Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.85
Liaison Amy Butler
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Michigan State University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Steve Troost
Campus Planner
IPF Engineering & Architectural
"---" 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:

Woodlots are considered  protected areas on campus as well as other areas identified in the campus landscape master plan such as historically sensitive areas; i.e. Beal Garden, Beal woodlot, designated green spaces; Campus Arboretum; Horticulture Demonstration Gardens' Children's Gardens; Clancy Lewis Arboretum; all are curated gardens along with the Beal Gardens.  In addition, the campus maintains a tree inventory consistent with the Tree USA certification.  A full list of main collections is located at: http://www.cpa.msu.edu/beal/beal_frames.htm.  Wetlands, Red Cedar Watershed and related features are described at: Wetlands, Red Cedar River, etc. See http://ipf.msu.edu/green/water/protection.html.

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:

Faculty, Campus Sustainability; Office of Water Research; Land Management as a part of the storm water management process. IN addition, MSU has a chief Arborist whose responsibility is to manage the curated areas and inventories.

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

MSU is endowed with a diversity of woodlands and wetlands located on the campus properties.  These invaluable natural resources include more than 700 acres in 27 distinct sites.  They provide significant, accessible resources for teaching, research, demonstration and nature appreciation.  In addition they serve vital natural ecosystem functions and are a part of the land-grant heritage that MSU is known and recognized for. Areas are protected by ordinance, by the Master Plan; and by oversight committees to ensure the campus arboretum is preserved. The Tree inventory is managed by the Arborist and the Tree Management Plan - which includes a sustainability strategy and the unique "MSU Shadows" program for reclaimed wood. A key ordinance requires: In no case shall endangered, threatened or special concern species be taken, nor shall any species be taken without proper, current state and federal permits as required by law.  Use of firearms on campus is prohibited.  Pedestrian travel shall be the only allowable mode of transport in any campus natural area.  Applications for scientific collection, class use and other activities with potential for environmental impact in Natural Areas shall be reviewed on a case by case basis by the CNAC, or its designee.  Any research or instruction materials left on a site that are related to unauthorized activities will be removed without notice.   In addition to the ordinances; the Land Management Plan provides protections to assure that areas are not jeopardized during new construction.  The natural areas are also protected with committee oversight.  The Beal Garden Database is managed by the Beal Garden staff and Dr. Telwski who is the curator of the Garden and Campus Arboretum.  The Horticultural Demonstration Garden, Children's Garden and Clancy Lewis Arboretum are also curated gardens like  the Beal Botanical Garden.  As a designated Tree USA campus; MSU Is required to have a Tree Management Plan.  the campus arborist, is responsible for the management of the plan.  All of the sensitive natural areas are managed through various mechanisms, committees, and oversight.  One of the oldest traditions of MSU has been  the careful maintenance of its park like campus of green space, trees and shrubs.  It prides itself on preserving the natural beauty for all to enjoy.  https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2019/honoring-past-helps-preserve-campus-beauty-1/

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.