A Western Illinois University professor is putting a monetary value on the trees around campus.
Urban forestry instructor Paul Blome says the tree canopy at Western gives a value of somewhere around $830,000 in pollution reduction alone. Blome knows this because of free software called “i-Tree”. The program can pick a point on campus and use the data to come up with a value of the trees’ pollution reduction benefits to the area.
Blome says one of the many benefits of the tree canopy is an increase in health. "If these trees weren’t here cleaning the air and reducing the pollutants there may be an increase in incidents of asthma attacks", Blome said.
Western Illinois University’s tree canopy covers about 35% of campus. Blome wants people to be more aware of the value trees give. "There’s not as much awareness about all the benefits and we hope to increase the awareness of the various benefits that they offer," Blome said.
Trees around campus this week will have “price tags” attached to them to show the financial benefits of the tree.
Western Illinois University is holding two public Arbor Day celebrations on Friday, April 25 at 2:30 pm at Lake Ruth and at 3:30 pm at the Horn Field Campus.