Habitat

 

Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability work across campus to improve the livability of our landscapes. A healthy environment contributes to our students’ success and provides a welcoming environment in our community.

Campus Landscape

As part of the Campus Landscape Enhancement Project, an Urban Forest (PDF [Portable Document Format File] , 633KB) was established along University Drive. The forest is a densely planted area, reminiscent of a Texas creek bed. More than 5,000 trees and shrubs were planted, many of them native to Texas. The varieties include Afghan Pines, Bur Oaks, Caddo Maples, Cedar Elms, Chinquapin Oaks, Magnolias, Pond Cypress and Shumard Oaks. The Urban Forest is set in a natural riparian corridor running through campus.

Cottonwood Creek also runs through campus. The West Fork of Cottonwood Creek runs along the west side of campus, through University Village. It ultimately joins other waterways at White Rock Lake, part of the Trinity River watershed.

Tree Campus USA

With more than 6,700 trees on campus, and as the recipient of $50 million dollars for landscape enhancement, The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to maintaining our fabulous landscapes. To demonstrate that commitment, the University has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA®, a program that helps campuses establish and maintain healthy community forests.

To maintain that certification, UT Dallas has established a Tree Advisory Committee, a standing sub-committee of the Campus Sustainability Committee. A Tree Care Plan has been developed and implemented by Facilities Management. Tree Planting events take place annually on campus. Service learning events are hosted by the Office of Student Volunteerism, both on campus and with community partners.

The UT Dallas Tree Campus USA® program began in 2016.

Learn More >>

 

Tree Planting

Blackland Prairie

UT Dallas sits in Texas’ Blackland Prairie. The Blackland Prairie region is a strip of dark, rich soil encompassing much of Dallas and following the I-35 corridor. Facilities Management has established a No-Mow Zone to encourage native prairie grasses and give plants an opportunity to reestablish. Mowing less and planting native species are a key part of our prairie restoration program. An eight-acre area on the southwest corner of campus is the home of the restoration and our largest Monarch Waystation. Native pollinators, like Monarch butterflies, Bumblebees, Mason Bees, and Honey Bees, are crucial to the proliferation of many flowering and fruit producing plants.

The Monarch Watch is a nonprofit managed by The University of Kansas. UT Dallas is located in the migratory path of the Monarch Butterfly. To encourage species recovery, we have planted native milkweed to serve as a breeding ground, and wildflowers to support all pollinators in their search for food. Through the Office of Student Volunteerism, students can participate in planting and maintaining the Monarch Waystation and Blackland Prairie Restoration.

 

Monarch Waystation

The UT Dallas Community Garden program provides Comets with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of natural gardening and community greening. The garden was established in 2006 with an idea from the McDermott Scholars program and a grant from the UT Dallas Alumni Development Fund. Students, staff, faculty and alumni are all invited to host garden plots. Participants should contact the Office of Student Volunteerism to inquire about joining the Community Garden.

 

Community Garden

Composting Program

Composting is an important part of the campus waste management program that is continuously evolving. In August 2017, UT Dallas Dining Services and Facilities Management have partnered with Organix Recycling to enhance the Universities’ composting program. With newly installed 2 YD [2 Cubic Yard] containers near our campus kitchen locations, we have simplified the pre-consumer food waste collection process. With this new partnership, additional food items are acceptable in the waste stream that were not previously accepted (for example, meat and dairy products), increasing the amount of food waste that is recycled.

The Facilities Management team will continue to collect landscape waste from daily operations. Some of the landscape material is shredded directly into mulch. This mulch is used across campus to reduce our watering requirements and provide nutrients to our planting beds. By keeping these materials out of the consumer waste stream, the University has reduced emissions, costs, and time associated with waste management.