Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Raritan Valley Community College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
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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?:
No

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

We do trail camera studies for campus mammals (including but not restricted to T&E species) each winter/spring with our Vertebrate Zoology class (BIOL247). 20 students systematically set out 20 infrared trail cameras in diverse habitats across the campus for two weeks to get a snapshot of winter/spring mammal diversity.

We do annual spotlight (and now infrared drone surveys) of campus deer populations to assess their impact to campus forest environments, and re-sample our two forest monitoring plots annually to document the effects of deer populations and deer management on forest regeneration and other understory variables. These surveys are conducted with the Vert Zoo (BIOL247) class and wildlife research interns each spring semester, and forest monitoring is conducted with Ecology in the fall (BIOL231).


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

Endangered and vulnerable species identified were:
Boraginaceae Mertensia virginica Virginia Bluebells Special Concern
Cooper's Hawk Falconiiformes Threatened
Red-Headed Woodpecker Piciformes Threatened
Box Turtle Terrapene c. carolina Reptilia population declining

Streams running through campus are tributaries to the Raritan River. The southern end of campus has a stream that feeds into a pond. The west side of campus has the headwaters of another stream that empties (through underground pipes) into the southern stream. The northeast corner of campus has a third stream that is a tribuatory of the Raritan. All three receive runoff from campus and are affected by salt in winter. The southern and northeastern streams are prone to erosion from stormwater.


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

Under RVCCs Memorandum of Understanding with the EPA, RVCC adopted a GreenScapes policy in March 2011. This formalized RVCC's policy of planting native plant species, adopted as part of the River Friendly program in 2010. The GreenScapes policy states RVCC's goal when landscaping to plant diverse species of native plants in order to provide wildlife habitat.

Birch and willow stakes were planted along all three streams to prevent erosion.

As part of River Friendly certification, in 2010 RVCC installed a dozen bird boxes on campus and students conducted a wildlife inventory for the campus.

The college uses environmentally friendly ice melt and is looking to move toward a pre-treatment product that would reduce the need for ice melt.


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