|Submission Date||March 15, 2018|
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions that own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to any of the following:
Institutions may identify legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and regions of conservation importance using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) for Research & Conservation Planning, the U.S. Information, Planning, and Conservation (IPaC) decision support system, or an equivalent resource or study.
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:
The mission of the Vassar Ecological Preserve, a 532-acre site adjacent to campus, is to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land to ensure that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity. The Vassar Ecological Preserve promotes increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve through field-based education and research.
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:
We survey vegetation at 20 points in four habitat types on the preserve every 5 years. We also monitor birds (1998, 2011) and amphibians (2010). The Waterman Bird Club conducts annual bird counts. Hudsonia and the NYSDEC have also conducted assessments at our site.
The Ecological Preserve is currently conducting an assessment of the space. The assessment identifies all plant and animal life diversity.
A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
Our preserve contains a number of wetlands that adjoin the Casperkill. We have identified calcaroius meadows, wet meadows, and forested wetlands. The calcarious meadows contain calcicoles, calcium loving plants. Upland meadows are in decline throughout the northeast. We have over 40 acres of this important grassland bird habitat. The NYSDEC has identified protected plants and threatened birds on our property.
A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
The Vassar College Farm and Ecological Preserve is a 532 acre nature preserve.
On Campus, a wetland was restored along Casperkill behind Wimpfheimer Nursery School. The Patricia Bullet Collins ’42 boardwalk runs through a wetland beside the Fonteynkill and work is ongoing to remove invasive species and support the introduction of threatened species.
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.