|Submission Date||Feb. 26, 2020|
Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:
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 between 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 to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
We have lists that include species that are listed as endangered, threatened, or special concern at the state-wide level. It would be easy to generate a specific list of these species any time.
Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
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.
The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance 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 (https://calvin.edu/ecosystem-preserve/documents/visit-us/NEW%20Plant%20Checklist.pdf), and a vertebrate list for the preserve can be found at vertebrate list (https://calvin.edu/ecosystem-preserve/documents/visit-us/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 the scope of the assessment(s):
The CCEP assessment was compiled in 2002 and was repeated this past summer in 2019. We now have capacity to compare our botanical inventory of this parcel over time, which will help us determine which species are in decline and in particular need of restoration efforts.
A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
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.
Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
There is a plan to update our inventories of our natural areas for the summer of 2019 (2.5.19 JW).
In Spring 2019 the Bunker Interpretive Center added a native species garden and greenhouse. (JW 6.19.19)
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.