Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.43
Liaison Wesley Enterline
Submission Date Nov. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 2.00 Wesley Enterline
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Planning and Management
"---" 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:

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (LAWCON) was enacted by Congress in 1964 "to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States" through planning, acquisition, and development of land and water outdoor recreation facilities. A trust fund was created to collect receipts from several sources (chiefly from outer continental shelf oil leases) from which Congress would annually appropriate funds to be distributed among the states and territories.

The UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve was originally purchased in part through funds provided by the LAWCON initiative. The Friar's Woods area, which is approximately 40 acres, was purchased using LAWCON funds in 1970. Other areas of campus have subsequently been purchased using these funds as well. Part of this area was also purchased to potentially house residence halls in the future, anticipating significant enrollment growth that has not fully materialized.

This formerly disturbed farmland started its transformation back to a habitat found native to Wisconsin prior to European settlement, thanks to the efforts of several faculty and staff members. This restoration effort has continued today and now several acres of land have been restored with native prairie species, and with active management of the area through controlled burns and seed collection, we hope to restore the entire area to native prairie species in the future.

The area is 110 acres, with about 50 acres as prairie or disturbed former farmland and 50 acres is wooded or contains heavy brush cover. The remaining 10 acres are managed recreation facilities such as picnic shelters, a baseball field, and tennis courts. Restoration efforts continue to this day, and the area retains some of its legal protections bestowed by the LAWCON purchase. However, more stringent protections are needed to ensure this land will not be subject to extensive development decades into the future.


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?:
No

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
No

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:
---

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

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

The prairie reconstruction project in the UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve has been underway for 20 years and significant tracts of the approximately 50 acres of former farmland have been restored with over 30 different prairie species. Controlled burns and manual removal have helped control spread of invasive species. Additionally, bur oak trees are being mapped to allow for ongoing management of the space to help establish areas that might better reflect the oak savanna habitat common to our area prior to European settlement.


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

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.