Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.51
Liaison Jessica Davis
Submission Date Oct. 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Deborah Ferguson
Assistant Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

IUPUI manages land adjacent to the Lilly ARBOR - an 8 acre strip of floodplain between 10th street and New York street along the White River. It is a 10+ year restoration project that began with the planting of 1400 native trees through the IUPUI Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) manages the Lilly ARBOR restoration project.

The White River has been designated as an important asset to the water infrastructure, ecosystem, nature corridor and wildlife habitat throughout Indianapolis and beyond.

Greening the Crossroads: Central Indiana
Good green infrastructure planning can have a major impact on the quality of life for residents of a region. In 2010, the Fund designed a green infrastructure network that highlights more than 300,000 acres of high-quality land in need of protection or continued environmental stewardship by private landowners.o reverse the decline in quality as well as quantity of natural assets, and improve the public perception of central Indiana as a desirable place to live and work, the Central Indiana Land Trust, with funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, invited The Conservation Fund to guide the public through the green infrastructure planning process. Stakeholders representing all levels of government, nonprofit organizations, foundations and community leaders came together to guide this endeavor. The result of the public planning process was Greening the Crossroads, a regional, landscape-scale conservation network plan for the nine-county region. This is a vision that has been crafted by the citizens of central Indiana and is a broad-based, collaborative effort.
After completing an assessment of the natural resources for the nine counties, The Conservation Fund designed a green infrastructure network to help the Central Indiana Land Trust identify critical lands for conservation, raise awareness among residents of the Indianapolis region of the value of natural lands, and identify implementation strategies that will ensure a legacy of conservation for future generations.
PROJECT AREA: The Fund designed a green infrastructure network that highlights more than 300,000 acres of high-quality land in need of protection or continued environmental stewardship by private landowners.
https://www.conservationfund.org/projects/greening-the-crossroads-central-indiana

Reconnecting to Our Waterways
Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) is a collective impact initiative that has worked purposefully since 2012 to change the quality of life and ecology along Indianapolis waterways and surrounding neighborhoods. ROW has been able to convene community partners to enhance quality of life through innovation, analysis, cultural advancement and investment along Indy waterways and neighborhoods. We have walked alongside communities to discover and celebrate Indy’s waterways as a community asset. Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) is focused on the six major waterways in Marion County: the Central Canal, Fall Creek, Little Eagle Creek, Pleasant Run, Pogue’s Run, and White River.
Elements: ROW is focused on holistic solutions that integrate six related elements. Aesthetics, Connectivity, Ecology, Economics, Education and Well Being.
http://ourwaterways.org/

The White River Plan
The White River Vision Plan will be developed to promote:
Access to the White River for residents and visitors — our two largest, most important audiences
The environmental value and ecological quality of the river corridor, including its water quality and natural habitats
Connection to attractions, arts and entertainment venues, hiking and biking trails, and neighborhoods
Experiences along the water that contribute to our shared cultural heritage and history
http://mywhiteriver.com/


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:

Through collaboration with local, state, and federal government agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations, the IUPUI Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) implemented an urban riparian restoration project along eight acres of the White River in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Lilly ARBOR project was designed for use as an experiential research and education site that teaches and promotes environmental stewardship. The educational objectives are to a) increase the number of faculty and students at IUPUI involved in experiential learning, b) engage students in the design, implementation, and monitoring of a restoration project, and c) to provide a site for educational outreach for citizens, K-12 educators, and environmental professionals. Simultaneously, the project's research objectives are to a) provide a research site for long-term study (at least 5 years) of river and riparian processes, b) to evaluate restoration procedures utilized by restoration managers, and c) to monitor the growth and development of an urban riparian forest.

Environmental education and outreach programs have been designed to reach K-12 teachers and students, the campus and surrounding community, and environmental professionals. Through teacher training workshops, children's camps, and school group instruction, the Lilly ARBOR project site provides an outdoor field experience with a watershed, a riparian system, and wetlands as well as exposure to research techniques on topics such as population studies of floras and faunas and water quality analysis. Through the CEES service learning program, IUPUI faculty and staff from four schools and professional environmental managers work with area high school and middle school students, IUPUI students, other Indianapolis-area university students, and community members to conduct research and maintain the restoration. Business groups and environmental professionals also utilize the restoration site for employee volunteer days and group tours. The interdisciplinary collaboration and use of the Lilly ARBOR project has permitted several hundred individuals to contribute to the research and maintenance of the site while educating them about the importance of maintaining biological diversity and participating in environmental stewardship.
https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2003AM/finalprogram/abstract_65352.htm

Water quality and level is monitored utilizing multi-parameter chemical probes. Soil geochemistry is conducted by students in the environmental geochemistry lab. The level of sophistication is variable and can be scaled to different audiences and user groups.

GPS and GIS technologies: Each of the 1400 trees planted within the restoration have been located via GPS and graphically displayed on GIS maps to monitor their growth and development. We also utilize this technology for native recruit surveys and invasive exotic species surveys. The maps are used as both a teaching and research tool.

Internet Access: All data collected is posted and maintained on the Lilly ARBOR Project web site. Students and teachers can access and download the data to draw conclusions and determine trends. A variety of science-related topics can be addressed with the data sets.
https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/gsa03/activities/1931.html


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

PROJECT OVERVIEW
The project area is an eight-acre strip of floodplain between 10th Street and New York Street along the White River in downtown Indianapolis. Prior to the project, this area was dominated by mowed turf grass and a few pioneer species. CEES service learning projects removed over 700 bags of trash and debris from the floodplain prior to it being replanted with native vegation as part of a comparitive, experimental floodplain reforestation program.

The project started with the planting of almost 1400 native trees. The 1-mile stretch of riverbank is evolving into a complex floodplain forest as the trees grow and other species gradually recolonize the area. The massive experiment will test the best way to restore riverbanks by comparing the three most common methods for planting trees to restore native forests. A 10+ years of monitoring and assessment have provided - and will continue to provide valuable data on reforestation strategies.

Theone-mile stretch of riverbank, planted with approximately 1400 trees, is now evolving into a wildflower meadow and shrub/sapling habitat as the trees grow and other species gradually recolonize the area.  The massive experiment will test the best way to restore riverbanks by comparing the three most common methods for planting trees to restore native forests. A minimum of five years of monitoring and assessment will provide valuable data on reforestation strategies. This long-term study is monitoring the growth and development of the White River floodplain and evaluating the effectiveness of the restoration methods. Research results are posted on the project web site and are also provided continually to natural resource managers to improve ongoing restoration efforts. Data and additional information can be found on the web site at: http://www.cees.iupui.edu/restoration/lilly-arbor
* Species include approximately equal numbers of Hawthorn; Honey Locust; Swamp White Oak; Red Maple; Hackberry; Chinquapin Oak; Ohio Buckeye; Silver Maple; Sycamore; Cottonwood; Green Ash; and Black Willow


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

Foundation in 2000. Over the past 10+ years, faculty, students, and community volunteers from Lilly and elsewhere have worked together to restore - and maintain - a 1 mile stretch (8.5 acres) of riverside corridor along the White River in Indianapolis.

The Lilly Arbor Project

Baseline Studies:
Historic Flood Frequency
Seasonal Water Level Fluctuations
Seed Bank/Natural Plant Recruitment Study
Creation of Site Herbarium
Reptile and Amphibian Study
Bird Census
Sediment Stratigraphy and Sediment Chemistry
Historic Land Use

Long Term Monitoring Parameters
Ground Water Elevation – weekly, hourly
Water Quality (physical/chemical) - weekly
Tree Survival and Growth (height, diameter) – seasonally
Natural Recruitment of Woody Species – seasonally
Exotic Species Appearance and Distribution - annually
Vegetation Monitoring – annually
Bird Usage (species, #) – quarterly
Butterfly and Dragonfly Usage (species, #) - seasonally
Reptile and Amphibian Usage (species, #) – annually

Welcoming Campus Innovator Grant Awarded to Center for Earth and Environmental Science "Restoring Greenways, Connecting Communities"
The Center for Earth and Environmental Science has been awarded a Welcoming Campus Innovator grant for 2018/19 to support restoration efforts and community engagement along the White River corridor. The project, Restoring Greenways, Connecting Communities, builds on the success of the Lilly ARBOR project. In 1999, with support from the Lilly Foundation and the City of Indianapolis, CEES initiated the ARBOR project, an experimental reforestation of the floodplain along the east bank of the White River (western edge of the IUPUI campus). The project received broad support from the IUPUI community, as well as business professionals and community volunteers. Over the years, the site has evolved into a beautiful greenway. Restoring Greenways, Connecting Communities builds on that success and is designed to make the ARBOR site more accessible and better connected to neighboring trails, and to make the ARBOR and adjacent sections of the White River Trail more informative/enjoyable for visitors. The project will be conducted along a greenway that forms the western edge of the IUPUI campus and extends from White River State Park, through the ARBOR, to the 10thStreet bridge where it turns to follow Fall Creek to Martin Park at 16thStreet. As part of the project, educational signage will be installed on trees and iconic landmarks along the greenway. This will provide visitors with information about the area’s vegetation, history, and the continuing evolution of the land on which the IUPUI campus is located. The project will also contribute to an integrated network of trails for Indianapolis residents and IUPUI students, staff, and faculty. The location of the project near Eskanazi Hospital and the VA Medical Center makes the site ideal for patients and hospital staff in need of a quiet natural area for relaxation. http://www.cees.iupui.edu/blog/welcoming-campus-innovator-grant


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