Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Reid Bertone-Johnson
Field Station Manager
Landscape Studies
"---" 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:

Smith College owns 243 acres in Whately and Conway, Massachusetts. The property is known as the Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station. 190 acres of the field station are permanently protected from development by a Conservation Restriction held donated by the College to the Kestrel Land Trust (Amherst, Mass.). The field station is adjacent to and contiguous with nearly 5000 permanently protected acres in Western Massachusetts, recognized by the Nature Conservancy as a "Resilient Landscape." Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife manages property to the East of MacLeish, and the Northampton Department of Public Works manages directly adjacent lands to the West as a watershed protection zone. Beyond the Northampton Watershed lands, there is contiguous State Forest land in the towns of Williamsburg, Whately, and Conway. These acres consist largely of mixed deciduous and evergreen forest, oldfield, and some active pasture and hayfield.


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 conducted surveys of the wetlands near the site of our Bechtel Environmental Classroom - the fifth fully certified Living Building in the world. The surveys located the wetlands and ensured that the building site was beyond the requisite buffer zone of 100' from the wetlands.
The field station has several vernal pools, two of which have undergone the certification process overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which carries with it building and development restrictions. The remaining vernal pools are within the permanently protected 190 acres of land.


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

Though the species for such priority habitat zones are not advertised so as to protect them from poachers, we believe that our priority habitat zone is associated and an endangered salamander known as the Jefferson Salamander.
Salamander eggs and calling (mating) Spring Peepers are among the obligate species for vernal pool identification.


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

The Smith Campus is an arboretum, a living museum of woody plants, documented and labeled for educational purposes.

The MacLeish Field Station owned by the college in Whately, Mass was dedicated in May 2008. The mission of the field station is to foster field-based education and research that promotes environmental study and experiential learning in a forested and agricultural landscape. This 190-acre site is a patchwork of protected forest and farmland located adjacent to the City of Northampton's primary drinking water reservoir.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.