Foggy Bottom Campus Gets 23 New Trees

GW’s Environmental Law Association Sponsors Campus Tree Planting

The George Washington community gathered together last Friday to replace and replant 23 trees across the FB Campus

Zelkova serrata, black gum and willow oak trees – specifically selected for their environmental benefits and ability to adapt to urban environments – were planted along F, G, H and Eye streets. The tree planting was part of the American Bar Association’s One Million Trees Project – Right Tree for the Right Place at the Right Time, a nationwide service project that calls on ABA members to plant trees with the goal of reaching one million trees across the U.S. by 2014.

Friday’s service project was sponsored by the GW Law School’s student-run Environmental Law Association and the GW Office of Sustainability with support from Casey Trees, a D.C.-based nonprofit committed to restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. Casey Trees and GW have a longstanding relationship of working together on planting trees on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses.

“The university and Casey Trees have had a partnership since 2007 that has done much to improve the tree canopy at the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses,” said Sophie Waskow, sustainability project facilitator in the Office of Sustainability. “From planting more than 150 new trees to completing surveys of our existing trees to funding for interns to help watering trees during summer months, GW’s partnership with Casey Trees is a win-win for the university, the neighborhood and the city as a whole.”

LeRoy Paddock, associate dean for environmental law studies, serves on the ABA’s Environmental, Energy and Resources Council, the group that set the goal of planting one million trees across the U.S, and wanted GW to get involved with the project.

“We work on environmental issues often from inside the office, but actually being out there in communities planting trees that make a difference in neighborhoods or on campuses is a great way of practicing what we practice,” said Mr. Paddock, the faculty adviser for the Environmental Law Association, a student organization that provides educational, career and networking opportunities for law students interested in environmental protection. “It allows us to apply our practice of environmental law to a real-world context that can improve communities and can help us understand what some of the communities’ needs are.”

Lauren Eckhardt, a second-year law student and the pro bono coordinator for the Environmental Law Association, said she wanted to give her fellow students a chance to volunteer in the community.

“We spend a lot of time in the library so this is a good opportunity for law students to take a break and make a positive impact,” said Ms. Eckhardt, who helped coordinate the tree planting.

The project was funded by the partnership between GW and Casey Trees, which focuses on expanding GW campuses’ tree canopy and using the landscaping and streetscapes as an urban laboratory to develop enhanced urban tree planting conditions in conjunction with the D.C. government.

“Trees help GW work toward its climate action goals,” said Ms. Waskow. “Trees reduce carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, and they help absorb storm water, which can lead to pollution in the river.”

Another landscaping change will occur this week as approximately 75 rose bushes will be relocated from their current location on the 21st Street side of University Yard, between Corcoran Hall and Woodhull House to the flower garden across the street on the south side of Lisner Auditorium. This relocation is in preparation for the upcoming construction of the George Washington University Museum on the current site of the rose bushes.

Originally planted more than 20 years ago on the Mid-Campus Quad, which is now known as Kogan Plaza, in conjunction with All American Rose Selections, a nonprofit association dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses, these plants were relocated to their existing location in 1997 when the Mid-Campus Quad underwent a major renovation. At that time, the collection expanded with a donation of rose bushes by alumni Jack and Anne Morton.

The GW Museum will be housed in Woodhull House at the corner of 21st and G streets, which will be expanded to a total of 35,000-square-feet. The GW Museum, which is receiving final approval from the D.C. Zoning Commission, will house the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, an unparalleled compilation of rare documents, maps and other materials related to Washington, D.C.’s history. Mr. Small donated the collection to the university in February 2011.

The Textile Museum, currently located on S Street, NW, will also become part of the museum. In addition, a conservation and resource center dedicated to the study and care of the Textile Museum’s collection will be constructed on the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Loudoun County, Va.

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