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Sustainability Project Facilitator
Office of Sustainability
GW has committed through its Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy to enhance tree canopy and green cover to help increase sequestration potential and outdoor air filtration capacity. In the near term, the university commits to offset the square foot loss of existing tree canopy and green cover from natural causes of campus development with new plantings. GW will do so by factoring green cover into campus development and conducting annual campus tree surveys to measure progress.
Casey Trees, a non-profit organization, performed GW's initial tree inventory. The inventory occurred in two parts, the first was in spring 2009 and covered only the Foggy Bottom Campus. The second occurred in late 2009 and covered the Mount Vernon Campus. Casey Trees surveyed both campus and street trees (city-owned) and gathered information about tree species, size, and location. This information was input into the Forest Service's Street Tree Management Tool for Urban Forest Managers (STRATUM) model and yielded 196 metric tons of carbon dioxide benefit, net of decomposition and maintenance losses.
STRATUM was developed by researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research. This model quantifies the structure, function, and value of a city's street trees. This run of the model was calibrated for trees in the Piedmont Climate Zone which includes Washington, DC and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states.
One of the tenets of GW's Climate Action Plan is to identify credible local offset programs to offset emissions the university cannot reduce (i.e. air travel for faculty to conferences). As GW works towards its carbon neutrality goals, the university will continue to seek projects to invest in to identify ways to reduce its carbon footprint through local measures.
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staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.