At least 50 native cypress, pine and palm trees will be planted on UCF’s East Orlando campus as part of a federal grant aimed at improving forests’ health.

The project began in September with the pruning and remediation of more than 100 young native hardwood trees inside the campus core. The second phase of the $18,860 grant from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is expected to start with next week’s plantings.

The grant was awarded to UCF as part of the 2010-11 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Forest Health Improvement Initiative Program.

The grant supports UCF’s long-term landscaping goals, which include having a mixed-species urban forestry canopy. This project brings connectivity to the canopy and beautifies the campus.

The project also promotes the planting of native trees, which play an important role in protecting the habitats of Florida’s wildlife. Native tree species will be planted at two campus retention ponds, which will increase air and water quality.

UCF’s East Orlando campus is home to 1,400 acres of natural lands and manicured landscapes. The university is committed to ecosystem health and preservation. The Arbor Day Foundation recently recognized UCF as a Tree Campus USA.

The university’s Landscape & Natural Resources department supports the university’s mission through its comprehensive outdoor laboratory that creates opportunities for relevant, experience-based learning, urban ecology research and human connection with ecosystems and landscapes.

The department seeks to enrich the community by creating and maintaining an inviting outdoor environment, providing high-quality service for operational activities and generating research and educational initiatives that guide stewardship of natural resources.

For more information about UCF’s green initiatives, visit