Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.13
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Vassar College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Micah Kenfield
Director of Sustainability
Office of 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, 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 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 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:
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:

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.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance 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 the scope of the assessment(s):

The entire ecological preserve as well as land on campus is assessed routinely.


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

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.


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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