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Loyola to allocate funds to plant trees to honor live oak

October 14, 2011

Loyola University New Orleans is allocating $500 toward the replanting of native trees in coastal Louisiana to honor the live oak tree near Monroe Hall that will be removed on Monday, Oct. 17 due to the renovation of the building.

The money being allocated will be used to make a strategic donation to plant trees that are important to coastal restoration. The Loyola Association of Students for Sustainability, in cooperation with the university’s sustainability committee, will coordinate the activities associated with the donation.

The oak tree to be removed on Loyola’s campus lies in Monroe Hall’s area of expansion, and the university has been studying the situation since this summer to determine if there was any way to save it through relocation. After consultation with professor David White, Ph.D., a botanist who also sits on the university’s landscaping committee, and independent tree consultant John Benton of Bayou Tree Service, it was concluded that the tree is not a candidate for relocation and must be removed.

However, all other existing trees around the building will be preserved and protected during construction, and at the end of the project, the university will plant in excess of 20 new trees as part of the renovated building’s landscaping plan.

University administration shares the concerns of the Loyola community about making this difficult decision, but thorough study and analysis reveals that when the building and its associated landscaping is done, the loss and sacrifice of the oak tree and the carbon reduction it offers will be offset through a more sustainable facility and a greener environment.

“No one wants to cut down a tree – we value them,” said Loyola Provost Edward J. Kvet, D.M.E. “We take this decision process very seriously and progress sometimes demands making unpopular decisions.”

“We have a sustainability committee advising the administration on how to reduce the university’s carbon footprint, and strides are being made every day to improve. Monroe Hall is targeted to be a silver LEED building and in being so, will help to greatly reduce the university’s carbon footprint. I think when the project is complete, we will all be very happy and proud of the strides the university has taken toward being a more sustainable campus.”

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