UNL is part of national ‘Tree Campus Tour’

Oct 16th, 2008 | By | Category: Campus News, October 16, 2008

Arbor Day Foundation grant to help plant 100 trees near parking lots

Some campus parking lots are going green.

Through an Arbor Day Foundation “Tree Campus Tour 2008” grant, Landscape Services will begin planting 100 trees around City and East campus parking lots in November. The grant was one of nine awarded to universities nationwide.

“As part of this Arbor Day grant, they wanted us to pick areas that will help with shading and energy savings,” said Eileen Bergt, director of Landscape Services. “We picked parking lots because they are areas where, understandably, we don’t have many trees. For the most part, the lots are on the edge of campus, and introducing trees to these areas will make our entrances to campus more attractive.”

A tree-planting event held in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation is scheduled for Nov. 12. While the event details are being determined, Bergt hopes to plant 30 to 40 trees on Nov. 12.

“That will all be weather permitting,” Bergt said. “And, we’ll finish planting the rest of the trees either later in the fall or in the spring.”

New trees will be selected based on the area plantings and conditions.

“We’ve walked around all the areas, looking at what is growing there and we are in the process of figuring out what trees will do well based on the conditions,” said Bergt. “We also hope to pick some new varieties and expand the type of trees we list in our campus botanical gardens.”

The majority of the trees – 20 to 30 – will be planted along the Huntington/Leighton Trail, a new trail on the north side of East Campus. The Judging Pavilion and Animal Science lot, both on East Campus, will each receive between 6 and 10 trees each.

On City Campus, the Boathouse lot (which is being expanded, to be completed in the summer) will receive 10 to 15 trees. The parking area northeast of 14th and W streets will feature eight tree plantings.

“We’ve noticed there is a real demand for the spaces under trees in our existing campus parking lots,” Bergt said. “Thanks to this grant, we will be able to expand those options.

“And, these new green spaces will provide other benefits to campus, including outdoor learning, enhancing storm water runoff, increase our tree diversity and reduce the heat island effect of parking lots. This will truly be an enhancement to UNL’s environmental stewardship.”

The grant was announced during a Sept. 23 reception on East Campus celebrating ReTree Week. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus Tour 2008 is a nationwide tree-planting program designed to enhance tree offerings on college and university campuses. The program also aims to educate young adults and each campus community about the importance of planting trees.

Other universities to receive the Arbor Day funds are: University of Michigan, Northern Kentucky University, Virginia Tech, Oregon State University, University of Texas at Austin, University of California-San Diego, Arizona State University and Jackson State University.

Each tree planted at UNL will be recorded for ReTree Nebraska, a 10-year cooperative initiative to promote the proper planting and care of one million trees statewide by 2017. For more information, go to www.retreenebraska.unl.edu, or contact Jessica Kelling, ReTree Nebraska coordinator, at jkelling2@unl.edu or 472-0220.

By Troy Fedderson, University Communications

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