We have received a number of concerned emails and phone calls in response to a posting to this listserv on May 19th. Unfortunately, the content of the email was not related to Bioenergy or Sustainable Technology and the subject line “Clear cutting our campus trees,” was quite misleading. We would like to clear up any misunderstandings that may have resulted from this posting. To that end, I offer the following response from UF’s campus planning office regarding the utilities upgrade at Corry Village.


“The University has four faculty-staff-student committees that review all of our construction projects including this utility project.  The utility routing was planned in order to minimize tree impacts, and also to control erosion on this sloped site.  The tree removals and mitigations were approved by the University's Lakes, Vegetation and Landscaping Committee.  I have attached a copy of the LVL meeting minutes, UF tree mitigation policy, tree removal summary for the Corry project, and summary of a unique plan to recycle/reuse the felled trees.


Unfortunately, this list serve posting spread misinformation about the project.  There are, in fact, 5 heritage trees being removed for the project (1 ash, 1 Chinese Sweetgum/non-native, 2 slash pines and 1 redbud).  There are another 81 trees that must be removed, but they are not heritage trees and you will see them on the attached "Corry Village tree removal.pdf" with their species, size and health condition.  These will be mitigated per UF's policy.  There remain over 400 trees on the site that will not be disturbed and will retain the current shaded condition of the site.  The University's Department of Housing and Residence Education (DHRE) has worked closely with the Corry Village Mayor's Council to disseminate accurate information to the residents through Council meetings and other avenues since February.  The Corry Village leadership may be starting a web blog to help clear up the current misinformation that is circulating and keep residents better informed throughout the process.


The University is very proactive in its commitment to sustainability, tree preservation, and water quality protection.  I believe this project has very conscientiously balanced these commitments with the need for the infrastructure upgrade.  The project manager, design team and DHRE have worked hard to achieve multiple goals and involve UF stakeholders in the decision-making process.  Their creative recycle/reuse plan for the wood goes well beyond what most public or private utility projects would commit to do.”


We appreciate opportunities to answer questions about campus sustainability at [log in to unmask].


The UF Office of Sustainability





> -----Original Message-----

> From: Guneeta Singh [mailto:[log in to unmask]]

> Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 12:19 PM

> To: [log in to unmask]

> Cc: Nathan Heston; [log in to unmask]; DeLongpre Johnston,Dedee

> Subject: Clear-cutting our campus trees



> I've recently heard complaints from several graduate students in Corry

> Village (campus graduate student housing) that they plan to remove up to

> 90 heritage trees in order to accomodate cranes for new construction and

> utility lines.  They plan to replace the trees 4-1.  The replacement

> plan

> sounds nice but it will take 30 to 40 years for the trees to provide the

> shade and asthetics of the current large oaks and other trees on the

> village grounds.  Does anyone know if the green building practices that

> our campus has adopted also includes minimizing tree removal during

> construction and re-routing utilities in order to avoid damaging the

> existing trees?  Or is clear-cutting the surrounding area a necessary

> step

> for new construction?  If clear-cutting is NOT a necessary step, what

> can

> the students/residents do to challenge this decision?


> You may find the latest meeting minutes here:


> http://www.facilities.ufl.edu/lvl/minutes/2009/030909.pdf  


> Corry Village contact information:


> http://www.housing.ufl.edu/facilities/resfac_grad_corry.html


> Thanks,

> Guneeta