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Projects Updates for Urban Biodiversity Master Plan

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  1. Biodiversity Plan DRAFT FOR REVIEW

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Miram, Morgan, and Scott,


    We have a draft for the biodiversity plan! I would like to get your initial reactions before we send it out for broader review. Would you have time to take a look in December? If you feel like someone else for the Resilience Committee is more appropriate, we are open to that. I just want an initial signal check to make sure there aren’t any obvious gaps or omissions.


    It will go though a copy edit so don’t worry too much about typos.


    Many thanks.



  2. Resilience iCAP Team January Meeting

    Resilience iCAP Team had its first virtual meeting of the Spring 2023 semester on Tuesday, January 10th, at 10:30 AM. Cheryl Bicknell is the new Facilities & Services representative of the team. At the meeting, the Biodiversity Master Plan project student intern Gabriel Harper-Hagen gave a brief overview of the biodiversity plan and shared his progress through an extensive update document. Afterward, the team discussed its goals for this semester. 

    The full recording of the meeting can be found here

    Meeting minutes are attached. 

  3. Resilience iCAP Team October 2022 Meeting

    The Resilience iCAP Team had its second monthly online meeting on Monday, October 10th from 11:00 - 12:00 PM. The team worked on the Campus Sustainability Celebration slides, got updates on Urban Biodiversity Master Plan, talked about sustainability and resilience challenges at Urbana and Savoy areas, and shared announcements on upcoming sustainability events! Meeting minutes are attached. 



  4. Urban Biodiversity Master Plan Student Support

    Biodiversity Plan intern Gabriel Harper-Hagen is looking for students and student groups to help him develop two iNaturalist surveys for the project. Here is the detailed explanation from Gabe:

    The survey will act as a pilot for future surveying around campus and the broader community. We will have two surveys: one focused on animals and one focused on plants. This is because of the different methods of surveying each. The surveys will benefit from as many students that would be interested in this for either one (Or both). The survey will attempt to efficiently gather data about the diversity of plant and animal species found on campus to create a baseline for what is present and to help identify gaps on the campus where diversity may be lacking. If successful, I hope to expand the model to other parts of the community including the park districts to have larger community based BioBlitz seasonally to keep track of the diversity in the area and measure success of the biodiversity plan. 


    As far as students can help, we need enough people to survey the area efficiently in a reasonable amount of time. The student groups and individual students would be helping in an initial survey that focuses only on the campus. My thought is that a date will be set for each of the two surveys where the participants can join to go over brief instructions on identifying plants with iNaturalist, adding them to the project, and explaining the purpose of surveying. iNaturalist allows for specific project data to be collected within a region which is then peer reviewed. Ideally, there will be some experts (students or professors if appropriate) that join for each survey to help with logistics and identification. I hope this will not only be a useful database for our campus to utilize, but also a fun learning experience. 


    All iCAP students and environmental student groups are encouraged to participate. If interested, please email Gabe ( and Resilience iCAP Team clerk Asli Topuzlu ( 

  5. Biodiversity Plan Project Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Project update from Gabriel Harper-Hagen:

    Over the course of the 2022 summer, Gabriel Harper-Hagen interviewed 45 members from the Champaign-Urbana region to understand more about the regions position on biodiversity. This process has created support for the plan from the community. Achievements and gaps were identified in the region along with barriers and recommendations to successfully integrate a biodiversity master plan. Photos of key aspects and sites were gathered. Strategies for achieving goals have been identified and are in the revising process. The plan is currently being constructed as a draft. Background research and information has been collected and used for support on the topic of urban biodiversity. 


  6. Resilience iCAP Team September 2022 Meeting

    The Resilience iCAP Team had its first online meeting of the year on Friday, September 9th from 2:00 - 3:00 PM. The team reviewed the Resilience Charge Letter, talked about ground rules of the team, reviewed seven Resilience iCAP objectives, and shared updates on each objective. Meeting minutes and ground rules documents are attached. 

  7. Weekly Resiliency Team Meeting

    Present: Meredith Moore, Morgan White, and Stacy Gloss

    Gloss reported on the following:

    • Green Infrastructure Mapping: Lisa Merrifield met with Illinois EPA and partners at the end of March to discuss the mapping project. Meetings will be held with NCSA soon about feasibility and next steps.
    • Gloss notified Lisa Merrifield that she is available to help with Biodiversity Plan
    • DFA advising on-going. Their upcoming presentation is April 27 on E-waste in Siebel Center for Design
    • Final report from Ann Witmer's capstone course is expected: A student consulting team is developing a report on renewable energy technologies that can be adopted through a campus local-offset program
    • Gloss and Moore will present  to GEEB on April 26 on environmental justice


    • SSC semesterly reporting requirement for NGICP training is due July 1; Gloss will email campus NGICP participants.
    • Sustainability Clinic recommendation meeting next steps;
    • Working to understand Extension's role in environmental concerns / environmental justice.  White, Gloss, and Moore will work to meet with Shibu Kar as an introduction between the Resilience Team and Extension on iCAP resilience goals, environmental justice planning, and support for programs like a sustainability clinic

    Tasks (Gloss):

    • Help with agenda for next resilience team meeting & update the gantt chart for meeting resilience goals
    • Attend next Land & Water team meeting if available (related to potential campus master plan for rainwater management & relationship to/with community coordinated rainwater master plan)
    • Attend the iWG meeting as resilience team rep for Environmental Justice iCAP recommendation


  8. Res002 Biodiversity Plan - Successful

    Sherry Nickols-Richardson, Director of University of Illinois Extension, sent Morgan White the following email in support of the Res002 recommendation.


    Dear Morgan,

    Thank you for sharing the Urban Biodiversity Master Plan component noted below (iCAP 202 Objective 8.1). University of Illinois Extension supports the in-kind contribution of Lisa Merrifield toward this effort through FY24. 

    Please note that Illinois Extension does not have funding to support a formal master planning process. This would need to be established and developed by F&S. If there are other implications for financial support now or in the future, Illinois Extension requests that there be discussion about these implications before any expenses are incurred.

    This will be an interesting, informative, and valuable process. I look forward to periodic reports about the progress.


    Shelly Nickols-Richardson


    See submittal and recommendation of Res002 Biodiversity Plan. 

    See transmittal of Res002 Biodiversity Plan. 

    See iWG assessment of Res002 Biodiversity Plan. 

    For future updates on this effort, visit Urban Biodiversity Master Plan.

  9. Res002 Biodiversity Plan - Transmitted

    Following the completion of iWG assessment for Res002 Biodiversity Plan, the recommendation was transmitted to Dr. Nickols-Richardson, Director of Extension, on April 12, 2021. 

    See iWG assessment of Res002 Biodiversity Plan attached. 

    See iCAP team recommendation Res002 Biodiversity Plan.


  10. Res002 Biodiversity Plan - Submitted

    The Resilience team made the following recommendation on 2/3/2021: 

    Lisa Merrifield at U of I Extension should coordinate the development of an urban biodiversity master plan for the local urbanized area of Urbana, Champaign, and Savoy, with broad stakeholder input and direct faculty/researcher involvement.

    Attached is the Res002 Biodiversity Plan recommendation. 

  11. Resilience iCAP Team Meeting Minutes from 1-27-21

    The Resilience Team met on Wednesday, Jan. 27th for their first meeting of the Spring semester. Our clerk, Kimmy, proposed changes to our iCAP portal theme page and received comments from all team members. The Biodiversity Plan recommendation is in the final steps of gathering approval from every team member and will likely be submitted to the iWG this month. Lastly, the team had a brainstorming session for how to identify existing green jobs infrastructure and how to coordinate our environmental justice efforts with the community -- specifically the Sustainability Advisory Commission for the City of Urbana. 

    Agenda, meeting minutes, and chat log are attached.

  12. Resilience Team Meeting Minutes from 12-10-20

    The Resilience Team met on December 10th and had a fruitful conversation about how to help our surrounding communities while maintaining an equal two-conversation where community, faculty, student, and governments are all heard. Comments were discussed regarding our next recommendation, the Urban Biodiversity Master Plan. 

    Agenda, meeting minutes, and chat log are attached.

  13. Municipal Approval Status of Tree Species Data Table

    Associated Project(s): 

    Bianca Han, an undergraduate student, compiled a table that compares the approval status of various tree species by municipality (Champaign, Savoy, and Urbana). The table highlight inconsistencies in biodiversity policies. As examples, scarlet oak and blue ash appear to be prohibited in Champaign, approved in Savoy, and not addressed in Urbana.

    The table also illustrates possible sources of information developed in one municipality that could be used in others. For example, crabapple appears to be approved in Champaign but not addressed in Savoy and Urbana; English Oak appears to be approved in Savoy but not addressed in Champaign and Urbana; and river ash appears to be prohibited in Savoy but not addressed in Champaign and Urbana.


  14. Resilience iCAP Team Follow-Up Meeting

    The Resilience SWATeam met again on October 9th, 2020 at 12pm. The team completed the iCAP 2020 Assessment and in doing so determined the team's priorities for the year. The Assessment has been sent it to the iCAP Working Group, and the team is looking forward to advancing our objectives!

    Attached are a PDF of the completed Resilience iCAP Assessment, meeting minutes, and chat log. 

    The agenda was as follows:

    1. Review iCAP 2020 Assessment (Due October 9th)

    2. Update on Hazard Mitigation Plan recommendation

    3. Plans for future meetings

    4. Announcements