Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.69
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Aurora Winslade
Director of Sustainability
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, 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 Pollinator Garden meets the National Wildlife Federation’s guidelines for Certified Wildlife Habitat by providing food sources, a water source, places for cover, places to raise young, and by following sustainable gardening practices.

Collectively, parts of the Crum Woods are ecologically significant at a regional scale; they are some of the best remaining natural areas in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.


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:

The Woods are known to provide homes or migratory resting-places for 11 bird species on the National Audubon Society’s “WatchList” of species at highest risk of becoming endangered
(National Audubon Society 2002). They are American woodcock, bay-breasted warbler, Bicknell’s thrush, Canada warbler, Kentucky warbler, prairie warbler, prothonotary warbler, rusty blackbird, worm-eating warbler, blue-winged warbler, and wood thrush. Of these, blue-winged warbler and wood thrush have been documented as nesting in recent decades in the Crum Woods (Williams et al. 1999) and are probably still breeding residents.

The exceptionally intact forests and wetlands of the Crum Woods are prime sites for the reintroduction of species that disappeared locally due to forest clearcutting, agricultural runoff, severe stream pollution, and the unregulated use of pesticides before the 1970s. Examples include the redbelly turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris), a threatened species in Pennsylvania, spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens), gray treefrog (Hyla crysocelis), northern black racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor), northern ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus edwardsii), black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta), large yellow lady’s-slipper (Cypridepium calceolus var. pubescens), and hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides).


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:

Within the Crum Woods, areas that are relatively undisturbed by humans and feature outstanding or unusual natural assets have the greatest value for teaching, research, contemplation and appreciation of nature, and other “ecosystem services.” Such assets include natural community types or populations of species that are rare or otherwise of special interest, relatively small areas with an exceptionally high diversity of natural community types or of plant or animal species, and intact landscapes where human influence is unusually mild.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

These areas were identified in the Crum Woods Conservation and Stewardship Plan produced in 2003. This identification was done through consultant work in the Crum Woods by Natural Lands Trust, Continental Conservation and wildlife consultants. The local Soil Conservation Service was utilized for riparian work and impact on wetlands and red-bellied turtle nesting areas.


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

The study area is in two tracts (Figure 1) totaling 220 acres (89 ha), including the Campus
Woods and Martin Forest. Pertinent information was gathered from published sources, field studies,
and discussions with/surveys of representatives of numerous stakeholder groups,
including alumni, faculty, students, staff, volunteers, and members of the wider
community.


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

According to the 2018 Crum Woods Restoration and Stewardship Plan, there are several ongoing projects to maintain and improve the biodiversity and forest health of the Crum Woods. Here are just a few examples from the Vegetation Management section:
- Crum Meadow Floodplain Connection; restoration of stream banks via tree planting for more biodiversity
- English Ivy Removal; removal of an invasive species that crowds out sun exposure
- Maintenance of the SEPTA Right-of-way; management of a ROW passage that currently limits biodiversity


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
---

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

These areas were identified in the Crum Woods Conservation and Stewardship Plan produced in 2003. This identification was done through consultant work in the Crum Woods by Natural Lands Trust, Continental Conservation and wildlife consultants. The local Soil Conservation Service was utilized for riparian work and impact on wetlands and red-bellied turtle nesting areas. There has not been an updating of these methodologies since 2003.
The Crum Woods Stewardship Committee continues oversee the woods and creek area and maintains an awareness of sensitive areas and responsibility to maintain the Crum Woods. Even though the assessment has not been updated since 2003, the committee is still active in presenting recommendations for stewardship.
The attached document is a portion of the 2018 Crum Restoration report.

Jeff Jabco,
Director of Grounds,
Coordinator of Horticulture, Scott Arboretum
(610) 328-8294
jjabco1@swarthmore.edu

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.