Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.94
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Tech
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jody Booze-Daniels
Nutrient Management Planner
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
"---" 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?:
No

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

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:

All of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) lands within Montgomery County which receive nitrogen and/or phosphorus as fertilizers or manures are included in a current Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Nutrient Management Plan (Sept 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018). The environmentally sensitive sites are identified as defined in 4VAC50-85-140 A 5 e, and proper setbacks are abided for any nutrient applications, manure or commercial fertilizer as indicated on page 104 and 108 of the attached Nutrient Management Plan (NMP). Furthermore, the NMP limits nutrient loadings to levels corresponding to actual annual crop uptake demand, thus minimizing potential losses to the environment.


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

The Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) identifies which fields contain sensitive areas, which include streams and active floodplains, wells, springs, shallow soils, rock outcrops, and sinkholes, via use of Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil maps (page 93 and maps of current NMP).


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

The Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) provides guidance to prevent applications of manure and commercial nitrogen and phosphorus to environmentally sensitive areas within the CALS lands. The NMP, which is reviewed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), is kept current to be in compliance with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit for CALS animal operations.

"Stadium Woods" is a 13 acre highly environmentally sensitive area located on main campus and adjacent to the Lane Stadium football facility. Consisting of an old growth forest with trees that are several centuries old, Stadium Woods provides and ideal educational venue for use by the College of Natural Resources and Environment. The University created a Committee consisting of numerous on and off campus stakeholders to study the area and provide recommendations for its use. The result included a comprehensive study that included how this environmentally sensitive area would be managed and preserved for the future.

The Campus Design Principles prepared by Sasaki Associates (Revised August 2010) contains the following reference to wildlife habitat protection and creation: ‘Champion Natural Habitats: Enhance habitat diversity through open space preservation and the selection of native vegetation. Redevelop sites to regenerate natural habitats.’

The Design Principles also define a goal to reforest approximately 350 acres of land, 80 of which are currently turf grass. These areas will create new wildlife habitat and protect campus waterways. Beginning in 2007, perimeter areas of campus lawn were converted to native grass and wildflower meadow, creating wildlife habitat. In the past year, acreage around a new facility that was previously a corn field was planted with native grasses and wildflowers. Related to reforestation, in the past year, several acres of campus have been upgraded to mimic a forest condition with native trees and wood chip mulched surface. Specifically the new agri-biosciences building replaced a section of surface parking lot with native trees and plants with forest floor (wood chip) surface. A grove of native shade trees located in lawn in the core campus was converted to wood chip surface to mimic a forest floor condition and improve wildlife habitat as well as storm water infiltration.


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.