Lafayette

Nov 18, 2010 10:22 PM by Jim Hummel

Effort to Save 6 Oak Trees on UL Campus

A group of University of Louisiana at Lafayette students are trying to save six oak trees on campus. The six trees are slated to be cut down to make way for upcoming construction projects on campus, including new housing initiative.

"We pride ourselves on our live oaks," said UL junior Adam Constantin, one of a handful of students behind the effort.

Constantin and the others are not against the development on campus but they think the cost, those 6 trees, is too high. They also say all of this came as a surprise to them and they want more transparency from University Administrators.

"If [the trees] are going to have to come down, then we should be involved, as a community as a university," said Constantin.

The students have started a petition that you can view by clicking here. They will also have a meeting on campus Friday afternoon followed by a "Tree Appreciation" walk. The meeting and walk are both open to the public. The meeting gets underway at 1:15 inside the forum room of the student union building.

Below is a statement on the matter from UL Administrators:

The university is very sensitive to its historical buildings and trees. While campus progress must continue, every effort is being made to protect these important assets. Designs for the housing initiative were scrutinized for months with several different proposals considered to minimize any damage to historical buildings and trees. The housing initiative calls for five trees to be planted for each tree that will be removed. The initiative also includes regulations for construction equipment working near current tree roots and the removal of impediments to the health of remaining trees. Measures such as root bridges, heavy-duty fencing and trenching will be included in the contractor's agreement. A total of six oak trees will be affected. Two were already scheduled to be removed because of declining health and limited life expectancy. None of these trees are among the Century Oaks planted by UL Lafayette’s first President Edwin Stephens. These six trees will be replaced with thirty oaks matching in-kind the trunk size of the affected trees.

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