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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug 6, 2008    #080
Contact: Laura Pate Byerley
816-235-1592

UMKC Implements GPS Mapping System to Manage Trees University Receives $10,000 Urban Forestry Grant

In light of its 75th anniversary, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is updating its aging tree population with the help of a global positioning system (GPS). The University’s Campus Facilities Management was able to plot the coordinates of its 1,882 trees into the GPS, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Urban Forestry division.

The GPS can pinpoint hazardous trees, such as diseased trees or trees that could encroach upon roofs, power lines and garages. It can also help the University diversify its tree population. To diversify the tree population, the University plans to plant 75 trees in honor of the University’s 75th Anniversary. Through the GPS, the University identified the Redbud as the most common tree on campus. The University will likely plant Dogwood, Whitebud, Japanese Maple and Oak trees throughout the fall semester, said Steven Jenks, UMKC Grounds Maintenance Supervisor.

The GPS could also help science students, Jenks said. Classes could tour campus to learn about tree species, growing patterns and maintenance.

However, even those who don’t maintain or study trees will benefit from the grant, Jenks said.

“You see students up against trees studying and kids playing Frisbee,” Jenks said. “Trees keep it cooler. You see picnics and professors out by trees. I think students appreciate trees more than people realize.”

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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