Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.66
Liaison Eric Boles
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Arkansas
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Eric Boles
Director
Office for 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, 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:

Garvan Woodland Gardens is a viable and sustainable entity within the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. The University furthers the mission of teaching, research, and public service through use and support of this space.

Garvan Woodland Gardens preserves and enhances a unique part of the Ouachita Mountain environment, provides people with a place of learning, research, cultural enrichment, and serenity, develops and sustains gardens, landscapes, and structures of exceptional aesthetics, design, and construction, and partners with and serves the communities of which the Gardens is a part.

The University of Arkansas has also begun a restoration of a 10-acre oak savanna hillside on the UA-Fayetteville campus. This project was initiated in 2020 and will use a series of controlled burns and targeted herbicide application to restore the native plant communities. The site will also receive a rock terrace for birding and a 1-mile dirt trail to connect this oak savanna knoll to the City's paved bicycle trail system.


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:

Methodologies include walkthrough surveys and expert-led identifications during clean-ups and grounds maintenance. Brief bird surveys were performed in 2019. Habitat surveys were also performed in various small areas in 2019, as well as surveys conducted to allocate sources for a seed program run by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, who has since developed a relationship with the university to harvest seeds from and supply seeds for campus operations.

All major landscape restorations on the UofA campus start with an initial botanical survey that's used to shape the management plan and to serve as an initial benchmark of native species.


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

To date, UofA has identified no threatened or endangered species on campus. We have identified a tree of interest (the American smoketree, Cotinus obovatus), which is exceptionally rare for the NorthWest Arkansas area. UofA has also identified a couple relictual plots of native Oak Savanna. Fayetteville is also a prominent point for Monarch butterflies during their annual spring and fall migrations.


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

The University of Arkansas is a certified Bee Campus USA (Xerces Society). The UofA is actively pursuing certifications for Tree Campus USA and Bird Campus USA. Offices on-campus work independently to achieve various status recognitions as well (e.g., Monarch Waystation). The UofA has protected the American smoketree from removal as worked to restore the area to more natural conditions. Finally, the university has begun work to restore the Oak Savanna habitats to their original prominence.


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