Tree relocation project wins award amid stadium renovations
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded the 2007 Gold Leaf Award for Landscape Beautification by the Texas Community Forestry Awards Program for the preservation of the 16 live oaks transplanted in the renovation of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
"It was gratifying to be able to preserve such a valuable campus asset by transplanting these trees, and this allowed us to accommodate new construction in an environmentally friendly way," said Ralph Jones, campus planning project coordinator, who suggested transplanting the trees.
The project took more than three months and involved coordination of personnel and heavy machinery during the tree moves, which were scheduled around last year's football games. Because they weigh up to 120,000 pounds the live oaks could only be moved one at a time.
"Seeing a crane lift the trees onto a truck, move them and place them in their new locations was amazing," said Jones, "and this is one of the university projects I'm most proud of being involved with because we're preserving an integral part of our campus."
The Gold Leaf Award is granted by the Texas Community Forestry Awards Program for the building of a stronger community through planting, maintaining or protecting trees. The university's urban forester, Larry Maginnis, accepted the award on behalf of the university.
"This award is a big deal-absolutely huge in the industry-and the outside community is taking note of what the university is doing," said Maginnis. "The Gold Leaf Award validates the university's stance in tree preservation.
"In addition, the staff has been really receptive to our preservation of the campus. They're appreciative of our effort to keep the campus beautiful, especially the ones who take outside lunches."