Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.66
Liaison Grace Afflerbach
Submission Date March 8, 2024

STARS v2.2

Purchase College - State University of New York
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Grace Afflerbach
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities
"---" 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, 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:
The Blind Brook watershed is protected by Westchester County. This watershed surrounds the west and east sides of campus and feeds directly into the Long Island Sound.

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
White ash (critically endangered) Green ash (critically endangered) Japanese zelkova (near threatened) Northern parula (least concern) Eastern hemlock (near threatened)

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
About 100 acres of old growth continuous forest exist on Purchase College property.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
An environmental impact statement was conducted when Broadview, the assisted living facility that is being built on the college's property, was in its early stages of planning. This old growth forest was deemed important due to its carbon sink and stormwater management capabilities. Purchase College has an active iNaturalist page where campus community members can keep track of different species spotted on campus. This site also designates species based on their Red List status. In Fall 2023, environmental studies students and professors conducted Purchase's first BioBlitz to record as many species as possible found on Purchase land.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
The environmental impact assessment required for the building of Broadview was conducted by an engineering firm who surveyed the entire campus and chose a specific 40 acres to build the senior living community. BioBlitz assessment: 35 participants documented 317 different species and 911 total observations. 176 plant species, 66 insect species, 32 fungi species, 13 arachnid species, 9 bird species, 4 mammal species, and 2 amphibian species were observed and recorded in iNaturalist.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
Under New York State's Executive Order 22, Purchase is required to "seek opportunities to enhance the ecological integrity of their real property to support native biodiversity and the NYS Pollinator Protection Plan, protect threatened and endangered species, and increase climate resilience and natural carbon storage. This includes prioritizing the use of native plants and minimizing the use of non-native plants in landscaping and other planting efforts and other activities that may be identified in the New York Natural Heritage Program conservation guide and its management recommendations regarding listed plants." Protected land statement from Senate Bill s1846a: "The state university trustees are hereby authorized and directed to designate and maintain a minimum of 80 acres of real property located within the boundaries of the campus of the state university of New York at Purchase for permanent preservation as open space lands. S 19. All real property included in section eighteen of this act shall be maintained for one or more of the following purposes:(a) open space lands and natural areas for maintaining plants, animals and natural communities; and (b) an area of natural or historic interest and beauty which provides the public with passive recreational opportunities. S 20. (a) The state university trustees shall cause to be undertaken a survey of the real property included in section nineteen of this act. Such survey shall be completed and made available to the legislature and the public not later than six months after the effective date of this act. (b) The state university trustees shall develop, in consultation with the department of environmental conservation, a stewardship plan for the maintenance of the real property included in section nineteen of this act as open lands. Such plan shall be completed and made available to the public not later than six months after the effective date of this act."

Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
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Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.