The University of Texas at El Paso has earned its Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation for the third straight year, validating UTEP’s continuous efforts to be a sustainable green space.
UTEP is one of 364 colleges and universities to receive this distinction, which shows the University’s commitment to encouraging students and personnel to care for the planet’s tree resources.
Greg McNicol, associate vice president for facilities management, said campus trees serve multiple roles to include shade, soil protection, energy savings, enhanced air quality, stormwater management and a habitat for wildlife.
“Creating green space is an important part of our plan,” McNicol said. “Trees are a vital part of our current landscape. The University is honored to have been recognized for our efforts that will continue to have a positive impact on UTEP students and staff.”
The University has more than 3,100 trees across the luscious campus landscape. Some were planted by students over the years through events such as Greek Day of Service and Texas Arbor Day.
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.
UTEP’s tree advisory committee’s next major goal is to establish an interactive campus tree inventory database.
This “virtual arboretum” will soon allow campus visitors to use their cell phones to identify pertinent information for each campus tree such as its name in Latin and English, its age and botanical information.