Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.78
Liaison Margaret Lo
Submission Date Sept. 1, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

George Mason University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Margaret Lo
University Sustainability Director
Sustainability
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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:

George Mason University (Mason) owns multiple areas of conservation importance. On Mason's Fairfax and Prince William campuses there are both Resource Protection Areas and protected wetland areas. The property that is part of the Point of View research and retreat center borders Mason Neck, a protected state park, which contains wetlands and access to the Potomac River.


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:

George Mason University conducted a broad Natural Resource Inventory in 2015 from public data records to identify areas of priority for protecting and preserving. For specific point data, Mason will continue to work with academic classes to identify and catalogue species present on campus.


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

As part of the Chesapeake Bay Act, Mason has identified environmentally sensitive areas such as Resource Protection Areas and wetlands for protection to improve the quality of the Potomac Watershed. There are also patches of native woodland adjacent to the stream valley thats extends behind the Student Apartments on Fairfax campus.


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

At George Mason University's (Mason) Fairfax campus, the native plant garden and the garden in the Child Development Center are National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitats. In addition, to minimize turf maintenance, the landscaping team has converted several areas to wildlife habitats that attract native insects and birds: Butterfly Gardens and Bumblebee Havens. Butterflies and moths, bumblebees, and birds (such as golden finches and hummingbirds) have been observed feeding on the flowers (or insects attracted to the blooms) at the sites. Mason has also started a reforestation/campus restoration program where areas of campus are being restored to increase campus biodiversity and help reduce managed areas.


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