Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.01
Liaison Lindsay Walker
Submission Date Feb. 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

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, 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:

n 2015, a 7.2 hectare portion of 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 and animal species which are considered vulnerable, rare and/or threatened with the city or the Greater Toronto Area. The area within the Humber Arboretum that is designated as an ESA is our forest that borders our public garden area. Existing within the Carolinian life zone which is known for deciduous trees and shrubs with their leaves that change colour and drop off in the fall. The forests of the Humber Arboretum include Carolinian indicator species such as black walnut, shagbark hickory, ironwood, and blue beech trees. Springtime in the Humber Arboretum brings ephemerals which includes locally significant species like the elusive white trout lily and narrow leaved spring beauty to name a few.

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:

L2 = Species of Regional Conservation Concern, somewhat more abundant and generally slightly less sensitive than L1 species

L3 = Species of Regional Conservation Concern, generally less sensitive and more abundant than L1 and L2 ranked species

L4 = Species of Urban Concern; occur throughout the region but could show declines if urban impacts are not mitiagted effectively.

- Fragrant cudweed (L2)
- Hairy Aster (L3)
- Running strawberry bush (L3)
- White bear sedge (L3)
- Troublesome Sedge (L3)
- Shagbark Hickory (L3)
- Butternut (L3)
- White-trout lily (L3)
- Michigan lily (L3)
- Narrow-leaved spring beauty (L3)
- Smaller yellow lady’s-slipper (L3)
- White turtlehead (L3)
- Wood anemone (L3)
- Canada plum (L3)
- Black willow (L3)

- Black-billed cuckoo (L3)
- Northern leopard frog (L3)
- Hoary bat (L3)
- Northern short tailed shrew (L3)
- Red Bat (L3)
- Common snapping turtle (L3)
- Midland painted turtle (L3)
- Chimney crayfish (L3)

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 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.

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 methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

The most recent biological assessment that took place in the Humber Arboretum was conducted by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the TRCA is one member of a tri-partnership which governs the Humber Arboretum. The TRCA performed the ecological monitoring of the Flora and Fauna species present on the site, soil samples were also taken as part of this assessment. Field surveys of the Arboretum took place over multiple sessions between May and September in 2020.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

Between May and September 2020 all 250 acres of the Humber Arboretum were monitored. The scope of monitoring included patch/landscape GIS data being used to provide detailed information of the Humber Arboretum’s vegetation communities, flora species, nocturnal fauna species including bat monitoring, diurnal fauna species, and incidental fauna species observed using iNaturalist.

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

City of Toronto
Natural Resource Workers
- City staff that comes onsite to remove woody invasives species like European buckthorn, Manitoba maple, and Norway maple.
- Replant areas where woody invasives have been removed with a diversity of native trees and shrubs to enhance biodiversity and ensure the ecosystem integrity of our natural areas is maintained.
- Manually remove or chemically treat invasive species like garlic mustard and dog strangling vine to improve soil quality and enhance biodiversity in areas that species have taken over.

Natural Environment Staff
- Plan and implement large scale community planting events to increase the amount of naturalized “no mow” areas within the Humber Arboretum
- Oversees the Natural Environment Trail strategy which aims at ensuring the trails throughout the Cities natural areas are maintained, repaired, and established to ensure they are as accessible and barrier free as possible for trail users. Staff also ensure that the natural areas adjacent to these trails are healthy and sustainable for the long term and ensure that people are staying on the trails

Toronto Region Conservation Authority
- Responsible for the construction of new trails and the repair of current trails including bridges and boardwalks within the Humber Arboretum’s natural areas.
- Responsible for creating constructed wetlands onsite to help manage flooding within the City while at the same time expanding the natural aquatic and terrestrial environments within the Humber Arboretum meadowlands.

Humber Arboretum Staff
- Leverage the tripartite partnership between the City of Toronto, Humber College, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to enhance eco-system management within the Humber Arboretum
- Create opportunities for our local community and Humber College students to be involved in the stewardship of natural systems
- Protect ESA woodlot from invasive species encroachment from the adjacent public garden area in accordance with our 2022 Invasive Species Management plan that is developed annually by the Humber Arboretum’s Environmental Stewardship Specialist. A yearly report is also developed highlighting the amount of invasive species that were removed/controlled within the Humber Arboretum in accordance with the annual Invasive Species Management plan.

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:
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.