Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.32
Liaison Lindsay Walker
Submission Date Oct. 14, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Humber College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lindsay Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Management
"---" 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:

The Humber Arboretum is a joint venture of the City of Toronto, Humber College, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Connected to Humber College’s North Campus, the Humber Arboretum covers approximately 250 acres and combines botanical gardens with large naturalized areas and walking trails.
In 2015, a 7.2 ha portion the Humber Arboretum was named as an Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) by the City of Toronto. The city does not permit development within ESAs and restricts activities to “those which are compatible with the preservation of the natural feature(s).” ESAs can be designated on several different criteria; in the case of the Humber Arboretum, this designation is due to the presence of plant species which are considered vulnerable, rare and/or threatened with the city or the Greater Toronto Area.

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:

The City of Toronto, which is one member of a tri-partnership which owns the Humber Arboretum, hired North-South Environmental Inc., Dougan & Associates, and Beacon Environmental Ltd., to prepare a report on Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs) in Toronto. A 7.2 ha portion of the Humber Arboretum was surveyed over multiple sessions between April and July, 2008. Field assessments followed provincial protocols. The team also drew on research conducted by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in the year 2000. These assessments were done to identify flora and fauna species which are considered locally vulnerable, either within the City of Toronto or the Greater Toronto area.

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

The area of the Humber Arboretum designated as an ESA by the City of Toronto is a 7.2 ha section of tableland and adjacent floodplain which sits along the western branch of the Humber River. The deciduous forest of the tableland is Carolinian, which the survey team found to be “dominated by sugar maple, American beech and red oak.” The floodplain includes a willow thicket, a bur oak and black maple-dominated deciduous forest, and a deciduous swamp. This area includes both paved and unpaved public trails.
Twenty species of fauna and twenty-one significant species of flora were recorded at the Humber Arboretum during the ESA survey. Six species of flora were identified which are locally/provincially uncommon or rare. These six species – the names of which are kept confidential for conservation purposes – are what qualified the Humber Arboretum for the ESA designation.

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

The City of Toronto report considered the Humber Arboretum ESA to be in “good condition.” One potential concern was the possibility of encroachment by invasive plant species. With that in mind, Arboretum staff continue to note any areas of concern and are creating a plan for future control efforts in collaboration with the City of Toronto.

The parking lots at Humber College North Campus were landscaped following the City of Toronto's Design Guidelines for 'Greening' Surface Parking Lots. Among the 200 trees and 1000 shrubs installed, three-quarters were selected from the Native Species Planting List which offer a familiar and varied habitat for local wildlife.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.