Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.14
Liaison Makayla Bonney
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana University Bloomington
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Michael Chitwood
Property Manager
Research and Teaching Preserve
"---" 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 IU Research and Teaching Preserve owns land adjacent to the small portion of the City of Bloomington Griffy Nature Preserve that is designated by the DNR as a Nature Preserve. Please consult page 37 of the 2008 City of Bloomington Griffy Nature Preserve management plan to find more details.

The regions of highest conservation importance in the RTP Griffy Woods Preserve is  primarily the  network of intermittent streams and valleys that create the watershed for the Sycamore Valley riparian zone, as well as University and Griffy Lake. 

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:

At the IU Research and Teaching Preserve, environmentally sensitive areas are selected based on: quality of habitat, topography, soil makeup, flora and fauna distributions, invasive species present, cultural and historical significance,  and ecosystem services provided. We are currently in the progress of developing a zoning program that will pinpoint, categorize, and centralize various GIS data points and polygons into a zoning map that will be used to create more detailed reports for each individual zone of the property and will be one of the key components utilized in the development of the up and coming management report for the RTP network . Weirs are monitored around the watershed for Sycamore Valley, along with a broad crested weir within the Sycamore Valley stream. Data is collected at a small weather station about the flow of the streams utilizing pressure transducers. There are also regular chemical and biological assessments of the stream utilizing the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Riverwatch Monitoring protocol. University Lake is sampled twice a year by IU limnology courses and has been the location of a floating weather station for the past 8 years collecting temperature chain data for the various depths of the lake. 

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

At Dunns Woods, an urban woodlot at the center of campus, the following species of conservation concern have been identified by the Bloomington Urban Woodlands Project Student Organization:
Cerulean Warbler (breeder)
Solitary Sandpiper (migrant)
Red-headed Woodpecker (breeder)
Wood Thrush (breeder)
Blue-winged Warbler (likely breeder in nearby area)
Prairie Warbler (breeder - in adjacent area)
Prothonotary Warbler (likely breeder)
Worm-eating Warbler (breeder)
Louisiana Waterthrush (breeder)
Kentucky Warbler (breeder)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (likely breeder)
Chimney Swift (likely nearby breeder)
Northern Flicker (likely breeder)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (likely breeder)
Eastern Kingbird (breeder)
White-eyed Vireo (likely breeder)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (breeder)
Eastern Towhee (likely breeder)
Field Sparrow (likely nearby breeder)
Orchard Oriole (likely breeder)

At the Research and Teaching Preserve, the following environmentally sensitive areas have been identified:
The perennial stream that runs through Sycamore Valley feeds into Griffy Lake, which is the backup water supply for the City of Bloomington. There are also a series of valleys that feed directly into Griffy Lake, and one in particular that abuts the section of the City of Bloomington's Griffy Lake Nature Preserve that has been certified by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as a preservation site.The preserve also houses University Lake (created in 1911 during a university water shortage, but no longer a municipal water source), which discharges eventually into the Sycamore Valley stream. Protecting this water source, encouraging native plants, and monitoring stream health in these areas is of utmost importance for the RTP. The watershed for this area has had increased development in the past 40 years, with many former semi-wooded areas and farms being developed into residential housing. The site has been a long standing location for research, with information on this particular stretch of land going back to the late 1880s, and more recently the presence of the IU Research and Teaching Preserve dating back to 2001.

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

Ongoing habitat restoration in the 10-acre campus woodland Dunn’s Woods helps to provide supplementary habitat for woodpeckers and songbirds identified as Species of Conservation Concern. Restoration work includes removal of woody and herbaceous invasive plant species (hand pulling, herbicide) and planting of native woodland perennials and fruiting shrubs. indiana.edu/~sustain/programs/buwp

At the Research and Teaching Preserve: Along with our continued monitoring of this property, we are continuously trying to remove invasive shrubs (mostly Asian Bush Honeysuckle and Autumn Olive) that are constantly encroaching along the edges of the preserve and have some previously established populations along the watershed. Special focus has been put on hand pulling and careful removal of these shrubs to protect sites from erosion, rather than utilizing herbicides in these sensitive areas. Efforts were started roughly 7 years ago, with many sites now seeing native shrubs and trees re-establishing in previously invaded areas.

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

Information on the RTP: Michael Chitwood
Information on Dunns Woods: Heather Reynolds

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.