Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.97
Liaison Becky Haney
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Calvin University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dave Warners
Professor
Biology
"---" 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:

Calvin College owns and manages two nature preserves - the 100-acre Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve (CCEP) (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/eco-preserve/about/ccephistory.html) and the 68-acre Flat Iron Lake Preserve (FILP) (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/eco-preserve/about/filphistory.html). Flat Iron Lake Preserve was established with a legally binding preservation agreement betwen the donors (Fritz and Carol Rottman) and Calvin College, the Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve is not legally protected, but has institutional commitment to its ongoing protection in perpetuity.


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?:
Yes

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:

We have done botanical inventories at both sites, along with a Floristic Quality Assessment for the CCEP. The plant list for the preserve can be found at (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/eco-preserve/whattosee/pdfs/NEW%20Plant%20Checklist.pdf), and a vertebrate list for the preserve can be found at
vertebrate list (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/eco-preserve/whattosee/pdfs/Vertebrate%20Animals.pdf)
Although not posted online we have also generated a plant list for the FILP, with particular emphasis on the aquatic plants growing in the kettle lake at this site.


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

The CCEP has an unusual kettle swamp that has been set apart as off limits to the general public. It also supports a series of ephemeral ponds that are high quality breeding areas for native frogs, toads and salamanders. The FILP has a kettle lake which supports a large diversity of aquatic plants, insects and fish. It is also home to a 17 acre tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Among the unusual species that call these preserves home are Blandings turtles, Box turtles, Great-horned owls, Gray fox, and several state threatened plants including Cup plant, Compass plant, Rosinweed, Beak grass, Side-oats grama, Rattlesnake master, False boneset, and Davis' sedge.


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

Each summer we have an active management crew to do work in both preserves, conducting bird and mammal surveys and also controlling invasive species. The CCEP has a formal Preserve Management Plan and we have a burn plan for each preserve, which details which area need to be burned annually to promote habitat health and discourage invasive species. Each summer two students are hired to be caretakers and research assistants at the FILP and during the academic year with have a student intern hired to do restoration work in the CCEP.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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There is a plan to update our inventories of our natural areas for the summer of 2019 (2.5.19 JW).

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.