The University of Texas at El Paso has been awarded a Tree Campus USA designation by The Arbor Day Foundation for the fourth consecutive year for its continuous efforts to be a sustainable green space.
Tree Campus USA is a national program that recognizes colleges, universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
In order to earn this designation, institutions must have a tree care plan, annual funding for tree care, an Arbor Day observance, a student service-learning project and a tree advisory committee that includes a student, faculty member, facilities management representative and a community member.
“Respect for the environment, especially the trees, is part of UTEP’s culture,” said Greg McNicol, associate vice president for facilities management. “It’s our commitment for the environment that includes the campus tree. A tree not only provides shade, but it also protects the soil, saves energy and increases air quality. UTEP is very proud of its continuing partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the Tree Campus USA organization.”
In celebration of Texas Arbor Day on Nov. 6, 2020, the grounds crew from UTEP’s facilities services planted Chinese pistache trees outside the Mike Loya Academic Services Building. Precautions were taken to ensure that the crew complied with local ordinances such as being socially distant and wearing proper face coverings.
Miguel Sarabia, an arborist supervisor at UTEP, said fall is most often a better time to establish trees as cooler temperatures create more favorable conditions for a successful transition into the tree’s permanent home.
“Trees planted in fall can pay off big in the heat of Texas summers if planted in the right spots,” Sarabia said. “Try planting deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in winter, on the west or southwest side of your home to naturally shade, and cool, your house in summer.”
The University has more than 3,000 trees across the lush campus landscape, and some of them were planted by students throughout the years during events such as Greek Day of Service and Texas Arbor Day.
Author: Jesse Martinez – UTEP Communications