Making campus greener

Twenty-five UIC community members and tree enthusiasts celebrated, planted and learned about trees and green efforts on campus for Arbor Day April 27.

The national holiday was recognized at UIC with a tree planting that was made possible by Robert Sargis, assistant professor of clinical medicine in the College of Medicine. The physician-scientist’s gift allowed UIC to purchase two trees for Arbor Day and plant them in the Medical Sciences Courtyard on the west side of campus, replacing trees that had been destroyed by a storm in 2016.

“[Sargis] believes very strongly that trees play an absolutely essential role in making cities habitable through innumerable ecosystem services, including filtering air, reducing heat island effects, sequestering CO2 and limiting stormwater runoff,” said Lisa Sanzenbacher, assistant director of the Office of Sustainability.

She thanked Sargis for the two saplings, a bald cypress tree and Kentucky coffeetree.

“Both are great as far as attracting wildlife, keeping things pollinated and attractive for all of the other plants in the area,” said Carly Rizor, superintendent of grounds.

Rizor added that all trees on campus have been inventoried, health assessed and valued — important steps that have helped UIC earn longtime recognition as an Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA for commitment to tree management and student engagement.

Other speakers for the event included Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability; Al DeReu, the manager of Openlands’ TreeKeepers program; Melissa Custic, the coordinator of Chicago Region Trees Initiative; and Jessica Turner-Skyoff, a treeologist from the Morton Arboretum.

View UIC’s tree inventory.

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