Arbor Assets: The ROI of Campus Urban Forests




Illanes, Laura
Lentz, Laurie

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The University of Texas at Austin’s extensive grounds are home to a vast array of tree canopies lumbering across the campus’ urban landscape, along with a variety of flora native to the sunny skies of the Southwest. From the towering branches of the massive Battle Oaks to the fruit-bearing orchard adjacent to Waller Creek, these trees bring a multitude of benefits to everyone in the university community. Yet when UT Austin’s arborists discuss the benefits stemming from our urban forest, their conversations sound almost more like something that would take place in a classroom for the McCombs School of Business. Terms like return on investment (“ROI”), “valuation,” “asset appreciation” and “green infrastructure” can be heard from the Landscape Services conference room in the Facilities Complex. That’s because the conversation among professional arborists at universities has evolved as urban forestry programs have evolved.


Values at Work Series: Facilities Services developed our core values of Service, Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence, and Stewardship (collectively referred to as SITES) based on the way we approach our work. Our values can be found throughout our areas of services in many ways.Through a series of articles, the Values at Work Series is devoted to providing a closer look at how our values are hard at work. Each article focuses on an area of service and how that group incorporates our values in a significant way. We are proud of our employees who continue to serve as an example of “walking the talk” every day.

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