive, have also provided new habitat for a productive duck population. In 2011, Wake Forest, in cooperation with the NC Forestry Service, began a pilot project to convert 17 acres of the Reynolda House estate to a native Piedmont meadow. This two-year effort will create a meadow environment for flora and fauna that is otherwise disappearing around the state.

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

Reynolda Gardens has a record of studies conducted on the property by the Wake Forest University faculty and students (primarily by the Biology Dept). Many of the studies are the result of student laboratory exercises and independent research projects. They include surveys of birds species, wetland plants, drainage catchment studies, fish species surveys, water quality records, long-term records on flying squirrel demographics, and on-going studies of plant dynamics in the naive meadow/Prarie. These studies may also be accessed by contacting individual faculty members in the Biology Department.

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.