Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.34
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Karen Petroff
Assistant Director, Arboretum/Horticultural Services
Arboretum & Landscape Services
"---" 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 University has signed a Long Term Protection Forest Conservation Easement with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources providing for permanent protection of 70.56 designated easement acres. Priority protected areas on the College Park campus include stream buffers, wetlands, and steep slopes, affecting interconnected green corridors that also enhance water quality and habitat. The campus is part of the Anacostia River Watershed. By protecting forested stream buffers and managing stormwater responsibly on campus, the university is helping to preserve biodiversity and health of the Anacostia River and the Chesapeake Bay beyond.

The Wye Research and Education Center's location adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay makes it an ideal site for research focusing on preserving the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay, sustaining agricultural productivity, product diversity, and maintaining Maryland's valued quality of life.

The University of Maryland Golf Course is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, which means it is recognized by Audubon International for best practices in environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, water quality management, and outreach and education. A pollinator meadow was added to the Golf Course in 2018 and has become a successful partnership between the Golf Course and Arboretum staff.

In addition, the wooded hillock on UMD's College Park campus is an undeveloped terraced gravel deposit forest. This site is considered to be of conservation importance because this type of forest has been associated with plant communities of conservation significance in the Anacostia River Watershed.

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:
Entomologists at the University of Maryland contribute to studies of native species and pollinators, contributing to studies, including the National Bee Survey. Combining outreach and research, the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and UMD researchers will perform “bio-blitz” studies, selecting specific sections of campus (for example: pollinator gardens, wooded hillocks, and campus streams) to complete a 24 or 48 hour inventory of all species to visit the area. These activities have informed programming to help better protect pollinators including native bees, butterflies and others (which experience diminishing availability of suitable habitat in the urban fringe area of Washington DC).

While the University of Maryland has not conducted an independent study of the Chesapeake Bay, other foundations and research groups have studied the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. These studies indicate over 2,300 endangered or threatened species are native or dependent on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Five endangered species include: the Maryland Darter, the Shenandoah Salamander, the Virginia Big-Eared Bat, the Dwarf Wedge Mussel, and the Atlantic and shortnose Sturgeon.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has completed an inventory of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species by county. In Prince Georges County -- where Maryland’s main campus is located -- there are over 250 rare, threatened or endangered plants and animals. Learn more about Maryland’s Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Animals at: https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/rte/rteanimals.aspx

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:
The University of Maryland is located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, an ecosystem including wetlands, rivers, streams, and the Bay itself. The University is located in an urban-fringe environment, bordered by cities including the District of Columbia, Silver Spring, and Arlington where suitable habitat for pollinators (including native bees, butterflies, and others) is diminishing. UMD’s internationally-lauded arboretum, native and pollinator botanical gardens, campus creeks, and Audubon Certified Cooperative Sanctuary spaces offer suitable habitat for pollinators, native species, and other wildlife.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
The University has not conducted a thorough assessment of all owned and managed lands to identify endangered and threatened species and environmentally sensitive areas. Faculty, staff and students have conducted some assessments on parts of the College Park campus, including the Knight Hall Pollinator Garden and campus creek areas. The Division of Student Affairs has assembled a list of plants and animals that are present on the University of Maryland Golf Course. The University of Maryland Extension System and partnering organizations have completed biological and water quality assessments in the Wye River region of Maryland's Eastern Shore where the Wye Research and Education Center is located. The University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Gardens maintains an inventory of all trees and woody shrubs planted on campus.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
The University of Maryland has not completed a comprehensive assessment of the campus areas of biodiversity importance, but has completed various independent assessments of environmentally sensitive areas (gardens, arboreta, rivers and creeks, watersheds, etc.). UMD faculty, staff, and students research and monitor specific areas of interest, and the University develops programs based on these findings as well as reports provided by the State of Maryland.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
Originally the Honeybee Haven project, the Knight Hall Pollinator Garden consists of native shrubbery, ferns, grasses, and herbaceous plants in an established garden space on the College Park Campus in order to create a suitable environment for pollinators. Learn more at: https://arboretum.umd.edu/knight-hall-pollinator-garden.

The University has a variety of stormwater best management practices in place to protect water quality and aquatic habitats in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. UMD is one of the largest donors to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and offers opportunities to the community to plant trees or volunteer with CBF on a regular basis.

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:
University of Maryland Arboretum Explorer: https://maps.umd.edu/abg/

UMD Arboretum & Botanical Gardens - Native Gardens: https://arboretum.umd.edu/things2do/gardens/NativeGardens

UMD Arboretum & Botanical Gardens - Tree Management Plan: https://arboretum.umd.edu/sites/default/files/2017TreeManagementPlan.pdf

University of Maryland Walking Tour of Campus Gardens: https://uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/b5d638c9939ddbc18592f2ee3a6e0df2/university-of-maryland-campus-gardens/index.html

University of Maryland Golf Course - Audubon Society: https://www.golf.umd.edu/page.asp?title=the-green-page&title_index=

University of Maryland Arboretum Explorer: https://maps.umd.edu/abg/

UMD Arboretum & Botanical Gardens - Native Gardens: https://arboretum.umd.edu/things2do/gardens/NativeGardens

UMD Arboretum & Botanical Gardens - Tree Management Plan: https://arboretum.umd.edu/sites/default/files/2017TreeManagementPlan.pdf

University of Maryland Walking Tour of Campus Gardens: https://uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/b5d638c9939ddbc18592f2ee3a6e0df2/university-of-maryland-campus-gardens/index.html

University of Maryland Golf Course - Audubon Society: https://www.golf.umd.edu/page.asp?title=the-green-page&title_index=

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.