Description and Overview
College campuses take up a lot of space and owns a lot of space that aren’t taken up by buildings or walkways but are instead outside areas for the students to enjoy. These areas could be great places for us to share our space with the native wildlife, but because of our lack of maintenance of these areas, they are lacking as habitats for these animals. The National Wildlife Federation certifies gardens and habitats that are considered wildlife friendly by standards that they have outlined. This certificate is mostly just incentive to create a well rounded habitat for wildlife and to provide a general description of what that would entail. I wish to create habitats on Ohio Wesleyan University’s campus that meet their guidelines and certify those locations. To do this, the habitat needs to include three food sources, one clean water source, two locations for shelter, two places to ‘raise young’ which includes any place that is necessary or beneficial throughout the courting and breeding season, and use two separate techniques to maintain the habitat sustainably.
The locations that I’ve chosen to expand to meet these requirements are the wooded area in between Selby Stadium’s parking lot and the discuss and javelin areas (Location 1), as well as the garden next to Sanborn Hall (Location 2). Since these two locations already have food and water sources in place, as well as places for shelter, I will be focusing in adding places to ‘raise young’ and sustainable maintaining practices. Before I am able to do this, the locations will need to be cleared of all of the litter that has gathered there. I have already looked through Location 1 and there are a few large items that need to be taken out, but otherwise it is mostly small item litter. Then, I will have to research what kind of habitats the native wildlife would need to go through their courting and mating seasons and find out how much of that can already be found in either location. I will also be researching which plants are native to this area and which are invasive. With this information, I will remove the invasive species from the locations and, if needed, replace them with native species. This meets one of the sustainability practice requirements. For this requirement, I also will find out what kind of pesticide and fertilizer is being used in Location 2, since I don’t think there would be any used in location 1, and if they are chemical I will work to have them replaced by more natural pesticide or fertilizer. Also for location 2, I believe that mulch is already being used for the garden, but I will make sure that that’s the case and make sure that it is also chemical free. For location 1, I will find out whether the steep slope that leads down towards the creek is natural or a result of landscaping. If it is a result of landscaping, then the rain runoff leading to creek could be leading to an increase in erosion. If this is the case then I will find techniques to reduce this effect. Some of these efforts, such as the initial clean up and invasive species removal, require an ongoing maintenance, so I would like to find a way to encourage students to continue upholding these habitat and sustainability standards.
A. Research and Explore
1. Research native plants to the area as well as past and present landscaping techniques used in the locations
2.Find any invasive species or chemical maintenance practices in the locations
3. Find places that already meet the requirements
4.Find places that could fill the requirements with some additions or changes
1. Talk to Ohio Wesleyan grounds maintenance workers about any changes that would need to be made to products used or to the area in general
2. Get approval for any additions or changes that would have to be made
C. Do the work
1. Removal of litter and invasive species
2. Addition of native species as habitat, food, and breeding places
3. Implement sustainability/habitat practices as necessary/able
a. Change of landscaping to reduce erosion
b. Addition of dead trees or nesting boxes
c. Addition of mulch
“A Wildlife-Friendly Garden.” RSS. The Humane Society of the United States, Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/gardening_wildlife.html? referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F>.
The Humane Society offers suggestions for a wildlife friendly garden, using native plants as food and shelter. They also make the point to include plants that offer year round protection and food for animals. They also include suggestions for animals besides birds and butterflies, which are the wildlife that most gardens are geared towards and welcoming to.
“College Sustainability Best Practices: A Resource for Colleges and Universities.” Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, 2008. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http:// http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/eea/lbe/lbe-campus-sustain-practices.pdf>.
This website provides examples of different sustainability projects that could be done on a college campus. Most of these are aimed at making the college buildings and college life more sustainable, rather than the outdoor space being more sustainable. However, these projects, if applied on a campus wide scale could largely affect the overall sustainability of any college campus. The projects would have to on a large scale, though, and it would be best to implement many of these practices rather than one or a few.
“Go Native!” Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://ohiodnr.gov/ gonative>. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources provides lists of native plants and alternatives to commonly used invasive species for gardens. The list of plants is separated by type of habitat the area is and can be used to plan any changes to plant life in the locations.
“Habitat Feature: Snags.” Habitat Network. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://content.yardmap.org/ learn/habitat-feature-snags/>.
This website explains the environmental impact of snags or dead trees, which is one of the options listed under the checklist. They are extremely beneficial for a wide range of wildlife and are considered essential to a well rounded habitat. It also offers an artificial snag option for gardens made out of a dead tree from somewhere else. This would offer shelter to a wide range of wildlife in the locations chosen.
Jones, Kristy, Courtney Cochran, David J. Eagan, and Juliana Goodlaw-Morris. “The Campus Wild.” Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation How College and University Green Landscapes Provide Havens for Wildlife and “Lands-on” Experiences for Students Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Campus-Ecology/Resources/The- Campus-Wild/The-Campus-Wild-Aug25-LowRes-(1).pdf>.
This source contains examples of wildlife friendly and habitat protection projects done by other college campuses, under section 3. The description of the featured colleges’ work explains what each location did, and each of these examples are fairly specific to each school’s location and that areas’ natural habitat. I would like to incorporate some of these ideas, however an exact replica would be impossible with the difference in school location and amount of owned property.
“Landscaping the Sustainable Campus.” Indiana Wildlife Federation. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http:// http://www.indianawildlife.org/habitat-programs/landscaping-sustainable-campus/>.
The Indiana Wildlife Federation has a program for college campuses to aid in sustainable landscaping practices. While this isn’t exactly the same as the wildlife garden explained by the National Wildlife Federation, it does explain some similar sustainability practices as the NWF for their certification. The steps described on this website could be useful in creating the sustainability needed for the wildlife garden.
“Landscaping with Native Plants.” The Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://nativeplantsocietyneo.squarespace.com/landscaping-with-native-plants/>.
This website lists native plants that could be used for gardens and landscaping in Northeastern Ohio. With some checking, these plants could most likely be used for a wildlife friendly garden on campus. These native plants would promote wildlife interaction with the gardens and offer a more environmentally friendly habitat for the area.
“National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife: Garden Certification Walk-through Checklist.” National Wildlife Federation. Web. 22 Feb. 1017. <http://www.nwf.org/~/ media/PDFs/Garden-for-Wildlife/Certified-Wildlife-Habitat/NWF_Garden-Certification- Checklist.ashx>.
This source lists the requirements to be certified with the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat. This checklist will be my guide for any improvements I want to make in my locations. Since the locations I will be working with already have the food and water requirements, I will be focusing on the ‘raising young’ and ‘sustainability practices’ portion in order to meet the requirements.
“Protecting Wildlife on Campus.” National Wildlife Federation. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http:// http://www.nwf.org/Campus-Ecology/Get-Involved/Protect-Wildlife-On-Campus-Certify-Your- Campus-Habitat.aspx>.
This website is aimed at college campuses, providing different opportunities to become a more sustainable and wildlife friendly campus. They provide examples of sustainability projects that could be done on done on a college campus as well as examples of projects that other colleges have already done. Along with these examples is the certification through the National Wildlife Federation to become a certified wildlife garden, which is the organization’s example of how to make a college campus, or any location, more wildlife friendly.
“The 39 Greenest Universities of 2016.” Best Colleges. 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://www.bestcolleges.com/features/greenest-universities/>.
This is a list of colleges, as measured by best colleges, named most sustainable. The description of the colleges includes not only how the are sustainable and teach sustainability within the class, but also clubs and programs that offer sustainability practices on campus that can be implemented on other college campuses.