UAA achieves Tree Campus recognition for 12th consecutive year
by Green & Gold News |
For the 12th consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized UAA as a Tree Campus Higher Education institution for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
"Maintaining our Tree Campus distinction represents a stewardship commitment to our campus forest," said UAA Landscape and Grounds Supervisor Kara Monroe. "In order to keep our certification, we have to show an annual dedication of funding, staff labor, tree management planning and campus educational outreach. It's so important that we are encouraged to prioritize the health of the trees on campus and all the staff training and labor that goes into those efforts."
The Anchorage campus is home to more than 70 different types of trees, some found nowhere else in Alaska. The campus forest will continue expanding this Friday, Sept. 24 as the grounds team and UAA volunteers install a "Prairie Spire" green ash and a blue spruce tree, as well as plant seedlings donated by the late Chris Turletes, UAA engineering alum and staff emeritus.
As vice chancellor of Facilities and Campus Services from 2004–2017, Chris was deeply concerned about the impact of UAA’s physical growth on the natural environment. He adopted the No Net Tree Loss policy, which requires the institution to replace trees removed due to construction. By his retirement, UAA had planted over 20,000 seedlings on University of Alaska system land throughout Southcentral Alaska.
"Chris Turletes was a huge proponent of campus land stewardship," said Kara. "He encouraged Tree Campus Higher Education certification and, even after his retirement, continuously supported our Grounds Department with personal donations of time, funding and trees."
This fall, the landscaping team plans to dedicate the UAA Tree Tour — a self-guided way to explore the wide variety of trees on campus — to Chris in memory of his many contributions to UAA, including his positive impact on the campus environment.
"Over the past year, many have been reminded of the importance of nature to our physical and mental health," noted Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Your campus trees provide spaces of refuge and reflection to students, staff, faculty and the community."