In Conjunction with Earth Week, Chancellor Establishes "Natural Areas Stewardship Committee"

Dear Campus Colleagues,

With Earth Week under way, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Natural Areas Stewardship Committee, which will be charged with advising campus leadership as well as the Board of Trustees, on how best to protect and enhance the natural areas of UNCW’s campus.

The committee will collect and share information regarding possible approaches to mitigate and/or offset tree loss due to Hurricane Florence and other weather events, as well as tree removal required to accommodate campus construction. This collaboration will also help ensure that the campus community is kept abreast of possible impacts to the natural aesthetics of our campus. This is a critical element of our master plan, and one that is never far from our minds as we proceed to grow as a campus.

Our natural areas serve as classrooms, labs and training areas for students, faculty and staff. The pockets of forest areas on UNCW’s campus help set the university apart aesthetically and symbolically, as part of our mission as an environmentally sensitive university. These natural areas should be preserved and maintained with intention. The university is committed to being a good environmental steward, and this committee, along with the UNCW Sustainability Council and efforts by our faculty, staff and students, will help us maintain the integrity and accountability of this commitment. Representatives of every part of our campus community will serve on the committee.

Allow me to offer my thanks to Roger Shew, who approached the administration about creating the committee and whose leadership will be invaluable, and to Kat Pohlman, the university’s Sustainability Captain, whose daily efforts on this front have not gone unnoticed by our community; and of course the Buildings and Grounds subcommittee of Faculty Senate. The work they’re doing now, as well as the work the committee will do, will be critical to maintaining natural areas of campus as we also work to manage campus growth and construction. Thank you in advance for your support of such efforts, and happy Earth Week, Seahawks!

Jose V. Sartarelli