So why are trees important again?

When I came across an email about Sustainability Internship Program, I was ecstatic! An internship dedicated entirely to making our campus more sustainable, I didn’t think such a thing existed. I looked at the Tree Campus USA internship opportunity and thought “okay, yeah, trees are important for the environment.. they like do things for it.” Karima Patel - Tree Campus USANeedless to say, even though I knew trees were important to our environment, I didn’t know why. From my time at SIP, I learned about the importance of trees on our campus. For one, they aid in the reduction of climate change. In one year, a single mature tree will absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and release it as oxygen. The amount of oxygen that one single tree produces is enough to provide one day’s supply of oxygen for four people. So while you are busy studying and working on earning those good grades, all the trees on campus are also working hard to make the air cleaner for us. Trees on our campus impact our mental health as well, studies have shown that trees greatly reduce stress, which is a huge deal considering many students are under some amount of stress. One of the most shocking facts about the trees on campus is that there’s just so many of them. Being an urban school, people don’t realize how many trees there actually are at UIC, there are over 5000 trees. As a SIP intern, I take inventory of trees on campus and evaluate their growth over the years, as their growth and good health are crucial in order to provide many of their benefits. Working with the trees on campus has taught me that the trees aren’t just important, but they are vital.

“Tree Facts.” Tree Facts at Arborday.org. The Arbor Day Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 July 2015.

By: Karima Patel