At the links below, you will find our Tree Campus Care Reports for the past three years. These reports are gathered over the years, data is vertified and updated, and submitted to the Arbor Day Foundation prior to December 31 annually.
UTRGV understands the importance of having healthy trees in the city and throughout campus. The University owns and maintains a healthy urban forest of over 2,000 trees on its Edinburg campus, with the value estimated to be over $5,735,000 (CTCR, 2014). The University maintains strong partnerships with the cities surrounding our campuses in maintaining natural transitions between campus and community. The University contributes to sustainable development goals by providing tree maintenance training, providing necessary funding to ensure the sustainability of the community forest, contracting arboricultural services to International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists with appropriate experience, and encouraging cooperation and coordination among municipal departments where trees are involved.
The benefits the forest will provide are countless. Large trees give us a sense of place and belonging by ensuring landmarks for the future, and add aesthetic beauty to the campus by softening the linearity of its structures. Throughout the campus, trees surround parking lots and sidewalks provide relief from the hot Texas sun, while adequate canopy cover on campus provides shade and pollution-removal capabilities. Clean air, low temperatures, and comfortable areas make recreational opportunities, such as socialization and improving health, possible and enjoyable. The University enjoys reduced energy costs due to the shade provided by the tree canopy, and local businesses experience increased property value and business traffic due to their beauty. Trees also serve as strategic barriers to reduce noise, glare, and odors at key places around the region.
In addition to making our lives more comfortable, trees are vital for the environment. The abundant tree canopy provides support to reduce storm water runoff and soil erosion and to provide adequate cover and nutrients to sustain a diverse wildlife population. No one species of tree comprises more than ten percent of the population, and trees planted are native adaptive species appropriate for the region.
UTRGV participates in Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA and has received the designation for the past two years and has just submitted its renewal recently. The Tree Campus USA program helps colleges and universities around the country establish and sustain healthy community forests. Two- and four-year accredited colleges and universities meet five standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement. By participating in this program, UTRGV shows its committee to the health of its urban forest and providing a hospitable and pleasing environment for its campus family and community. For more information about Tree Campus USA, visit Arbor Day Foundation or watch this video.
The UTRGV Campus Tree Advisory Committee (CTAC) is comprised of faculty, staff, students, and both local and state foresters. The committee was founded October 21, 2013 and meets quarterly to provide important input for tree care and campus landscape improvement. The committee is tasked with providing guidance for future planning, approving the campus master tree plan, educating the campus and community on the value of trees, providing recommendations concerning tree removal and planting, and establishing goals for increasing the number of trees on campus.
The CTAC will meet quarterly and at the call of the chair. Permanent members include two UTRGV biology faculty, staff, five community representatives, and one student research assistant. The committee is tasked to assist in providing guidance for future planning, approving a campus master plan, educating the campus population on the value of trees, providing recommendations concerning Heritage tree removals, and, per the campus tree inventory, designating status of trees. The committee will also establish goals for increasing the number of trees on campus. To contact the CTAC.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. A million members, donors, and partners support our programs to make our world greener and healthier. Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. The impact it makes on our world is accomplished through their conservation and education programs such as Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA, Alliance for Community Trees, Tree Line USA, community tree recovery, carbon footprint reduction, nature exploration, and energy-saving trees.
Arbor Day is celebrated annually on different dates throughout the country. The main event, hosted in Nebraska, is on the last Friday in April each year. Our campus celebrates the event in the fall of the year when it is the best time to plant trees in our region. We celebrate jointly with cities in the Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg, McAllen, Pharr, Harlingen, and Brownsville).