Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rob Andrejewski
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Richmond
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Rob Andrejewski
Director of Sustainability
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?:

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

In accordance with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, the University has developed and maintains a Resource Protection Area buffer along Little Westham Creek, Westhampton Lake, and adjacent wetlands to protect water quality by allowing runoff to be absorbed into the forest soils and by acting as a vegetative filter. The Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor is a 13-acre parcel of campus in a flood plain protected by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

The University owns 97.78 acres in Goochland county, VA, under open easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The conservation values attributed to this property include preservation of natural and scenic areas, preservation of land as open space, and preservation of forest and farmland. The site also allows the study of animal and plant life in its natural state.

The property is mostly forested and consists of wetlands and marsh. The forest is composed of mixed hardwoods, with several areas containing pines. Beaverdam Creek flows south through the entire property, no structures are on the property, which is mainly used for education purposes.

The Universty manages 47 acres of grassland known as the Pagebrook Property (aka the ballpark), which was purchased in 2001. The property is being looked at as a possible site for carbon sequestration.

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?:

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:

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:

The University of Richmond Arbororicultural Plan recommends that the majority of new trees planted on campus come from the category of excellent species desirability chart, which was designed to prioritize indigenous, long-living, and low-maintenence trees. These trees are often keystone species that provide the cornerstone for a healthy forest habitat. The “Trees and Shrubs of the UR Campus” website, developed by Tihomir Kostadinov and Dr. John Hayden, found no endangered or vulnerable trees and shrubs.

The Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor, a 13-acre section of campus and site of a stream restoration in 2019, was analyzed for the presence of endangered and vulnerable species in 2013 and 2018. We have assessed the benthic macroinvertabrate communities in the Little Westham Creek using protocols adapted from the Virginia Save Our Streams methods in 2017 and 2018. The benefits of maintaining a dynamic population of native wildlife along the corridor are immeasurable.

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

No endangered species were found on site. However, the wetland area in the Eco-Corridor is home to a wide diversity of fish, amphibians, mammals, birds, and insects. Restoration of this area can support many declining species, including the brown-headed nuthatch, the bluebird, the Big-Eared bat, and the American bumble bee. The annual Bio-Blitz also presents an opportunity to quantify threatened species on campus.

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

Areas near Westhampton Lake and Little Westham Creek have been identified as high-need areas, as campus development has led to soil erosion, poor water quality, less water reaching groundwater, and flooding issues. The Campus Master Plan outlines these priorities.

Plantings in the Eco-Corridor will support a diversity of animals. More than 9,000 trees and shrubs will be planted, all of them native species. An invasive species management plan will be put in place.

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

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