Protecting Campus Natural Areas From Development: Creating a Legacy into the Next Century
Thursday, August 13, 2015: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
314, Baltimore Convention Center
Carola A. Haas, Virginia Tech
Kevina Vulinec, Delaware State University; and
Marla McIntosh, University of Maryland
Campus natural areas provide locations for long-term research, living ecology laboratories, a sense of place for the community, and may protect rare systems. Some of these natural areas are well-integrated into campus plans, and some may even create their own funding streams. Others, however, are thought of as neglected spots on campus that represent land on reserve for future university development or to be sold for income. Campus natural areas may be heavily used for research, teaching, or outreach purposes, but knowledge of those functions may be undocumented or unappreciated by university administrators and planners. The true value and the potential contributions of natural areas to a university’s mission and strategic goals are often neglected despite opportunities to involve students in management, restoration, monitoring, and interpreting natural local habitats that would contribute greatly to teaching and research in ecology. This workshop will follow Ignite and poster presentations that describe the value of campus natural areas and some mechanisms for preservation. At the workshop we will hear from a university provost and dean about what strategies are likely to be successful in convincing university administrators and boards to preserve natural areas, and for participants to share success stories. Our goal is to develop a manuscript that will be of broad use in long-term efforts to preserve campus natural areas for research, teaching, and outreach. We may break into groups focused on (1) engaging community stakeholders, (2) demonstrating teaching and research value, (3) participating in campus planning process, (4) identifying legal and financial instruments for permanent preservation.