Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.59
Liaison Chris Adam
Submission Date Sept. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dawson College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Chris Adam
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?:

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

Dawson is located kilometers from the centre of Montreal yet has created biodiversity micro-habitats on rooftops and on campus to attract wildlife. Two species of migrating birds have nested on the gym roof (a mallard duck nested 5 times) within the habitat restoration project area. Monarchs are now breeding on site after years of monitoring and landscaping for monarchs. Approximately 300-400 milkweed plants now grow on site representing three species. Ecological gardens with hundreds of native flowering plants support 100's of species of insects. 104 species of invertebrates were identified after only several months of a rooftop micro-habitat construction project. The City of Montreal's "Espace pour la Vie" (space for life) has designated Dawson's gardens a biodiversity zone and a monarch oasis.

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?:

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

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:

All trees on the property are identified and monitored by professionals. An inventory of birds seen and nesting on our urban location is done yearly and recorded. This is compared to the status of each species as per the environment ministry. Invertebrate life on rooftops is also monitored by biology students. When migrating species nest on rooftops or courtyards, they are off limits to the Dawson community (in accordance to the migrating bird act) with signs are posted and the security team is kept updated about the progress of the nesting birds.

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

Fifty-three (53) species of birds have been seen on the Dawson grounds and rooftops. Three migratory species have nested in our downtown location, with two nesting on the gym roof. A duck has nested 5 times on this rooftop. 104 species of invertebrates have been identified in the same location and wild monarch butterflies are now visiting and breeding on the property. We have created 9 micro-habitats on the campus grounds and rooftops that are very small, but attract much life and they are used by many classes for various studies. Our gardens contain a minimum of 60% native species as we slowly replace non-native species from the grounds. This is a slow process as the grounds are designated a heritage site and it is difficult to change the landscape. This being said, we have planted several thousand native flowering plants. These gardens have blueprints identifying location, species planted and yearly maintenance plans available on-line.

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

The landscape guide now recognizes the biodiversity zones as part of the overall landscape plan. Snow melt and its associated pollutants are being discussed for their potential influence on the soil and student experimental research planned. The hedge surrounding the building for an entire city block is now managed as a biodiversity zone (established in 2019).
A Garden & Biodiversity Maintenance Guide documents when various areas were established, what is planted there, reviews maintenance requirements and has a section on interesting notes. This guide is important to capture traditional knowledge and to help incoming volunteers understand their roles and responsibilities.

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

Extensive biodiversity zone and garden maintenance plans were created from 2017-2019 that document work to be done in each area during the 4 seasons with a review of the history and objective of each area. These guides are updated annually.
Peace Garden Maintenance Guide:
Gardens & Biodiversity Maintenance Guide:
Monarch Nursery Project: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/sustainable/blog/monarch-butterfly-nursery/
Birds seen at Dawson: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/sustainable/blog/urban-birds/
Biodiversity Zones: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/sustainable/living-campus/biodiversity-zones/
Indigenous Flora on Campus: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/peace-centre/2018/05/30/indigenous-flora-booklet/

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.