The University of New Mexico Grounds & Landscaping staff and the Staff Council Environment Committee celebrated New Mexico Arbor Day today by planting trees in a barren area in front of the Innovation Discovery and Training Center on North Campus.
The two Frontier Elms are an inter-species cross that is both beautiful and tough. This tree doesn’t produce a viable seed so it can’t escape and become a nuisance. It also does well in New Mexico soils, tolerates water (or lack thereof) and is pest resistant. It has reddish-purple fall coloration.
The trees should grow to at least 40 feet and provide needed shade for this area of campus. In addition to the shade, a mature tree will remove 31 tons of carbon dioxide and 458 pounds of other air pollutants during its lifetime. A study by the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region reminds us that tree filled areas foster healthy communities by reducing stress on the human body and mind.
The Staff Council Environment Committee collects spare change and uses the money to purchase trees for the campus. The committee works with the UNM Physical Plant to select locations to plant the trees. Over the years, the committee has purchased trees for the area in front of Johnson Center, bushes and trees for the area in front of the Mechanical Engineering Building, and now the new trees on the North Campus. Over the next few weeks a Jefferson Elm, taken as a graft from one of the trees on the mall in Washington D.C., will be planted in front of the IDTC building as part of the same project.
The campus community if invited to participate. Simply drop your spare change in the collection jars when shopping at the UNM Bookstore. All the money goes directly to purchase the trees. If you would like to become involved with the Staff Council Campus Environment Committee please contact Karen Wentworth at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathy Meadows at the Staff Council Office at email@example.com.