UAB recognized for preserving tree growth, prioritizing green spaces on campus

UAB is recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA for the fifth year.
Written by: Maegan Royal
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

TreeJoomlaWith more than 4,400 trees providing shade, clean air and beauty on its campus, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA university for the fifth year in a row.

The Tree Campus USA program helps colleges and universities around the country establish and sustain healthy community forests. UAB was acknowledged for its work to nurture healthy trees and engage students and employees in conservation.

“It’s exciting to see UAB making such a commitment to prioritizing green spaces on our campus and ensuring we have a healthy, happy tree population in the midst of our urban location,” said Julie Price, Ph.D., manager of UAB Sustainability.

According to UAB researchers, spending 20 minutes in an urban park will make someone happier regardless if they’re working out or not, which is another reason for prioritizing green spaces on campus.

UAB is dedicated to preserving tree growth on campus and has a preservation process to accommodate campus construction.

The UAB Facilities Division created a process to evaluate the trees and estimate their worth; if a tree or group of trees must be removed during construction, new trees equal to the value of those removed must be planted at the site or the equivalent dollar amount added to the University Tree Fund.

Throughout the course of 50 years, a single tree can generate $31,250 worth of air pollution control, recycle $38,000 worth of water and provide $31,500 worth of soil-erosion control. As UAB celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, its trees have provided $125 million worth of air-pollution control and $126 million in soil-erosion control and have recycled at least $152 million worth of water. 

UAB was first designated a Tree Campus USA in 2015 for its accomplishments in 2014; the certification must be renewed annually.