Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.86
Liaison Liesel Schwarz
Submission Date Sept. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

Villanova University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Liesel Schwarz
Sustainability Manager
"---" 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?:

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

While Villanova does not own or manage any legally protected areas or priority sites for biodiversity, the school has a number of undeveloped wetlands located on campus.

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?:

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:

Boltonia asteroides- False aster- Endangered
Viburnum nudum L.- Possumhaw viburnum- Endangered
Dasiphora fruticosa- Shrubby cinquefoil- Endangered
Quercus phellos L.- Willow oak- Endangered
Itea virginica- Virginia Sweetspire- Extirpated
Ilex glabra- Inkberry- Extirpated
Opuntia humifusa- Devil's tongue- Rare
Ilex opaca- American holly- Threatened
Magnolia virginiana- Sweetbay magnolia- Threatened
Symphyotrichumnovi-belgii- New York aster- Threatened
Symphyotrichum puniceum- Purplestem aster- Threatened

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

The study completed focused on campus core which does not contain significant areas of biodiversity. There are other areas on campus that include areas of biodiversity that were not included in the study but are mentioned in it. Those are the meadows and wetlands that are located on west campus, the wooded tract of land at Aldwin triangle on south campus, and a buffer area between the satellite houses and county line road.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

The ecological planning method was chosen to provide the methodology framework for creating a landscaping plan to increase biodiversity and for Villanova to meet the goals and needs of the University, as well as, those of the environment. This process assessed biophysical and sociocultural information to provide solutions and constraints for decisions made about the landscape. Assessing these factors helped to determine how land should be allocated and used in a way that provides the most benefits to all, humans, animals, plants, and the environment, with the fewest drawbacks. The ecological planning method has 11 steps interconnected steps.
• Step 1, a problem or issue that affects people, the environment, or the relationship between people and their environment is identified.
• Step 2, a goal is established to remedy this problem based on the wants and needs of the community.
• Steps 3 and 4, regional and local landscapes are analyzed and inventoried based on their biophysical (soil, water, etc.) and sociocultural (aesthetic, recreational, etc.) use.
• Step 5, studies are conducted linking the analysis to the established goals and problems.
• Step 6, Landscaping concepts, options, and choices are determined based on the studies
and the goals that the community wishes to achieve.
• Step 7, A plan is created based on the best concepts, options, and choices presented.
• Step 8. The plan is presented to the community and relevant parties are involved. Step 9, detailed designs are explored based on the above factors.
• Step 10. The plan is implemented.
• Step 11 the plan is monitored and evaluated over time to ensure that it is meeting the set goals.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

Villanova University has committed itself to a Sustainability plan that strives to meet the 17 United Nations Sustainability Goals. All of these goals are in some way tied to slowing the mass extinction, increasing biodiversity, and improving ecosystem services but the current campus landscape does not reflect these goals. To increase biodiversity and improve ecosystem services on the Villanova University campus a sustainable landscaping plan that changes landcover proportions, land use, and land maintenance must be developed, and a baseline biodiversity score must be determined. To accomplish this the biophysical characteristics. regionally and locally were assessed to determine the needs of the university and the feasibility of change. The principal results of this assessment showed that the university has a low Shannon’s Index biodiversity score, .19 out of 1, on the campus core and a high percentage of ecologically unproductive areas, impervious surface and manicured lawn, which make up 72%. of the total campus area. Additionally, trends in temperature and rainfall indicate that both will be increasing in the future. The principal results from the analysis emphasized the major needs of the university and these needs shaped the goals and actions addressed in the sustainable landscaping plan. The sustainable landscaping plan was evaluated using the STEEP (Social, Technical, Environmental, Economic, Political) framework to emphasize its range of impacts on Villanova University.

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

There is not a formal program in place to protect and/or create wildlife, but the undeveloped wetlands and gardens on campus are used to encourage and protect local wildlife.

Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity 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.