Wednesday, March 16, 2016

UNC Charlotte is KEEPING WATCH on tree canopy and air quality

By Leanna Pough

Sneezing, itchy throats and watery eyes are nature's reminder that spring is here. Though blossoming trees may cause allergies, they also provide shaded areas and curb appeal to the UNC Charlotte campus.

Today, March 16, the University added to its landscape with a ceremonial tree planting as part of its KEEPING WATCH initiative and to celebrate North Carolina Arbor Day, which is March 18.

A new tree grows on campus, near Hechenbleickner Lake.
Photo by Danny Tulledge
KEEPING WATCH is organized by the UNC Charlotte College of Arts +Architecture and UNC Charlottes Urban Institute as a multi-year initiative designed to foster collaboration across disciplines and interest groups to engage the public in local ecological issues.   

Through the work of artists, writers, environmental experts and scientists, KEEPING WATCH has connected community partners and projects to raise awareness and inspire action.

In its first year, the initiative focused on plastic waste and recycling, reaching 14,000 people. That number grew to 20,000 in 2015 with UNC Charlotte KEEPING WATCH on water quality and urban streams. This year, it's goal is to raise awareness on air quality and tree canopies.

As a Tree Campus USA designee, UNC Charlotte works to promote healthy trees. The University continues to manage its campus trees, striving to engage students in service learning opportunities on campus and in the community through initiatives such as the UNC Charlotte Earth Club, the Charlotte Green Initiative and annual campus cleanups and tree plantings.

For more information regarding the KEEPING WATCH initiative, visit .

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Leanna Pough is a communications coordinator in the Office of Public Relations & News Services.

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