Habitat restoration and conservation, how students and staff are protecting space for wildlife at 3 U.S. campuses

National Wildlife Federation’s 2011 campus sustainability case studies are online now at www.nwf.org/campuscasestudies. The following is the third in a series of blog posts to highlight some of the notable projects and trends represented in our database.

Davidson College in North Carolina recently hosted its 8th annual Green Ball to raise money for the Davidson

Davidon College - Credit: Environmental Action Coalition

Lands Conservancy (DLC). The Green Ball is a Davidson tradition, combining contra dance, local food and an auction to raise money for the Conservancy. The DLC is a land-trust organization that works to protect land in and around Davidson, and last year it received $2,300 from 125 participants in the Green Ball. The Green Ball ties Davidson students to their community as the campus Environmental Action Coalition works with local businesses and charities to improve the regional environment, and ties Davidson (both town and college) to the globe by situating the activism of the Green Ball as a conscious attempt to counter worldwide climate change by guarding green spaces in the community.  Learn more about this effort.

In an ongoing project that applies service-learning teaching

Delgado Community College - Credit: Angela Lorenzo

methods to the Horticulture program classes at Delgado Community College, students work to restore the coastal barrier islands suffering from coastal erosion and the effects of 2010’s B.P. oil spill. Using the Delgado City Park Campus Greenhouse, Horticulture students propagate native coastal sand dune plants, which are then re-planted along coastal habitats of Southeast Louisiana by students and community volunteers. Students learn effective propagation methods and care of these native plants, a necessity for land-building and wetlands stability; filtering pollutants from watersheds; and providing habitat for local animal and plant life. Learn more about this effort.

The University of South Florida preserved an area of approximately one square mile comprising a variety of habitats including extensive wetlands(mostly cypress swamp) and the only

University of South Florida - credit: Anne C. Schmidt

large, intact piece of Florida sandhill habitat within 50 miles (sandhills are open dry savanna-like habitats, usually with an open overstory of longleaf pine).  An estimated 400 gopher tortoises  – a species currently listed as of special concern in Florida and being studied for federal listing – inhabit this sandhill area; Eastern indigo snakes  – a federally endangered species – occur in the area but are quite rare. At least 404 plant species are present in the preserved area, including nine listed as endangered, threatened or commercially exploited in Florida, and four known to grow nowhere else in Hillsborough County.  Learn more about this effort.