At a Glance

An ecologically-based Land Stewardship Policy will guide the development of a new, world-class campus that supports education, research, and housing, while modeling sustainability, improving ecological integrity, and permanently protecting open space and natural areas.

Project Description

Located less than two miles north of the main campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, Carolina North is a new, world-class research and mixed-use academic site that is envisioned by the University as a model for sustainability.

In the early stages of planning for the new campus, Biohabitats performed an ecological assessment and GIS analysis of the entire, 947-acre property and created maps differentiating areas of high, medium, and low conservation value. These maps informed and guided development decisions made by the University and the Town of Chapel Hill in the establishment of four distinct areas within the property: a 228-acre Development Area, which had very little conservation value and could be developed immediately; a 408-acre 50-Year Limited Development Area, which had some ecological assets but could be developed in a limited capacity over 50 years; a 53-acre 100-Year Limited Development Area in which a more limited amount of acreage could be developed over a much longer period of time; and a 258-acre  Conservation Area, which was placed in a permanent conservation easement and would not be developed.

Biohabitats helped the University chart a course for the long-term ecological sustainability of the campus by developing a Land Stewardship Policy. The purpose of the Policy was to guide the management of the 718 acres outside of the Development Area.

A living document that focuses on preserving and improving the ecological integrity of the campus, the Land Stewardship Policy addresses management and operations from the University’s perspective. Since much of the campus is open for public recreation through an extensive trail system, the Policy also includes guidance on managing public use. Topics addressed in this Policy include fire management, integrated pest management, ecological restoration, wildlife management, research, recreation (public and University) and public safety.



Southeast Atlantic

Physiographic Province



Cape Fear

Expertise Areas

Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Water


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States